Start main content

Academic Staff

Professor SHUM, Daisy Kwok Yan 岑國欣

Professor SHUM, Daisy Kwok Yan 岑國欣

  • BSc, MPhil, PhD (HKU)
  • Professor
L3-64, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9171; 3917 9274 (Lab)
+852 2855 1254
  • Growing new nerves in glycosaminoglycan-modified environments
  • Plasticity of sensory function in early postnatal life
  • Lung inflammation - control of matrix turnover

The proteoglycans and their associated glycosaminoglycans are positioned in the extracellular matrix and the cell surface to maintain tissue architecture and foster tissue growth and repair. The corollary suggests that their altered expression in these positions or deranged metabolism leads to matrix deterioration. It follows that they are candidates for intervention in attempts to regulate tissue regrowth and repair.

Neuronal growth and repair: The roles of glycosaminoglycans in cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth are studied by the use of neuron/glial cell co-cultures in vitro and nerve bridges in vivo. Results will be applied in engineering nerve grafts and glial cell transplants to achieve functional repair in the adult CNS.

Chronic inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract: The protective functions of soluble and matrix-bound forms of proteoglycans in proteolytic degradation of the bronchial matrix are investigated with the use of isolated inflammatory cells activated either by bronchial secretions or specific cytokines. We aim to apply the knowledge to the design of a therapeutic strategy that achieves optimal proteolytic activity for tissue repair but avoids excessive tissue destruction.

Neural regeneration

Renal stone formation: The roles of urinary glycosaminoglycans in modulating crystallization of urinary calcium oxalate are studied with a simple and rapid crystallization assay method with potential for wider application in screening for risk of stone formation. The control of urinary oxalate output through renal proteoglycan regulation of transepithelial oxalate transport is also studied in renal proximal tubular epithelial cell cultures. The renal cell cultures will be used also to study how apical secretion and surface expression of proteoglycans can affect crystal adhesion and growth.

Cancer biology: We use different cell lines to study the mechanisms by which proteoglycans mediate processes of growth control. A current project involves the study of how mutations in EXT genes change the expression of heparan sulfates and as a result alter the transport of signaling molecules important to the differentiation of chondrocytes in growth plate.

Chronic inflammatory diseases Renal Stone FormationCancer Biology
  • Astrocyte-to-neuron signaling in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and cognitive function
  • Perineuronal net regulates semaphorin 3A shaping of neural circuitry
  • Differentiation of human induced pluripotent cells (iPCs) into sensorimotor neurons for (i) disease modeling and (ii) signaling glial progenitors to the Schwann cell fate
  • Growing new nerves in glycosaminoglycan-modified environments
Lab photo
  1. Cai S., Tsui Y.P., Tam K.W., Shea G.K.H., Chang R.S.K., Ao Q., Shum D.K.Y., Chan Y.S. (2017)  Directed differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells to fate-committed Schwann cells.  Stem Cell Reports (in press).
  2. Cai S., Han L., Ao Q., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (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 6: 369-381.
  3. Mung K.L., Tsui Y.P., Tai E.W.Y., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y., Shea G.K.H. (2016) Rapid and efficient generation of neural progenitors from adult bone marrow stromal cells by hypoxic preconditioning. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 7: 146.
  4. Lai C.H., Ma C.W., Lai S.K., Han L., Wong H.M., Yeung K.W., Shum D.K.Y., 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 and Function 221: 217-238.  
  5. Lam D.C., Chan S.C.H., Mak J.C., Freeman C., Ip M.S.M., Shum D.K.Y. (2015) S-maltoheptaose targets syndecan-bound effectors to reduce smoking-related neutrophilic inflammation.  Scientific Reports 5:12945
  6. Kwok J.C., Yuen Y.L., Lau W.K., Zhang F.X., Fawcett J.W., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (2012) Chondroitin sulfates in the developing rat hindbrain confine commissural projections of vestibular nuclear neurons.  Neural Development 7: 6.  
  7. Ao Q., Fung C.K., Tsui A.Y.P., Cai S., Zuo H.C., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (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.  
  8. Shea G.K.H., Tsui A.Y.P., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (2010) Bone marrow-derived Schwann cells achieve fate commitment – a prerequisite for remyelination therapy.  Experimental Neurology 224: 448-458.
  9. Liu J., Chau C.H., Liu H.Y., Jang B.R., Li X.G., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (2006) Upregulation of chondroitin 6-sulphotransferase-1 facilitates Schwann cell migration during axonal growth.  Journal of Cell Science 119: 933-942.
  10. Zhang Y., Yeung M.N., Liu J., Chau C.H., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K.Y. (2006) Mapping heparanase expression in the spinal cord of adult rats.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 494: 345-357.