Dr. Carmen Wong obtained her BSc degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia in Canada. After finishing her undergraduate study, her growing interests in science motivated her to explore biomedical research. She decided to return to her home country and pursue her MSc study in Biotechnology in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She further completed her PhD degree in the Department of Pathology, the University of Hong Kong, where she developed strong interests and passion in cancer research. Her PhD study has brought her the best PhD thesis awards and the Hong Kong Young Scientist Award. After her PhD study, she received the Croucher Foundation Fellowship and obtained her post-doctoral training from a renowned scientist, Professor Gregg Semenza, in the Johns Hopkins University, studying the roles and molecular mechanisms of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) in breast cancer progression. Hypoxia is a common pathological feature in cardiovascular diseases, ischemia (e.g. stroke, limb, and retinal ischemia), and cancer. Hypoxia, through the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), stimulates a wide repertoire of events that promote cancer growth. Two hypoxia-mediated events that caught her attention include metabolic reprogramming and tumor microenvironment formation. After returning to Hong Kong, Dr. Wong became a principal investigator and her team is intensively studying these two research areas in a fatal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, which is particularly prevalent in hepatitis B virus endemic regions including Hong Kong. More excitingly, Dr. Wong’s research team is beginning to unravel the tight relationship between metabolic reprogramming and tumor microenvironment formation, two seemingly unrelated disciplines, in cancer development.
Dr WONG Chak Lui, Carmen