Dr. KWOK Chun Kit (郭駿傑)

PhD (Pennsylvania State University); Postdoc (University of Cambridge)

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34426858

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes
Willing to talk to media: yes


Dr. Kit Kwok obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry (2009) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) under supervision of Professor Sik Lok Lam, during which his fascination with nucleic acids research was nurtured. To broaden his research experience, Dr. Kwok embarked on an exchange program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2007-2008, where he worked under guidance from Professor Juli Feigon (member, NAS), which paved way for his acceptance into the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in 2009 for an enriching Ph.D program mentored by Professor Philip C. Bevilacqua and Professor Sarah M. Assmann. During the course of his Ph.D studies, Dr. Kwok co-developed the first in vivotranscriptome-wide and targeted structure probing methods (Structure-Seq and DMS/SHAPE-LMPCR) that enable robust and sensitive measurement of RNA structures in living cells, which resulted in publications in Nature, Nature Communications, and Nature Protocols, and earned him the Alumni Association Dissertation Award in 2014. In 2014, Dr. Kwok commenced on a postdoctoral fellowship as a Croucher Fellow in University of Cambridge.  He worked with the internationally recognized leader in nucleic acids research and the principal inventor of next-generation sequencing (Solexa Sequencing), Professor Shankar Balasubramanian FRS FMedSci.  Dr. Kwok conducted novel research on exploring the structures and functions of RNA G-quadruplexes in the human transcriptome, which resulted in publications in Nature Methods and Angewandte Chemie. In October 2016, Dr. Kwok's joined the faculty team at the City University of Hong Kong, where he is embarking on research in nucleic acid folding and gene regulation.

Research Interests/Areas

  • Chemical Biology
  • RNA Biology
  • Nucleic Acids Structure
  • G-Quadruplex
  • Transcriptomics
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene Regulation

Research Vision

The key focus in Dr. Kwok's current research is the development and application of innovative chemical and molecular biology tools and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to better understand the RNA structure-function relationship and elucidate the mechanistic roles of RNA in regulatory pathways, stress physiologies, cell differentiation, organism development, as well as disease pathology. Gaining from these insights, he aims to develop novel approaches to target the central RNA players and achieve controlled manipulation of gene expression in the biological systems of interest, with the hope to translate the basic scientific discoveries into medical and agricultural uses to advance the living quality of human beings.

For more details about Dr. Kwok’s current research and team, please click here.


Selected publications:
*co-first authors          +corresponding author(s)

      Original Research

  • Kwok, CK., Marsico, G., Sahakyan, A., Chambers V.S., Balasubramanian, S. rG4-Seq Reveals Widespread Formation of G-Quadruplex Structures in the Human Transcriptome. Nat. Methods13, 841-844 (2016).
  • Kwok, CK., Sahakyan, A., Balasubramanian, S. Structural Analysis using SHALiPE to Reveal RNA G-Quadruplex Formation in Human Precursor MicroRNA. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 8958-8961 (2016).
  • *Crenshaw, E., *Leung, B.P., *Kwok, CK., Olson, K., Sebastian, N.P., Ansaloni, S., Schweitzer-Stenner, R., Akins, M.P., Bevilacqua, P.C., & Saunders, A.J. Amyloid Precursor Protein Translation is Regulated by a 3’UTR Guanine Quadruplex. PloS One.10 (11): e0143160. (2015).
  • *Ding, Y., *Kwok, CK., Tang, Y., Bevilacqua, P.C., & Assmann, S.M. Structure-Seq: Genome-Wide Profiling of In Vivo RNA Structure at Single Nucleotide Resolution. Nat. Protoc. 10 1050-1066 (2015).
  • Kwok, CK., & Balasubramanian, S. Targeted Detection of G-Quadruplexes in Cellular RNAs. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 6751-6754 (2015). (Selected as Hot Paper.)
  • Kwok, CK., Ding, Y., Shahid, S., Assmann, S.M., & Bevilacqua, P.C. A Stable RNA G-Quadruplex within the 5’UTR of Arabidopsis Thaliana ATR mRNA Inhibits Translation. Biochem. J. 467, 91-102 (2015). (Featured in HFSP website).
  • *Ding, Y., *Tang, Y., *Kwok, CK., Zhang, Y., Bevilacqua, P.C., & Assmann, S.M. In Vivo Genome-Wide Profiling of RNA Secondary Structures Reveal Novel Regulatory Features. Nature. 505, 696-700 (2014).(Featured on the coverF1000 site http://f1000.com/prime/718185620Nature 505, 621-622 (2014)Nat. Meth.11, 11 (2014) and Nat. Chem. Biol. 10, 87 (2014).)
  • Kwok, CK., Ding, Y., Tang, Y., Assmann, S.M., & Bevilacqua, P.C. Determination of In Vivo RNA Structure in Low-Abundance Transcripts. Nat. Commun. 4, 2971(2013). (Featured in Nat. Meth.11, 11 (2014).)
  • Kwok, CK., Sherlock, M.E. & Bevilacqua, P.C. Decrease in RNA Folding Cooperativity by Deliberate Population of Intermediates in RNA G-Quadruplexes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 683-686 (2013). (Featured in F1000 site. http://f1000.com/prime/717970147.)

            Invited Reviews

  • +Kwok, CK., Dawn of the In Vivo RNA Structuome and Interactome. Biochem Soc. Trans. 44, 1395-1410 (2016).
  • +Kwok, CK., Tang, Y., +Assmann, S.M., & +Bevilacqua, P.C. The RNA Structurome: Transcriptome-Wide Structure Probing using Next-Gen Sequencing. Trends Biochem. Sci. 40, 221-232 (2015). (Featured on the cover.)