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Academic Staff

Professor CHANG, Raymond Chuen Chung 鄭傳忠

Professor CHANG, Raymond Chuen Chung 鄭傳忠

  • BSc (Hons), MPhil (CUHK), Dr. rer. BioHuman (PhD, Munich)
  • Professor
L4-49, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9127 (Office)
+852 3917 9184/9425 (Lab)
+852 2855 9730
  • Research Fellow Award for outstanding Hong Kong pre-doctoral student, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany (1993-1997)
  • NATO Scholarship – Full sponsorship of the participation in NATO advanced course in flow cytometry, France (1995)
  • NIH Visiting Fellowship Award, NIH, USA (1997-2000)
  • Research Fellow Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health, USA (1999)
  • Neuroscientist-Teacher Partner Award, Society for Neuroscience, USA (2006)
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment (2008)
  • Shenzhen Outstanding Science and Technology Prize (Group Second Prize) (2014)
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Molecular mechanisms of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease dementia
  • Lewy Body Dementias
  • Neuroimmune responses / Neuroimmunology
  • Vision loss in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Molecular signaling of neurodegeneration

Education / Training

  • BSc, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (1987-1991)
  • MPhil, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (1991-1993)
  • PhD, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany (1994-1997)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, USA (1997-2000)

Other Affiliations:

  • Founder and Secretary, HKU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Network under Strategic Research Theme of Aging, HKU
  • Member, State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, HKU
  • Member, HKU Strategic Research Themes on Neuroscience, Ageing, Food Science and Drug Discovery

Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Lab Facebook:

Mission of the Laboratory:

  • To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of neuronal death in aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases in order to develop neuroprotective agents

Focuses of Research:

  1. Molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration (neuronal apoptosis, autophagy, synaptic degeneration & dysfunction of axonal transport) and pharmacological intervention including herbal medicine in neurodegenerative diseases
  2. Impact of immune responses in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and glaucoma
  3. Elucidating the biological mechanisms of different risks factors leading to neurodegeneration and how to prevent different risk factors

Summary of Research:

  1. Molecular signaling of neuronal autophagy, synaptic degeneration and blockage of axonal transport
    My research interest is to study the molecular signaling pathways of neuronal death in Alzheimer’s disease. It has been demonstrated that postmortem human brain section displays activated caspases, suggesting that neuronal apoptosis occurs in Alzheimer’s disease. We (Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases) are the first to show that a novel double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is involved in β-amyloid peptide-induced neuronal apoptosis. Although it is originally named as double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR is a stress kinase for wide array of stress signals. PKR is not simply involved in neuronal apoptosis; it also plays significant roles in the highly regulated degenerative processes. Apart from PKR, a major on-going project in our laboratory is to elucidate and map out how intracellular organelles such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are affected by low molecular weight β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides, resulting in either autophagy or neuronal apoptosis. In addition, we are now investigating the signaling events leading to autophagic neuronal death and synaptic degeneration. Understanding of the molecular signaling pathways will definitely pave a road for a better therapeutic strategy against neurodegenerative diseases.
  2. Cell-cell Interactions of glial cells on disease progression of neurodegeneration
    Apart from the signaling pathways within neurons, cell-cell interaction between glia and neurons is also an important target for the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, how immune responses in the central nervous system affect the fate of neurons in various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and glaucoma, is another thematic study in our group. Immune responses do not often occur in the brain, but only in the presence of potent immune stimulants or neuronal injuries. Innate immune components such as microglial cells are affected by normal neurotransmission and neurons. One of our research topics is to study how immune responses of glial cells in the brain or retina affect the degeneration of hippocampal/frontal neurons in Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s diseases and retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma, respectively.
  3. Pharmacological targeting and drug discovery from herbal medicine for neurodegenerative diseases
    With all the above basic science studies, we are able to engage in applied research in searching for neuroprotective agents from Chinese medicine to natural products. Through the collaboration with colleagues in School of Biological Science and Department of Chemistry, we have identified several compounds that have high potentials to be neuroprotective agents. We are attempting to develop and commercialize some of the products into pharmaceutical market. We believe that prevention of neurodegeneration is better than treatment.
  4. Pathophysiological mechanisms of risk factors leading to aging-associated neurodegeneration
    In recent years, we are particularly interested in understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of different risk factors leading to neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological studies have shown that repeated episodes of depression can lead to neurodegeneration in the hippocampus. We have demonstrated that depression can be considered to be a type of neurodegeneration leading to atrophy of hippocampus. We are actively investigating how depression leads to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from depression, we are also investigating high-fat diet, cigarette smoking, and systemic inflammation triggered by infection or surgery. All these studies will advance our knowledge of how different factors lead to aging-associated neurodegeneration, and how we can prevent neurodegeneration.
  5. Pathophysiological changes of retina to inform disease progression in the brain
    Our laboratory has been investigating pathological changes in the retina of Alzheimer’s disease. We could find accumulation of β-amyloid peptide and hyper-phosphorylation of tau protein in the retina of transgenic mice in Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, we could find similar pathology in glaucoma and aging-related macular degeneration. We propose that high level of β-amyloid peptide can be a pathological factor triggering neurodegeneration in different forms of glaucoma. We are investigating the similarity of their pathologies so that our eyes can be a window for monitoring disease progression and efficacy of therapeutic intervention. This is a novel concept in neurodegenerative disease research.

Experimental Models:

  1. Primary cultures of hippocampal/cortical neurons
  2. Transgenic mice in Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Transgenic zebrafishes
  4. Non-transgenic model by stereotaxic injection into the brain
  1. Pathological changes of cholinergic neurons in Lewy Body Dementia
  2. Pathological consequence of systemic inflammation in Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s diseases
  3. Pathophysiological significance of Toll-Like Receptors in neuroimmune responses
  4. Effects of Chinese medicine and exercise as neuroprotective methods against neurodegeneration

Book Editor:

  1. "Neuroprotection”, (2019) edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung CHANG and Yuen-Shan HO. InTech Open Access Publisher. (Print ISBN: 978-1-78984-736-9, eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-78985-925-6)
  2. Lycium Barbarum and Human Health”, (2015) edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung CHANG and Kwok-Fai SO. Springer Netherlands, April 2015, ISBN 978-94-017-9657-6 (hard copy), ISBN 978-94-017-9658-3 (eBook).
  3. Advanced Understanding of Neurodegenerative Diseases”, (2011) edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung CHANG. (by invitation to be editor) InTech Open Access Publisher, ISBN 978-953-307-485-6 (
  4. Neurodegenerative Diseases - Processes, Prevention, Protection and Monitoring”, (2011) edited by Raymond Chuen-Chung CHANG. (by invitation to be editor) InTech Open Access Publisher, ISBN 978-953-307-529-7 (

Editorial Boards:

  1. Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia
  2. Senior Editor, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
  3. Advance in Alzheimer’s Disease
  4. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia & Parkinsonism
  5. Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation
  6. Journal of Brain and Behavioral Sciences
  7. Neural Regeneration Research
  8. Dataset Paper in Neuroscience
  9. Advance in Neuroscience Research
  10. Neurology, Open Access
  11. Dataset Paper in Medicine (Ophthalmology)
  12. International Journal of Ophthalmic Research
  13. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
  14. Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research
  15. The Open Enzyme Inhibition Journal
  16. World Journal of Methodology
  17. Journal of Neurology and Psychology
  18. Medicine
  19. "Medicine and Pharmacy" Board, InTech Open Access Publisher

The laboratory has been supported by General Research Fund (GRF), RGC-NSFC Joint Research Scheme, and RGC-Procore France Joint Research Scheme by Research Grant Council of Hong Kong, Health and Medical Research Fund of Hong Kong, Innovative and Technology Fund, BrightFocus Foundation (USA), The Glaucoma Foundation (USA), Azalea (1972) Foundation, Croucher Foundation, contract research by GlaxoSmithKline R&D and NeuroTech (HK) Limited, and generous donation from Ms. Kit-Wan CHOW.

  1. 2014 – now     Grant Reviewer, British Medical Research Council

  2. 2014 - now      Grant Reviewer, British Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council

  3. 2012 – now     Grant Reviewer, Kuwait Foundation of Advanced Sciences, Kuwait

  4. 2011 – now     Grant Reviewer, National Science Center, Poland

  5. 2008 – now     Grant Reviewer, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong

  6. 2005 – now     Member in Scientific Review Committee, Alzheimer Association, USA

  7. 2010 – now     Animal Ethic Committee, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

  8. 2008 – now     International Board, International Conference on Alzheimer’s / Parkinson’s Diseases

  9. 2008 – now     Council member, Hong Kong Society of Neuroscience, Hong Kong

  10. 2008 – now     Council member, Hong Kong Society of Immunology, Hong Kong

  11. 2007 – now     Member in Scientific Advisory Board, Chinese Brain Bank, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, CHINA

  12. 2004 – now     Scientific advisor for Biotechnology Curriculum in Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College (the first biotechnology curriculum in secondary school in Hong Kong)

2017 Video, Poster and Public Talk on GeronTechnology for the “Prevention of Ageing –associated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma by anti-aging Chinese medicine Wolfberry”, Hong Kong Conventional Centre, June 18, 2017.
2014 Interviewed by Bloomberg News on “Alzheimer Crisis in China”, January 2014.
2013 Press Release, Society for Neuroscience, “Can the Eyes help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease?”, USA, November, 2013
2013 Interviewed by Greek Newspaper “Kathimerini” on “Eyes help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease”, The most prominent Greek Newspaper, Greece, November 2013.
2012 RTHK Radio 1 program “精靈一點” to talk about how to translate basic science research of Gouqizi (Wolfberry) to application of neurodegeneration. December 31.
2012 RTHK TV program “To have a healthy and happy life” for Gouqizi (Wolfberry) as preventive medicine and secondhand cigarette smoking leading to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s Disease. December 9. (It is broadcasted in ATV and TVB in both English and Chinese Channels.)
2012 Metro Newspaper “How do we improve dementia?” on 3/12/12 (Chinese).
2011 RTHK Radio 1 program “精靈一點” to talk about Gouqizi (Wolfberry) and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. November 25.
2011 Oriental Daily News, Wolfberry against Glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease (In Chinese) “杞子抗青光眼 阻止腦退化” September 25.
2010 TVB Tuesday Report, Interview for Wolfberry as anti-aging Chinese Medicine
2010 Publication for community: “從醫學基礎研究到保健產品談老年癡呆症:你我知多少?”In: L. K. Lam et. al,育醫造才:探索醫學世界 (Explore the World of Medicine). Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, 2010, 76-78.
2009 Ming Po Weekly, Interview of how to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
2009 South China Morning Post, Telephone interviewed about Alzheimer’s Disease
2009 NOW TV, Alzheimer’s disease and Neuroprotective Wolfberry
2009 RTHK Radio 1 Channel, Alzheimer’s disease and Neuroprotective Wolfberry
2008 NOW TV, Glaucoma and Neuroprotection
2008 RTHK Health TV program, Alzheimer’s disease
2007 Health Column, Dementia and improvement of memory, Jessica
2007 Health Column, Dementia and improvement of memory, Oriental Daily
2005 Press interview of Alzheimer’s Disease and Neuroprotective Effects of Gouqizi (Wolfberry) to all Newspapers and press (Chinese and English)
2005 Health Press: Alzheimer’s Disease and Neuroprotective Wolfberry, MetroDaily


(Pubmed for publications in Journals):
* = correspondence author; h-index = 57 by Scopus)

  1. Wang RP, Huang J, Chan KWY, Leung WK, Goto T, Ho YS, Chang RCC* (2023) IL-1b and TNF-a play an important role in modulating the risk of periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease. J Neuroinflamm., 20, 71 (doi: 10.1186/s12974-023-02747-4) [Corresponding author; Impact factor: 9.3; Rank of Journal: 21/306 (Top: 6.9%) in the field of Neuroscience; major effort (collaborative effort with Faculty of Dentistry, HKU; Kagoshima University, Japan; Department of Biomedical Engineering, The City University of Hong Kong; School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)]
  2. Chen Y, Joo J, Chu JMT, Chang RCC*, Wong GTC (2023) GLUT1 downregulation in the cerebral microvasculature contributes to postoperative neurocognitive disorders in aged mice. J Neuroinflamm., 20, 237 (doi: 10.1186/s12974-023-02905-8) [Corresponding author; Impact factor: 9.3; Rank of Journal: 21/306 (Top: 6.9%) in the field of Neuroscience; major effort (collaborative effort with Anaesthesiology)]
  3. Cheng WY, Ho YS, Chang RCC* (2022) Linking circadian rhythms to microbiome-gut-brain axis in aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Ageing Res. Rev., 78, 101620 (doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2022.101620) [Corresponding author; Impact factor: 13.1; Rank of Journal: 1/54 (Top: 1.9%)  in the field of Geriatrics & Gerontology; major effort (collaborative effort with School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)]
  4. Chen XK, Kwan JSK, Wong GTC, Yi ZN, Ma ACH, Chang RCC* (2022) Leukocyte invasion of the brain after peripheral trauma in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Exp. Mol. Med., 54, 973-987. Doi: 10.1038/s12276-022-00801-4. [Corresponding author; Impact factor: 12.8; Rank of Journal: 15/315 (Top: 4.8%) in the field of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; major effort (collaborative effort with Department of Health Technology and Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, and Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, The University of Hong Kong)]
  5. Yeung SS, Ho YS, Chang RCC* (2021) The Role of meningeal populations of type II innate lymphoid cells in modulation of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease. Exp. Mol. Medicine, 53,1251-1267 (Doi: 10.1038/s12276-021-00660-5). [Correspondence author; Impact factor: 12.8; Rank of Journal: 15/315 (Top: 4.8%) in the field of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; major effort (collaborative effort with School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University)]
  6. Chen XK, Kwan JSK, Chang RCC*, Ma ACH (2021) 1-Phenyl 2-thiourea (PTU) activates autophagy in zebrafish embryos. Autophagy, 17, 1222-1231 (doi: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1755119). [Co-correspondence author; Impact factor: 13.3; Rank of Journal: 20/203 (Top 9.85%) in the field of Cell Biology; Citation index: 4; major effort (collaborative efforts with Department of Health Technology and Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University)]
  7. Liu Y, Chu JMT, Yan T, Zhang Y, Chen Y, Chang RCC*, Wong GTC (2020) Short-term resistance exercise inhibits neuroinflammation and attenuates neuropathological changes in 3xTg Alzheimer’s disease mice. J Neuroinflamm., 17, 4 (doi: 10.1186/s12974-019-1653-7). [Co-correspondence author; Impact factor: 9.3; Rank of Journal: 21/306 (Top: 6.9%) in the field of Neuroscience; major effort (collaborative efforts with Department of Anesthesiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU)]
  8. Wang RP, Ho YS, Leung WK, Goto T, Chang RCC* (2019) Systemic inflammation linking chronic periodontitis to cognitive decline. Brain Behav. Immun., 81, 63-73. (doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.07.002) [Correspondence author; Impact factor: 15.1; Rank of Journal: 10/306 (Top 3.27%) in the field of Neuroscience; major effort (collaborative efforts with Faculty of Dentistry and Kagoshima University)]
  9. You R, Ho YS, Hung CHL, Liu Y, Huang CX, Chan HN, Ho SL, Lui SY, Li HW, Chang RCC* (2018) Silica nanoparticles induce neurodegeneration-like changes in behavior, neuropathology, and affect synapse through MAPK activation. Particle Fibre Toxicol., 15: 28 (doi: 10.1186/s12989-018-0263-3). [Correspondence author; Impact factor: 10.0; Rank of Journal: 4/94 (Top 4.3%) in the field of Toxicology; major effort (collaborative efforts with Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)]
  10. Hung CHL, Cheng SSY, Cheung YT, Wuwongse S, Zhang NQ, Ho YS, Lee SMY, Chang RCC* (2018) A reciprocal relationship between reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegeneration. Redox Biol., 14, 7-19 (doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.08.010). [Corresponding author; Impact factor: 11.4; Rank of Journal: 20/285 (Top 7.0%) in the field of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Citation index: 83; Major effort]
  1. So KF, Yuen WH, Chang RCC, Zee SY (2005) Methods using Lycium Barbarum Extracts as Neuroprotective Agents for Retinal Ganglion Cells Degeneration. US Patent 20050196418-A1.
  2. Chang RCC, Yuen WH, So KF, Zee SY (2005) Water-soluble polysaccharide extract, useful to inhibit neuronal cell death and to treat or prevent e.g. age-related disorders, comprises arabinose, galactose, glucose, xylose, rhamnose, mannose, glucuronic acid and galacturonic acid. US Patent US2005170028-A1.
  • Michael Siu-Lun LAI (PhD student, UPF Fellowship)
  • Sherry Sin-Hang YEUNG (PhD student)
  • Alvin Ka-Wai WONG (PhD student, HKU Presidential Fellowship)
  • Joycelyn Peiyi XIAO (PhD student, HKU Presidential Fellowship)
  • Miley Xinyu YE (PhD student, HKU Presidential Fellowship)
  • Isidora SAVOVIĆ (PhD student, UPF Fellowship)
  • Yingyi WANG (PhD student, from Anaesthesiology)
  • Kate Inyoung OH (PhD student, HKU Presidential Fellowship, from Anaesthesiology)
  • Capucine PIVACET (PhD student, from anaesthesiology)
  • Ana Yanan XU (PhD student, from anaesthesiology)
  • Dannika Xiaoyu YANG (MMedSc student)
  • Coco Siqi CHEN (MMedSc student)
  • Heather Xinyi LIU (MMedSc student)
  • Echo Yongqi LUO (FYP student from Molecular Biology)
  • Ronli Chak Kwan LEE (FYP student from Biomedical Sci)

Last update: 2024-02-06