Natural Drug Discovery and Development Group I Group Members

Our Research Group

Prof. Hang Fai (Henry) KWOK - Principal Investigator / Group Leader

Prof. Kwok is an active and experienced scientist working in the areas of proteins (antigens), peptides (venom-based) and antibodies (targeted therapy/immunotherapy) in the battle against infectious diseases and cancer for novel drug discovery, development and treatment.

He obtained his 1st class (Hons) B.Sc. in Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in the United Kingdom. His extensive body of research in the last 15 years has allowed him to occupy a number of respectable positions in a variety of fields, such as being a Senior Scientist in the Queen’s University Belfast spinout company -- Fusion Antibodies Ltd., which was recently listed on the FTSE All-Share AIM index on the London Stock Exchange as Fusion Antibodies Plc. (FAB), and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge.

Presently, Prof. Kwok holds a position of Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences, and also serves as  a Consultant of Histopathology Core in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Macau. In addition, he is a Visiting Scientist in the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge since 2014.

Dr. Janet WONG - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Janet Wong graduated with Honors in Resource Chemistry, Major Natural Product Chemistry from the University of Malaysia Sarawak. She later obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham. Her research involved discovering, identifying and evaluating secondary metabolites from medicinal plants found in Malaysia; particularly ones that target the HMG-CoA reductase pathway of cholesterol synthesis. Now working in Prof. Kwok's laboratory, Dr. Wong’s ongoing project investigates gene markers as potential therapeutic targets in cancer progression.

Dr. Ren WEI - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ran Wei obtained her PhD degree from the school of Pharmacy, Queen’s University, Belfast on the topic of “Peptidomic and Bioinformatic Studies on Neuroendocrine Tumour Cells”. This project was supervised by Prof. Chris Shaw and mainly focused on the molecular inventory of the secretory peptidome of tumour cells by application of high-throughput LC/MS/MS techniques and bioinformatics techniques. After her PhD, she joined Prof. Kwok's laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She is now working on investigating Osteopontin expression in colorectal cancer.

Dr. Peng LYU - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Peng Lyu has obtained his PhD from the Nature Drug Discovery group in the School of Pharmacy at the Queen’s University Belfast, UK. Dr Lyu’s PhD research is in the areas of functional peptide discovery from the skin secretion of frogs. He joined Prof. Kwok’s research group in early April 2016 as a postdoctoral researcher.

Rui MA - PhD Student

Mr. Rui Ma obtained his BSc degree in Biotechnology from the Inner Mongolia University For The Nationalities and his MSc degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University. After that, Rui worked at the Zhuhai United Laboratories Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd as the Insulin Aspart project manager for 5 years. Upon completing the project, Ma embraced the opportunity to work in Prof. Kwok’s laboratory as a Research Assistant from 2015-2016. He is currently a PhD student in Prof. Kwok's laboratory involving in a research project that is centered on isolating novel venom-based proteins and screening for their pharmaceutical activities.

Libin GUO - PhD Student

Ms. Libin Guo obtained her BSc degree in pharmaceutical engineering from the Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and her MSc degree in developmental biology from the Fujian Normal University. She joined Prof. Kwok's laboratory in August 2016 as a PhD student, and is currently involving in a research project that is focused on understanding the relationship/role(s) of PD-L1 and ADAM17 in cancer biology.

Pengchen CHEN - PhD Student

Mr. Pengchen Chen obtained a BSc degree in Biotechnology from the Wenzhou University and a Master’s degree in Cytobiology from the Fujian Normal University. Upon completing his study for the Master’s degree, he embraced the opportunity to work in Prof. Kwok’s laboratory as a PhD student of Biomedicine since August 2017. He is currently working on cell functional studies in gastric neuroendocrine carcinoma and PD-L1 in cancer biology.

Muhammad JAMEEL - PhD Student

Dr. Muhammad Jameel obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Sindh Agriculture University, Pakistan. He later pursued his MPhil degree from the Sichuan Agricultural University, China. He worked under the supervision of Dr. Xi Peng and did his research on Aflatoxin B1 induced apoptosis in Chicken hepatocytes via death receptor pathway. His passion for biomedical sciences led him to join the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, for a PhD program in Biomedicine, under the supervision of Prof. Kwok in September 2017. He is currently working on the molecular mechanisms of MCM protein family and its interactome in promoting breast cancer progression.

Prof. Yao LIN - Visiting Scholar

Prof. Yao Lin was a research fellow at the University of Cambridge and currently holds a professorship in tumor biology at the Fujian Normal University.

Dr. Xinping XI - Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Xinping Xi was born in the Jiangsu province, China. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, and received his PhD on the topic of “Venom-Based Peptides” from the Queen’s University Belfast, one of the top pharmacy schools in the United Kingdom. Dr. Xi was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Kwok's laboratory, and he also served in the Proteomics Core as a core manager during that period of time. Now Dr. Xi is based in UK, he continues his research work with Prof. Kwok as a collaborator on the discovery of anti-cancer peptide drugs from animal venoms.

Dr. Shun Ming YUEN - Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Shun Ming Yuen has received her PhD from the Cardiff University in UK. She worked under Dr. Nicholas Allen, studying how temporal considerations and newly discovered small molecules influence the process of neural differentiation in embryonic stem cells. Dr. Yuen was worked in the Histopathology Core as a core manager in the Faculty of Health Sciences University of Macau and also involved in Prof. Kwok's research work as a postdoctoral fellow from Aug 2014 until Sept 2017. Now Dr. Yuen is based in Hong Kong, she continues her research work with Prof. Kwok as a collaborator on an exciting "Venom-based Peptide -- Stem Cell" research project.

Dr. Ravikiran MAHADEVAPPA - Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Ravikiran Mahadevappa has obtained his PhD from Aarhus University, Denmark. He has previously worked in the Kidney Physiology group, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University under the guidance of Prof. Henrik Birn. Dr. Mahadevappa was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Kwok's research group from Oct 2015 until Oct 2017. He is currently based in Sweden, and he continuous his research work with Prof. Kwok as a collaborator on analyzing the MCM protein family and its role in cancer.

Dr. Bin LI - Alumni / Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Bin Li studied her PhD degree in Prof. Kwok's laboratory at the University of Macau from Aug 2014 to Nov 2017. She currently holds a Lectureship in the School of Medicine & Life Sciences at the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine.

Dr. Henrique NEVES - Alumni

Dr. Henrique Neves studied his PhD degree in Prof. Kwok's laboratory at the University of Macau from Aug 2014 to Jan 2018. He is currently receiving his postdoctoral training at the King's College London, UK.