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Development and Reproduction

HKU researchers are working at the cutting edge to identify the genes and mechanisms that control development and reproductive health, and the underlying causes of congenital and degenerative conditions, to help improve quality of life for humankind.

Disturbances of normal foetal development and growth can lead to a spectrum of disorders, ranging from mild to more serious outcomes such as death at birth and crippling malformation, to progressively disabling disorders that may manifest later. Such issues can significantly impact throughout a person's life, causing economic and other burdens on society. Disorders of reproduction affect fertility, complicate pregnancy and may affect hormonal controls and cancer development.

With over 80 members from the Faculties of Medicine, Science, Engineering, Dentistry, Law, Social Sciences and Arts, the Development and Reproduction SRT focuses on five main areas: developmental and functional genomics, reproduction, stem cells and regenerative medicine, genetics of disorders, and enabling technologies.

The members have established internationally recognised collaborative programmes, contributing to the discovery of the genetic bases of developmental and degenerative disorders such as those affecting the skeletal system and the neural crest (a stem cell disorder affecting foetal development); and in reproductive medicine, providing advances in prenatal diagnoses of genetic disorders and insights into the regulation of fertility. They are also developing biomaterials and improving imaging and other technologies.

Through evolving research collaborations, members are also participating in international research consortia with world-renowned experts and have secured important research grants for projects on unravelling how genomic variation affects people's risk of developing skeletal and lumbar disc disease, on the mechanisms of ageing and of innate immunity, and on the application of synthetic biology for the treatment of cancer.

Moving forward, a new mentorship programme will develop future leaders, and collaborative research will continue to be strengthened and expanded across disciplines and with our partners in Hong Kong, Mainland China and beyond.

Related major work at the University includes group research projects on 'Developmental Genomics and Skeletal Research' (Areas of Excellence project), 'Functional Analyses of How Genomic Variation Affects Personal Risk for Degenerative Skeletal Disorders' and 'Genetics and Functional Genomics of Neural Crest Stem Cells and Associated Disease: Hrschsprung Disease' (Theme-based Research Scheme projects).

Development and Reproduction

Our mission is to make significant contributions through multidisciplinary synergistic partnerships and cutting-edge science to enable ambitious research questions to be tackled so as to reach our long-term vision of bench to bedside research, translating discovery to the clinic.

Professor K.S.E. Cheah,
Corresponding Co-Convenor



Professor K.S.E. Cheah* (Biomedical Sciences)

Professor E.H.Y. Ng (Obstetrics & Gynaecology)

Professor E.X. Wu (Electrical & Electronic Engineering)

* Corresponding Co-Convenor


Professor M.H. Sham (Biomedical Sciences)

Full membership :