Delineating the molecular and cellular origins of liver cancer to identify therapeutic targets

Delineating the molecular and cellular origins of liver cancer to identify therapeutic targets

Project details

Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Currently, therapeutic options are limited. Innovative research on the pathogenesis of disease at the molecular and cellular levels is urgently needed. 

This project will develop and employ state-of-the-art genetic mouse models and cutting-edge molecular technologies to study the fate, function and molecular alterations in distinct liver epithelial subsets during liver cancer initiation and progression.  

We will also develop PDXs (patient-derived xenograft) and PDO (patient-derived organoids) as pre-clinical models to facilitate the translation of novel discoveries to clinical practice. Moreover, we will collaborate with local and international clinician scientists to explore the potential of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets identified from this project for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of liver cancer. 

About our research group

Dr Fu’s laboratory studies stem cells and cancer biology in epithelial tissues. His laboratory is interested in unravelling novel cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning normal development, regeneration and tumorigenesis in epithelial tissues. To this end, the lab’s researchers combine cutting-edge technologies in molecular biology and mouse genetic approaches for their research. The ultimate goal of their research is to provide novel insights into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of epithelial cancers. 

Dr Fu’s laboratory mainly focuses on: 

  • identification of key molecular regulators for quiescence, self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells in epithelial tissues 
  • development of novel mouse models for studying epithelial stem cells and cancer 
  • dissecting the role of Bcl-2 family in the regulation of epithelial stem cells during development, aging and oncogenesis. 


Email supervisors



Photo of Dr Naiyang Fu
Associate Professor
ACRF Cancer Biology and Stem Cells

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