Start main content

Academic Staff

Professor CHAN, Ying Shing 陳應城

Professor CHAN, Ying Shing 陳應城

  • BSc, PhD (HKU); CBiol; FRSB; FRSH
  • Dexter H C Man Family Professor in Medical Science
  • Associate Dean (Development and Infrastructure), Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
  • Director, Neuroscience Research Centre
  • Co-Convenor, Strategic Research Theme on Neuroscience
L4-50, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9163
+852 2855 9730
  • Neural plasticity: Circuitry development & rewiring after injury

Professor Ying-Shing Chan graduated from The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and received his postdoctoral training at the Institute of Human Physiology at Pisa, Italy, and The Rockefeller University, USA.  He is currently Dexter H C Man Family Professor in Medical Science, Associate Dean of Medicine, and Director of Neuroscience Research Centre of HKU.  He also served as the Senior Advisor of the Dean of Medicine, Associate Dean (Research), Associate Dean (Academic Networking and Student Affairs), Head of Department of Physiology, Deputy Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences, and Co-Convenor of the HKU Strategic Research Theme on Neuroscience.  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 HKU Outstanding Researcher Award.  He has a long record of commitment to education and was awarded the HKU Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award and Medical Faculty Teaching Medal.  He served as President of Hong Kong Society of Neurosciences, Chair of International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Asian/Pacific Regional Committee, President of Federation of Asian-Oceania Neuroscience Societies (FAONS), and Standing Executive Committee Member of the Chinese Neuroscience Society.  He is currently President of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry and Vice-President of The Chinese Association for Physiological Sciences.  He is the Editor-in-Chief for IBRO Neuroscience Reports and Associate Editor for European Journal of Neuroscience. 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.

Neural plasticity: Circuitry development & rewiring after injury

Neural Plasticity

To 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.

  1. Tsui Y.P., Lam G., Wu K.L., Li M.T., Tam K.W., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2021) Derivation of oligodendrocyte precursors from adult bone marrow stromal cells for remyelination therapy.  Cells 10: 2166.
  2. Han L., Wu K.L., Kwan P.Y., Chua O.W., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2021) 5-HT1A receptor-mediated attenuation of synaptic transmission in rat medial vestibular nucleus impacts on vestibular-related motor function.  Journal of Physiology 599: 253-267.
  3. Zhang A.J., Lee A.C., Chu H., Chan J.F., Fan Z., Li C., Liu F., Chen Y., Yuan S., Poon V.K., Chan C.C., Cai J.P., Wu K.L., Sridhar S., Chan Y.S., Yuen K.Y. (2021) SARS-CoV-2 infects and damages the mature and immature olfactory sensory neurons of hamsters.  Clinical Infectious Disease 73: e503-e512.
  4. Shea G.K., Tai E.W., Leung K.H., Mung A.K., Tsui A.Y., Tam A.K., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2020) Juxtacrine signaling via Notch and ErbB receptors in the switch to fate commitment of bone marrow-derived Schwann cells.  European Journal of Neuroscience 52: 3306-3321.
  5. Ma C.W., Kwan P.Y., Wu K.L., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2019) Regulatory roles of perineuronal nets and semaphorin 3A in the postnatal maturation of the central vestibular circuitry for graviceptive reflex.  Brain Structure and Function 224: 613-626.
  6. Leong A.T., Gu Y., Chan Y.S., Zheng H., Dong C.M., Chan R.W., Wang X., Liu Y., Tan L.H., Wu E.X. (2019) Optogenetic fMRI interrogation of brain-wide central vestibular pathways.  Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA 116: 10122-10129.
  7. Li Y.H., Han L., Wu K.L., Chan Y.S. (2017) Activation of 5-HT7 receptors reverses NMDA receptor-dependent LTD by activating PKA at medial vestibular neurons.  Neuropharmacology 123: 242-248.
  8. Cai S., Tsui Y.P., Tam K.W., Shea G.K., Chang R.S., Ao Q., Shum D.K., Chan Y.S. (2017) Directed differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells to fate-committed Schwann cells.  Stem Cell Reports 9: 1097-1108.
  9. Cai S., Han L., Ao Q., Chan Y.S., Shum D.K. (2017) Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sensory neurons for fate commitment of bone marrow-derived Schwann cells: Implications for re-myelination therapy.  Stem Cells Translational Medicine 6: 369-381.  
  10. 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 and Function 221: 217-238.
  11. 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.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 521: 612-625.
  12. 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 and Function 218: 833-850.
  13. 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. 
  14. 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.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 508: 343-364.
  15. 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.
  • GRF project: Selective recruitment of inhibitory interneurons to vestibular microcircuits for distinct behavior
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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]
  • 7th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience [Melbourne, Australia. July 12 – 17]

International Society for Neurochemistry / APSN Congress

  • 12th Conference of the APSN [Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Aug. 23 – 26]
  • 25th Biennial Congress of the International Society for Neurochemistry – APSN [Cairns, Australia. Aug. 23 – 27]
  • FAONS Congress
  • 3rd FAONS Congress [Seoul, Korea. Sept. 28 – Oct. 1]
  • 4th FAONS Congress [Hong Kong, China. Nov. 30 – Dec. 2]
  • 5th FAONS Congress [Lucknow, India. Nov. 25 – 28]
  • 6th FAONS Congress [Wuzhen, China. Sept. 20 – 23]
  • International Conference of Physiological Sciences
  • 1st Int’l. Conference of Chinese Physiological Scientists [Beijing, China. July 15 – 17]
  • Beijing Joint Conference of Physiological Sciences [Beijing, China. Oct. 19 – 22]
  • Int’l Conference of Physiological Sciences 2012 [Suzhou, China. Nov. 1 – 4]
  • 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

Last update: 2021-08-24