Visiting address
Phone: +852 34424152

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes


Dr. Kwok-On Lai received his Bachelor degree of Biochemistry with First Class Honours from the University of Hong Kong. He then pursued M.Phil and Ph.D studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) under the guidance of Prof. Nancy Ip. With the award of Croucher Foundation Fellowship, Dr. Lai performed postdoctoral research in the United States with Prof. Kelsey Martin at UCLA, where he used photoactivation and time-lapse imaging to study synapse-to-nucleus protein trafficking in neuron that underlies long-term synaptic plasticity. Dr. Lai returned to Hong Kong and joined HKUST as Research Assistant Professor to investigate the role of protein phosphorylation in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. He then set up his own laboratory at the University of Hong Kong, where his team studies the interplay between intracellular transport, protein post-translational modification and synaptic function of neuron. His recent research includes the investigation of disease-associated genetic variations using human stem cell-derived neuron. Dr. Lai joined City University in 2021.

Research Interests/Areas

  • Kinesin-mediated intracellular transport and RNA trafficking in neuron
  • Post-translational control of RNA-binding proteins and local dendritic translation
  • Genome editing in human stem cells to study brain disorders
  • Synaptic defects in inherited epilepsy

Editor or Editorial Membership

  • Associate Editor for Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
  • Lead Guest Editor for the Special Issue “Molecular Mechanisms of Dendritic Spine Development and Plasticity” in Neural Plasticity


  • Chair of the Sympsoium"Towards an understanding of how the cytoskeleton and intracellular transport are regulated for synapse devleopment and plasticity"; International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) Biennial Meeting 2022
  • Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Rising Star Lecturer for Life Sciences
  • Council member of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN)
  • Associate Chair in the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology “Exploring the Frontiers of Foundational and Translational Neuroscience”