Dr K. M. CHAN graduated with BSc and received his PhD at HKU in 2003 and 2007 respectively. He then moved to Mayo Clinic (Rochester MN, USA) for postdoctoral training and obtained the Edward C. Kendall Research Fellowship in Biochemistry before rejoining HKU as Research Assistant Professor in June 2013. In February 2015 he joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS), City University of Hong Kong as a tenure-track Assistant Professor.
- Chromatin Biology
- Cancer Epigenetics
- X-Chromosome inactivation
- DNA replication
Dr Chan is interested in understanding 1) how epigenetic information is maintained during cell division and 2) the role of epigenetics in regulating gene expression and human diseases. It is well known that genetic information is encoded by the DNA sequence. However, DNA alone does not account for the complexity of the mammalian genome. Chromatin, comprising DNA, core histone proteins, and other regulatory proteins, regulates gene expression and maintains genome stability. Recent studies using the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have identified for the first time mutations on histone genes in two pediatric brain cancers; diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Two recurrent somatic mutations (K27M and G34R/V) were identified in genes encoding the canonical histone H3.1 (HIST1H3B) and its variant H3.3 (H3F3A.) This revealed the important roles of histone modifications in human diseases and links epigenetic changes to tumorigenesis.
We are currently elucidating the functional significance of novel epigenetic protein factors in maintaining X Chromosome Inactivation as well as the roles of histone mutations in human diseases.
- Edward C. Kendall Research Fellowship in Biochemistry 2013, Mayo Clinic
- Professional Development Award 2015, City University of Hong Kong