Start main content

Academic Staff

Dr WONG, Alan Siu Lun 黃兆麟 (joint appointment with Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Dr WONG, Alan Siu Lun 黃兆麟 (joint appointment with Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

  • BSc, MPhil (CUHK); PhD (HKUST)
  • Assistant Professor
L4-45, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9208
+852 2855 1254
  • Genome engineering
  • CRISPR technology
  • Protein engineering
  • Synthetic biology
  • Functional genomics
  • Combinatorial genetics
  • Combination therapy
  • Cancer therapeutics development
  • Postdoctoral Fellow/Associate, MIT Synthetic Biology Center, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (2012-2016)
  • Ph.D., The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (2007-2011)
  • M.Phil., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2005-2007)
  • B.Sc., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2002-2005)

Many human diseases are caused by multigenic perturbations. Our research takes an integrative approach leveraging on various techniques in synthetic biology, CRISPR-based genome engineering, high-throughput sequencing, molecular biology, and genetics to decode the complex genetic bases of human diseases including cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. Our laboratory aims to develop and apply new technologies to interrogate and understand the complex biological systems, and rationally design and engineer genetic circuits for providing new biomedical and biotechnological solutions.

Alan Wong Research 1 

Alan Wong Research 2

Research topics will focus on developing and applying cutting-edge technologies (e.g. CombiGEM, CombiGEM-CRISPR, and CombiSEAL) for studying complex disease biology, devising new therapeutic strategies, and engineering new proteins. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Wong and our lab webpage ( for more details.

Technology development and Therapeutics discovery:

  1. Xu, F.*, Tong, M.*, Tong, S.W.C., Chan, K.C.B., Chu, H.Y., Wong, T.L., Fong, H.C.J., Cheung S.H.M., Mak, H.M.K., Pardeshi, L., Huang, Y., Wong, K.H., Choi, C.G.G., Ma, S.#, Wong, S.L.A.#. A combinatorial CRISPR-Cas9 screen identifies ifenprodil as an adjunct to sorafenib for liver cancer treatment. Cancer Research (in press) (* Equal contributions; #Corresponding authors)

  2. Cao, J., Novoa, E.M., Zhang, Z., Chen, W.C.W., Liu, D., Choi, G.C.G, Wong, S.L.A., Wehrspaun, C., Kellis, M., Lu, T.K. High-throughput 5′ UTR engineering for enhanced protein production in non-viral gene therapies. Nature Communications 12: 4138 (2021)
  3. Zhou P., Wan Y.K., Chan K.C., Choi C.G.G., Wong S.L.A#. Extensible combinatorial CRISPR screening in mammalian cells. STAR ProtocolsDOI: 10.1016/j.xpro.2020.100255 (2021) (#Corresponding author)

  4. Wan Y.K., Choi C.G.G., Wong, S.L.A#. High-Throughput Protein Engineering by Massively Parallel Combinatorial Mutagenesis. In: Chen Y.W., Yiu CP.B. (eds) Structural Genomics. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2199. Humana, New York, NY. (2021) (#Corresponding author)

  5. Zhou, P., Chan, K.C.B., Wan, Y.K., Yuen, T.L.C., Choi, C.G.G., Li, X., Tong, S.W.C., Zhong, S.W.S., Sun, J., Bao, Y., Mak, Y.L.S., Chow, Z.Y.M., Khaw, J.V., Leung, S.Y., Zheng, Z., Cheung, W.T.L., Tan, K., Wong, K.H., Chan, H.Y.E., Wong, S.L.A.# Three-way combinatorial CRISPR screen for analysing interactions among druggable targets. Cell Reports 32(6), 108020 (2020) (#Corresponding author)

  6. Choi, C.G.G., Zhou, P., Yuen, T.L.C., Chan, K.C.B., Xu, F., Bao, S., Chu, H.Y., Thean, D., Tan, K., Wong, K.H., Zheng, Z., Wong, S.L.A.# Combinatorial mutagenesis en masse optimizes SpCas9’s genome-editing activities. Nature Methods 16(8), 722-730 (2019) (#Corresponding author)

  7. Wong, S.L.A., Choi, C.G.G., Lu, T.K. Deciphering combinatorial genetics. Annual Review of Genetics 50, 515-538 (2016). []

  8. Wong, S.L.A.*, Choi, C.G.G.*, Cui, C.H.*, Pregernig, G., Milani, P., Adam, M., Perli, S.D., Kazer, S.W., Gaillard, A., Hermann, M., Shalek, A.K., Fraenkel, E., Lu, T.K. Multiplexed barcoded CRISPR-Cas9 screening enabled by CombiGEM. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences 113(9), 2544-2549 (2016). (*Equal contributions)

  9. Wong, S.L.A., Choi, C.G.G., Cheng, A.A., Purcell, O., Lu, T.K. Massively parallel high-order combinatorial genetics in human cells. Nature Biotechnology 33(9), 952-961 (2015).

Disease biology and Therapeutic cell engineering:

  1. Thean D.G.L., Wong, S.L.A#. Combinatorial genetics methods for discovering high-order regulatory combinations and engineering genetic drivers for neural differentiation. Neural Regeneration Research 16, 2403-2404 (2021) (#Corresponding author)

  2. Li, X., Yang, K.Y., Chan, V., Leung, K.T., Zhang, X.B., Wong, S.L.A., Chong, C., Wang, C.C., Ku, M., Lui, K.O.. Single cell RNA-Seq reveals that CD9 is a negative marker of glucose-responsive pancreatic beta-like cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports S2213-6711(20): 30384-2 (2020)

  3. Leung, C.S., Li ,J., Xu, F., Wong, S.L.A., Lui, K.O. Ectopic expression of recipient CD47 inhibits mouse macrophage-mediated immune rejection against human stem cell transplants. FASEB J. 33(1): 484-493 (2019).

  4. Lai, K.O., Wong, S.L.A., Cheung, M.C., Xu, P., Liang, Z., Lok, K.C., Xie, H., Palkos, M.E., Yung, W.H., Tessarollo, L., Cheung, Z.H., Ip, N.Y. TrkB phosphorylation by Cdk5 is required for activity-dependent structural plasticity and spatial memory. Nature Neuroscience 15(11), 1506-1515 (2012).

  5. Wong, S.L.A., Lee, R.H.K., Cheung, A.Y., Yeung, P.K., Chung, S.K., Cheung, Z.H. and Ip, N.Y. Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of endophilin B1 is required for induced autophagy in models of Parkinson’s disease. Nature Cell Biology 13(5), 568-579 (2011).

  6. Wong, S.L.A., Cheung, Z.H. and Ip, N.Y. Molecular machinery of macroautophagy and its deregulation in diseases. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Basis of Disease 1812(11), 1490-1479 (2011).

  7. Wong, S.L.A., Chan, W. M. and Chan, H.Y.E. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-insoluble oligomers are involved in polyglutamine degeneration. FASEB J. 22(9), 3348-3357 (2008).

  8. Huen, N.Y.M., Wong, S.L.A. and Chan, H.Y.E. Transcriptional malfunctioning of heat shock protein gene expression in spinocerebeller ataxias. The Cerebellum 6(2), 111-117 (2006).

  9. Wong, S.L.A., Chen, Y.W., Chan, C.M., Chan, C.S.M., Chan, P.K.S., Chui, Y.L., Fung, K.P., Waye, M.M.Y., Tsui, S.K.W. and Chan, H.Y.E. In vivo functional characterization of the SARS Coronavirus 3a protein in DrosophilaBiochem. Biophy. Res. Comm. 337, 720-729 (2005).

    • Featured on Cover of the issue.
  • Health@InnoHK - Centre for Oncology and Immunology, Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR, 2020 (Team Leader in Functional Genomics)
  • RGC - Research Impact Fund (RIF) 2020/21 (Co-PI)
  • RGC – Theme-based Research Scheme 2020/2021 (Co-PI)
  • RGC – General Research Fund (GRF) 2020/21 (PI)
  • RGC – General Research Fund (GRF) 2019/20 (PI)
  • CRF – Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) 2019/2020 (Co-PI)
  • Karolinska Institutet – MWLC Associate Membership Fund 2019, Karolinska Institutet, HK (PI)
  • CRF – Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) 2018/2019 (Co-PI)
  • ITF – Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) Tier 3 2018/2019 (PI)
  • RGC – General Research Fund (GRF) 2018/2019 (PI)
  • RGC – General Research Fund (GRF) 2018/2019 (Co-I)
  • RGC – Theme-based Research Scheme 2016/2017 (Co-I)
  • RGC – Early Career Scheme (ECS) 2016/2017 (PI)
  • Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) 2015 (PI)
  • Croucher Startup Allowance (PI)
  • Faculty Outstanding Research Output Award 2020, LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU
  • NSFC Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macau) 2020 (PI)
  • Early Career Award, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong (2016/2017)
  • Croucher Fellowship (2012-2014)
  • Young Scientist Award in Life Science, Hong Kong Institution of Science (2011)
  • Postgraduate Achievement Award, Division of Life Science, HKUST (2010)
  • Best Teaching Assistant Award in Biochemistry of Nucleic Acid, HKUST (2009/2010)
  • Croucher Research Studentship (2008-2010)
  • Butterfield-Croucher Studentship (2008/2009)
  • Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship (2008/2009)
  • Essex Bio-Technology Limited Scholarship (2007/2008)
  • Kwok Ching Tong Scholarship (2004/2005)
  • Wu Chung Scholarship (2003/2004)
  • Ho Tim Scholarship (2002/2003)
  • United College Endowment Fund Prize, CUHK (2002/2003)
  • Dr. Athena CHU (PDF)
  • Dr. Zhang CHU (PDF)
  • Dr. Feng XU (PDF)
  • Dr. Peng ZHOU (PDF)
  • Ms. Becky CHAN (PhD student; UPF awardee)
  • Mr. Charles CHAN (PhD student; UPF awardee)
  • Mr. John FONG (PhD student; HKPF and HKU-PS awardee)
  • Ms. Bei WANG (PhD student)
  • Ms. Chaya YUEN (PhD student)
  • Ms. Maggie CHEUNG (Technical Officer)
  • Ms. Cynthia KWOK (Technical Officer)

Last updated: September 6, 2021