Prof. SY Chan

Professor CHAN, Ying Shing 陳應城

BSc, PhD (HK); CBiol; FRSB; FRSH

Dexter H C Man Family Professor in Medical Science
Associate Dean (Development & Infrastructure), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Deputy Director, School of Biomedical Sciences
Director, Neuroscience Research Centre
Co-Convenor, Strategic Research Theme on Neuroscience

  • Office: L4-50, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
  • Email: yschan@hku.hk
  • Tel: +852 3917 9163
  • Fax: +852 2855 9730
  • Web: HKU Scholar Hub

Research Interests:

  • Neural plasticity: Circuitry development & rewiring after injury

Biography:

Professor Ying-Shing Chan graduated from The University of Hong Kong and received his postdoctoral training at the University of Pisa, Italy, and The Rockefeller University, USA. He is currently Dexter H C Man Family Professor in Medical Science, Associate Dean of Medicine, Deputy Director of School of Biomedical Sciences, Director of Neuroscience Research Centre, and Co-Convenor of the Strategic Research Theme on Neuroscience of The University of Hong Kong. He also served as the Senior Advisor of the Dean of Medicine, Associate Dean (Research), Associate Dean (Academic Networking and Student Affairs), and Head of Department of Physiology of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. Professor Chan is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. He is the recipient of the First Medallion of the Australian Neuroscience Society. He also received the Outstanding Researcher Award of The University of Hong Kong. He has a long record of commitment to education and was awarded the Medical Faculty Teaching Medal and Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award. He served as President of Hong Kong Society of Neurosciences, Chair of International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Asian/Pacific Regional Committee, and President of Federation of Asian-Oceania Neuroscience Societies (FAONS). He is currently Vice-President of The Chinese Association for Physiological Sciences and Secretary of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry. He is the Editor-in-Chief for IBRO Reports and Associate Editor for European Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroscience Research. Professor Chan’s research interests include synaptic mechanisms underlying plastic modification of neural networks for spatial learning as well as the exploitation of pluripotent stem cell-derived glial cells and neurons in the assembly of functional neural circuits.

Research Description:

Neural plasticity: Circuitry development & rewiring after injury

Neural PlasticityTo find the cellular and molecular regulators of plasticity in sensorimotor circuits, our studies focus on the sensitive period in postnatal development. We used novel pharmacological and genetic approaches to manipulate the sensorimotor system and monitor for cellular and molecular changes that effect behavioral outcomes.

We have revealed a postnatal period critical to the modification of vestibular circuits responsible for spatial navigation. We found that excitatory-inhibitory balance within these circuits tunes synaptic plasticity for cognitive functions. We identified neuromodulators that induce or reset experience-dependent synaptic plasticity in acquisition of spatial navigation.

With the use of animal models of neural injury, we found mechanisms to harness glial reactions in facilitating neuroregeneration. We also exploited human bone marrow stromal cells and pluripotent stem cells to derive glial cells and neurons in the assembly of functional neuronal networks, providing therapeutic benefits for post-traumatic regeneration of peripheral and central nerves.

Selected Publications:

  1. Lai C.H., Ma C.W., Lai S.K., Han L., Wong H.M., Yeung K.W., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2016) Maturation of glutamatergic transmission in the vestibulo-olivary pathway impacts on the registration of head rotational signals in the brainstem of rats.  Brain Structure & Function 221: 217-238.   
  2. Cai S., Han L., Ao Q., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K. (2016) Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sensory neurons for fate commitment of bone marrow-derived Schwann cells – Utilization in re-myelination therapy.  Stem Cells Translational Medicine 5: 1-13.
  3. Li C., Han L., Ma C.W., Lai S.K., Lai C.H., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2013) Maturation profile of inferior olivary neurons expressing ionotropic glutamate receptors: Role in coding linear accelerations. Brain Structure & Function 218: 833-850.
  4. Ma C.W., Zhang F.X., Lai C.H., Lai S.K., Yung K.K., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2013) Postnatal expression of TrkB receptors in rat vestibular nuclear neurons responsive to horizontal and vertical linear acceleration. J. Comparative Neurology 521: 612-625.  
  5. Ao Q., Fung C.K., Tsui A.Y., Cai S., Zuo H.C., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K. (2011) The regeneration of transected sciatic nerves of adult rats using chitosan nerve conduits seeded with bone marrow stromal cell-derived Schwann cells.   Biomaterials 32: 787-796.  
  6. Lai C.H., Yiu C., Lai S.K., Ng K.P., Yung K.K., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2010) Maturation of canal-related brainstem neurons in the detection of horizontal angular acceleration in rats.  J. Comparative Neurology 518: 1742-1763.
  7. Tse Y.C., Lai C.H., Lai S.K., Liu J.X., Yung K.K., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2008) Developmental expression of NMDA and AMPA receptor subunits in vestibular nuclear neurons that encode gravity-related horizontal orientations.   J. Comparative Neurology 508: 343-364. 
  8. Guo Y.P., Sun X., Li C., Wang N.Q., Chan Y.S., He J. (2007) c-fos expression in the auditory thalamus is triggered by corticofugal projections. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA 104: 11802-11807.   
  9. Lai S.K., Lai C.H., Yung K.K., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S.  (2006) Maturation of otolith-related brainstem neurons in the detection of vertical linear acceleration in rats.  European J. Neuroscience 23: 2431-2446.   
  10. He J., Yu Y.Q., Xiong Y., Hashikawa T., Chan Y.S. (2002) Modulatory effect of cortical activation on the lemniscal auditory thalamus of the guinea pig.  J. Neurophysiology 88:1040-1050.

RGC/External Funds:

  • GRF project: Integration of new neurons into the mature vestibular circuitry requires GABAergic signaling for relevant outcome in behavior 
  • GRF project: Serotonin-induced bidirectional modulation of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity tunes vestibular functions
  • GRF project: Long-term depression of inhibitory responses is  critical to the maturation of the vestibular circuitry
  • GRF project: Vestibular nuclear signals regulate the postnatal development of a thalamic network for spatial navigation
  • GRF project: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulates plasticity in the vestibular system
  • NSFC/RGC project: Orexin-induced modulation of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is critical for the maturation of vestibular circuitry and functions
  • CRF project: Neuronal mechanism of cholecystokinin-facilitated cross-modal learning and memory  
  • SK Yee Medical Research Fund: Neural crest-derived cells: Role in functional repair of the nervous system

Honours and Awards:

  • Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award, The University of Hong Kong (2010)
  • First Medallion of Australian Neuroscience Society (2008)
  • First Teaching Medal of the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (2001)
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, The University of Hong Kong (1998)

Key Offices:

  • International Brain Research Organization International (IBRO), Asian/Pacific Regional Committee, Chairman
2001 – 08
  • Federation of Asian-Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS), President
2002 – 07
  • Nominating Committee, International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS)
2012 – 13
  • Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN), Secretary Member
2014 – present
  • Chinese Association for Physiological Sciences, Vice-President
2010 – present
  • Chinese Society for Neuroscience, Standing Executive Committee Member
2007 – present
  • Guangdong Society of Neuroscience, Vice-President
2010 – present
  • Hong Kong Society of Neurosciences, President
1990 – 91; 92 – 94
  • Institute of Biology (UK) HK Branch, Chairman
1995 – 99
  • 4th Congress of FAONS, Chairman
2006
  • University Grants Council, HK Government
    • Research Grants Council (RGC), Advanced Level Biology & Medicine Panel
1994 – 00
    • Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Health Sciences Panel
1999, 2006
    • Selection Panel of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
2009 – 12
    • National Natural Science Foundation of China / RGC Joint Research Scheme
1998 – 03
  • Grant Review Board of the Health and Medical Research Fund, HK Government
2015 – present
  • International Program Committee of Congresses
    • IBRO Congress
      • 1st Regional Congress of IBRO [Pattaya, Thailand. Oct. 20 – 23]
1996
      • 7th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience [Melbourne, Australia. July 12 – 17]
2007
    • International Society for Neurochemistry / APSN Congress
      • 12th Conference of the APSN [Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Aug. 23 – 26]
2014
      • 25th Biennial Congress of the International Society for Neurochemistry – APSN [Cairns, Australia. Aug. 23 – 27]
2015
    • FAONS Congress
      • 3rd FAONS Congress [Seoul, Korea. Sept. 28 – Oct. 1]
2002
      • 4th FAONS Congress [Hong Kong, China. Nov. 30 – Dec. 2]
2006
      • 5th FAONS Congress [Lucknow, India. Nov. 25 – 28]
2010
      • 6th FAONS Congress [Wuzhen, China. Sept. 20 – 23]
2015
    • International Conference of Physiological Sciences
      • 1st Int’l. Conference of Chinese Physiological Scientists [Beijing, China. July 15 – 17]
2004
      • Beijing Joint Conference of Physiological Sciences [Beijing, China. Oct. 19 – 22]
2008
      • Int’l Conference of Physiological Sciences 2012 [Suzhou, China. Nov. 1 – 4]
2012

Editor Board of Scientific Journals:

Editor-in-Chief:
  • IBRO Reports
2015 – present
Deputy Editor-in-Chief:
  • Acta Physiological Sinica
2010 – present
Associate Editor:
  • European Journal of Neuroscience
2015 – present
  • Neuroscience Research
2013 – present
Board Member:
  • Behavioral and Brain Functions
2004 – present
  • Experimental Brain Research
2006 – present
  • Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology
2010 – present
  • InternationalJournalof Brain Science
2013 – present
  • International Journal of Experimental & Clinical Physiology
2013 – present
  • Journal of Physiological Sciences
2010 – present
  • Neural Regeneration Research
2011 – present
  • Neurochemistry International
2008 – present
  • Neuroscience Bulletin
2011 – present