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Academic Staff

Dr NG, Ray Kit 吳傑

Dr NG, Ray Kit 吳傑

  • BSc, MPhil (CUHK); PhD (Cantab)
  • Assistant Professor
L3-78, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9541
+852 2855 1254
  • Study on the epigenetic control in haematopoiesis using embryonic stem cells
  • Improvement of ex vivo expansion of haematopoietic stem cell population by epigenetic manipulations
  • Identification of leukaemogenic genes in MLL-rearranged leukaemia
  • Investigation of the correlation between DNA methylation/histone modifications and gene expression in haematopoietic/leukaemia stem cells
  • Global study of DNA methylation patterns in the development of leukaemia stem cells
  • Epigenetic studies of haematopoietic and leukaemia stem cells

Dr. Ng received the B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Phil. degrees in Biochemistry from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He was awarded a scholarship offered by the Cambridge Overseas Trust in 2002 and pursued a Ph.D. degree in the University of Cambridge, working with Prof. John Gurdon in the Wellcome Trust Gurdon Institute on the epigenetic regulation in cloned animal. After completing his Ph.D. study, Dr. Ng was awarded The Croucher Foundation Fellowship, and continued his post-doctoral research training in embryonic stem cell epigenetics at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge. Dr. Ng joined The University of Hong Kong as Research Assistant Professor in 2008 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2011. His research interests are in the differentiation of stem cells into haematopoietic and placental cell lineages, which opens up new strategies to generate essential cell types for clinical applications.

Stem cell research provides new insights into the area of regenerative medicine. My research focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms, e.g. DNA methylation and histone modifications, involved in the cellular properties (self-renewal and differentiation) of embryonic and adult stem cells. We are particularly interested in the differentiation of stem cells into haematopoietic and placental cell lineages, which opens up new strategies to generate essential cell types for clinical applications.

Another research focus is on the aberrant epigenetics in human leukaemia. The discovery of leukaemic stem cell (LSC) reveals its critical role in initiating and sustaining clonal proliferation of blast cells in leukaemia patients. We therefore aim to delineate the dysregulated epigenetic mechanism in the generation of LSC, which helps us to develop an effective therapeutic strategy to leukaemias.

  • Postgraduate/Post-doctoral/Research Assistant positions are available. Interested applicants are welcome to enquire for details.
  1. Lam YM, Chan YF, Chan LC and Ng RK*. Histone deacetylase inhibitors induce leukemia gene expression in cord blood hematopoietic stem cells expanded ex vivo. Int. J. Hematol. 2017; 105: 37-43.
  2. Lui WC, Chan YF, Chan LC and Ng RK*. Cytokine combinations on the potential for ex vivo expansion of murine hematopoietic stem cells. Cytokine 2014; 68: 127-132.
  3. Ng RK*, Kong CT*, So CC, Lui WC, Chan YF, Leung KC, So KC, Tsang HM, Chan LC and Sham MH. (* co-first authors) Epigenetic dysregulation of leukemic Hox code in MLL-rearranged leukemia mouse model. J. Path. 2014; 232: 65-74. (* equal contribution)
  4. Wang XQ*, Ng RK*, Ming X, Zhang W, Chen L, Chu ACY, Pang R, Lo CM, Tsao SW, Liu X, Poon RTP and Fan ST. (* co-first authors) Epigenetic regulation of pluripotent genes mediates stem cell features in human hepatocellular carcinoma and cancer cell lines. PLoS One 2013; 8: e72435.
  5. Ng MH, Ng RK, Kong CT, Jin DY and Chan LC. Activation of Ras-dependent Elk-1 activity by MLL-AF4 family fusion oncoproteins. Exp. Hematol. 2010; 38: 481-488.
  6. Ng RK, Dean W, Dawson C, Lucifero D, Madeja Z, Reik W and Hemberger M. Epigenetic restriction of embryonic cell lineage fate by methylation of Elf5. Nat. Cell Biol. 2008; 10(11): 1280-1290.
  7. Farthing CR*, Ficz G*, Ng RK*, Andrews S*, Chan A*, Dean W, Hemberger M and Reik W. (* co-first authors) Global mapping of DNA methylation in mouse promoters reveals epigenetic reprogramming of pluripotency genes. PLoS Genet. 2008; 4(6): e1000116.
  8. Ng RK and Gurdon JB. Epigenetic inheritance of cell differentiation status. Cell Cycle 2008; 7(9): 1173-1177.
  9. Ng RK and Gurdon JB. Epigenetic memory of an active gene state depends on histone H3.3 incorporation into chromatin in the absence of transcription. Nat. Cell Biol. 2008; 10(1): 102-109.
  10. Ng RK and Gurdon JB. Epigenetic memory of active gene transcription is inherited through somatic cell nuclear transfer. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2005; 102(6): 1957-1962.
  1. Health and Medical Research Fund:
    • Epigenetic function of TET2 in the transcriptional regulation of MLL-rearranged leukemia (2016)
    • The role of BMI-1 in regulation of JAK-STAT signaling pathway in human leukemia (2015)
  2. RGC-funded Projects:
    • The role of PRMT1 in activation of leukemia stem cell program in MLL-rearranged leukemia (2013)
    • The functional role of epigenetic memory in the differentiation plasticity of induced pluripotent stem cell (2012)
    • Role of Sirt1 in generation of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (2011) (Co-I)
    • The functional roles of histone H3K9 demethylase Jmjd2 family in determination of trophoblast lineages (2010)
    • Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation patterns in MLL-rearranged leukaemia stem cells (2009)
  3. Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) – Science Fund for Young Scholars:
    • Functional role of Bmi-1 in hematopoietic stem cell (2012)
  4. NSFC / RGC Joint Research Scheme
    • Identifying critical transitions and gene regulatory networks controlling phases of chondrocyte differentiation in the growth plate (2013) (Co-I)
  5. Theme-based Research Scheme
    • Genetics and Functional Genomics of Neural Crest Stem Cells and Associated Disease: Hirschsprung Disease (2014) (Co-I)
    • Functional analyses of how genomic variation affects personal risk for degenerative skeletal disorders (2012) (Co-I)
    • Cell-based Heart Regeneration (2011) (Co-I)
  • Croucher Foundation Fellowship (2005)
  • Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholarship (2002)
  • Academic Editor (2010 - present): 
    Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Post Genomic Era