In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 116 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Back
Dr Chan Keeng-Wai

Ada M F Chan Professorship in Oncological Pathology

"Cancer is the number one killer in Hong Kong today. We hope that this Endowed Professorship in Oncological Pathology will facilitate pioneering next-generation technologies that lead to the development of cutting-edge diagnostic tools for prognostication and treatment options, such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy, for cancer patients."

Dr Chan Keeng-Wai
Khoo Ui-Soon

Khoo Ui-Soon

Appointed in 2018

Breast cancer is the most common carcinoma to affect women globally, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed annually.  The incidence in Hong Kong, at 58.8 per 100,000 women, has been increasing steadily in the last decade. Although there are now many modalities of treatment available, the development of drug resistance remains an important cause for cancer related mortality. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to drug resistance and identifying novel molecular targets to predict response are crucial towards improving treatment and disease survival.

Professor Khoo Ui-Soon is a Clinical Professor at the Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). As the key pathologist for breast diseases at Queen Mary Hospital (QMH), she was responsible for setting up diagnostic molecular services for the management of breast cancer, as a service provided by HKU's University Pathology Laboratory.

She is internationally renowned for her studies in genetic susceptibility to diseases, genome-wide association studies, and the identification of alternatively spliced variants in breast cancer in Chinese women. Through her pioneering research, her team identified a novel splice variant to the NCOR2 gene associated with tamoxifen resistance and raised a monoclonal antibody targeting the epitope unique to this variant, which has been shown to be a robust biomarker to predict tamoxifen resistance.

Her team has developed a multidisciplinary platform to test the novel use of Ivabradine, an FDA approved HCN (Hyperpolarization-activated Cyclic Nucleotide-gated) channel blocker used clinically to treat chronic angina, to effectively suppress breast cancer growth without the side-effects produced by conventional chemotherapeutic agents. In collaboration with clinician and scientists, Professor Khoo has developed breast cancer patient derived xenografts and established a large collection of breast cancer tissue microarray of Chinese breast cancer with clinical follow-up data for in vivo validation. She hopes these areas of research will eventually translate into clinical trials.

Professor Khoo received her MBBChBAO from University College Galway, National University of Ireland, before joining HKU and QMH where she did her pathology specialist training. She subsequently trained in breast pathology under world renowned specialists, Professors Christopher Elston and Ian Ellis, at the University of Nottingham, UK. She received further training in genetic screening for breast cancer at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and obtained her MD from HKU in 2002 pioneering the study of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in breast and ovarian cancer in Chinese women.

She has served as Executive Council Member of the International Academy of Cytology (2013-16), President of the Hong Kong Society of Cytology (2008-10), Chairman of the Hong Kong Pathology Society (1996-98), and Chief Examiner in Anatomical Pathology for the Hong Kong College of Pathologists (2011-17). She is the Academic Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Molecular and Diagnostic Pathology course.

Professor Khoo has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed papers, which have appeared in high impact journals such as Nature Genetics, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In recognition of her research and clinical expertise, she has received offers of research collaborations, invitations to present at international conferences, authorships of reviews on her area of research, and to serve on journal editorial boards. She was awarded the Faculty Teaching Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2007 and the Croucher Senior Medical Fellowship in 2015.