School of Biomedical Sciences
The Chinese University of Hong Kong 香港中文大學

CHAN Wood YeeProfessor

B.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D., C.Biol., M.I.Biol.,

Telephone:   3943 6895

Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  Rm 621A, 6/F., Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sci. Bldg, Area 39, CUHK







Prof. CHAN Wood Yee Woody (陳活彜) obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees in Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Basic Medical Sciences in the Department of Anatomy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  He went on to have his postdoctoral training in University College London, UK after he received a fellowship from the Croucher Foundation.  He then returned to The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and joined the Department of Anatomy as a lecturer.  He received his sabbatical training in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA for three consecutive summers.  He became Professor in the Department of Anatomy in 2000, and Chairman of the same Department in 2007.  He is currently Associate Director of School of Biomedical Sciences, Head of Division of Biomedical Sciences and also Associate Head of Shaw College.  Prof. Chan is interested in developmental and stem cell biology.  His research mainly focuses on the early development of the central and enteric nervous systems and their relationships in both mouse embryos and human fetuses shortly after implantation to the uterus.  More recently, he is more interested in the migration and differentiation of neural crest stem cells in post-implantation mouse embryos, the pre- and post-natal development of the rodent enteric nervous system, stem cell therapy for congenital and acquired enteric neuropathies including congenital intestinal motility disorders such as Hirschsprung’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, and also teratogenic effects of bioactive compounds. 

  1. Formation, migration and differentiation of neural crest stem cells and other types of stem cells.
  2. Stem cell therapy for congenital gut motility disorders.
  3. Development of the central and enteric nervous systems in experimental animals and human fetuses.
  4. Genetic and epigenetic controls of cellular migration, proliferation and differentiation in embryos and cancers.
  5. Early organogenesis in post-implantation embryos.
  6. Embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of various bioactive compounds.
  1. Huang, T., Hou, Y., Wang, X., Wang, L., Yi, C., Wang, C., Sun, X., Tam, P.K., Ngai, S.M., Sham, M.H., Burns, A.J., Chan, W.Y. (2022). Direct interaction of Sox10 with cadherin-19 mediates early sacral neural crest cell migration: implications for enteric nervous system development defects. Gastroenterology, 162(1):179-192.e11, doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.08.029. Epub 2021 Aug 21. PMID: 34425092.
  2. Zhang, H., Xie, J., So, K.H., Tong, K.K., Sae-Pang, J.J., Wang, L., Tsang, S.L., Chan, W.Y. , Wong, E.Y.M., Sham, M.H. (2021). Hoxb3 regulates Jag1 expression in pharyngeal epithelium and affects interaction with neural crest cells. Frontier in Physiology, 11:612230, doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.612230. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33505317.
  3. Shang, N., Lee, T.Y.J., Huang, T., Wang, C., Lee, T.L., Mok, C.S., Zhao, H., Chan, W.Y. (2020). Disabled-2: a positive regulator of the early differentiation of myoblasts. Cell and Tissue Research, 381(3), 493-508.
  4. Wang, X., Li, C., Zhu, Z., Yuan, L., Chan, W.Y. , Sha, O. (2020). Extracellular Matrix Remodeling During Palate Development. Organogenesis, 16(2), 43-60.
  5. Chen, Y.L., Xian, Y.F., Loo, S., Lai, Z.Q., Chan, W.Y. , Liu, L., Lin, Z.X. (2020). Huang-Lian-Jie-Du extract ameliorates atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions induced by 2,4-dinitrobenzene in mice via suppression of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 249, 112367.
  6. Shu, S.Y., Jiang, G., Zheng, Z., Ma, L., Wang, B., Zeng, Q., Li, H., Tan, S., Liu, B., Chan, W.Y. , Wu, S., Zhu, C., Li, C., Wang, P., Wu, J. (2019). A New Neural Pathway from the Ventral Striatum to the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert with Functional Implication to Learning and Memory. Molecular Neurobiology, 56(10), 7222-7233.
  7. Liu, J.Y.H., Du, P., Chan, W.Y. , Rudd, J.A. (2019). Use of a microelectrode array to record extracellular pacemaker potentials from the gastrointestinal tracts of the ICR mouse and house musk shrew (Suncus murinus). Cell Calcium, 80, 175-188.
  8. Lee, J.C.Y., Yung, P.S.H., Lam, M.H., Hung, A.S.L., Fong, D.T.P., Chan, W.Y. , Chan, K.M. (2019). A non-invasive biomechanical device to quantify knee rotational laxity: Verification of the device in human cadaveric specimens. Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology, 16, 19-23.
  9. Li, Y.H., Tai, W.C.S., Khan, I., Lu, C., Lu, Y., Wong, W.Y., Chan, W.Y. , Hsiao, W.L.W., Lin, G. (2018). Toxicoproteomic assessment of liver responses to acute pyrrolizidine alkaloid intoxication in rats. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C, 36(2), 65-83.
  10. Burns, A.J., Goldstein, A.M., Newgreen, D.F., Stamp, L., Schafer, K.H., Metzger, M., Hotta, R., Young, H.M., Andrews, P.W., Thapar, N., Belkind-Gerson, J., Bondurand, N., Bornstein, J.C., Chan, W.Y., Cheah, K., Gershon, M.D., Heuckeroth, R.O., Hofstra, R.M., Just, L., Kapur, R.P., King, S.K., McCann, C.J., Nagy, N., Ngan, E., Obermayr, F., Pachnis, V., Pasricha, P.J., Sham, M.H., Tam, P., & Vanden Berghe, P. (2016). White paper on guidelines concerning enteric nervous system stem cell therapy for enteric neuropathies. Developmental Biology, 417(2), 229-251.
  11. Wang, B., Chen, Y.C., Jiang, G., Ning, Q., Ma, L., Chan, W.Y., Wu, S., Zhou, G. Q., Bao, R., Zheng, Z.C., Yang, X., Luo, J.X., Zheng, W., Guo, H.W., Zeng, C., Zeng, Q.Y., & Shu, S.Y. (2016). New learning and memory related pathways among the hippocampus, the amygdala and the ventromedial region of the striatum in rats. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 71, 13-19.
  12. Wang, C., Kam, R.K., Shi, W., Xia, Y., Chen, X., Cao, Y., Sun, J., Du, Y., Lu, G., Chen, Z., Chan, W.Y., Chan, S.O., Deng, Y., & Zhao, H. (2015). The proto-oncogene transcription factor Ets1 regulates neural crest development through histone deacetylase 1 to mediate output of bone morphogenetic protein signaling. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(36), 21925-21938.
  13. Shu, S.Y., Jiang, G., Zeng, Q.Y., Wang, B., Li, H., Ma, L., Steinbusch, H., Song, C., Chan, W.Y., Chen, X.H., Wu, Y.M., Bao, R., Chen, Y.C., & Wu, J.Y. (2015). The marginal division of the striatum and hippocampus has different role and mechanism in learning and memory. Molecular Neurobiology, 51(2), 827-839.
  14. Chan, W.Y., Wong, J.H., & Ng, T.B. (2014). Embryotoxic and abortifacient activities of ribosome-inactivating proteins. In F. Stirpe, & D. A. Lappi (Eds.), Ribosome-inactivating proteins: Ricin and related proteins (pp. 270-280). Iowa USA: John Wiley & Sons.
  15. Wong, C.H., Nguyen, L., Peh, J., Luu, L. M., Sanchez, J. S., Richardson, S. L., Tuccinardi, T., Tsoi, H., Chan, W.Y., Chan, H.Y., Baranger, A.M., Hergenrother, P.J., & Zimmerman, S.C. (2014). Targeting toxic RNAs that cause myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) with a bisamidinium inhibitor. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(17), 6355-6361.
  16. Kam, R.K., Shi, W., Chan, S.O., Chen, Y., Xu, G., Lau, C.B., Fung, K.P., Chan, W.Y., & Zhao, H. (2013). Dhrs3 protein attenuates retinoic acid signaling and is required for early embryonic patterning. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288(44), 31477-31487.
  17. Qu, Z.Q., Zhou, Y., Zeng, Y.S., Lin, Y.K., Li, Y., Zhong, Z.Q., & Chan, W.Y. (2012). Protective effects of a rhodiola crenulata extract and salidroside on hippocampal neurogenesis against streptozotocin-induced neural injury in the rat. PLoS One, 7(1), e29641.
  18. Wang, X., Chan, A.K., Sham, M.H., Burns, A.J., & Chan, W.Y. (2011). Analysis of the sacral neural crest cell contribution to the hindgut enteric nervous system in the mouse embryo. Gastroenterology, 141(3), 992-1002.e1-6.
  19. Chan, K.Y., Xiang, P., Zhou, L., Li, K., Ng, P.C., Wang, C.C., Zhang, L., Deng, H.Y., Pong, N.H., Zhao, H., Chan, W.Y., & Sung, R.Y. (2011). Thrombopoietin protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy, improves cardiac function, and reversely alters specific signalling networks. European Journal of Heart Failure, 13(4), 366-376.
  20. Xie, C.M., Chan, W.Y., Yu, S., Zhao, J., & Cheng, C.H. (2011). Bufalin induces autophagy-mediated cell death in human colon cancer cells through reactive oxygen species generation and JNK activation. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 51(7), 1365-1375.
  21. Zeng, X., Zeng, Y.S., Ma, Y.H., Lu, L.Y., Du, B.L., Zhang, W., Li, Y., & Chan, W.Y. (2011). Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in a three-dimensional gelatin sponge scaffold attenuate inflammation, promote angiogenesis, and reduce cavity formation in experimental spinal cord injury. Cell Transplantation, 20(11-12), 1881-1899.
  22. Ni, Y., Shu, S., Guo, Z., Liu, S., Bao, Y., Liu, S., & Chan, W.Y. (2011). Dissociated brain organization for two-digit addition and subtraction: An fMRI investigation. Brain Research Bulletin, 86(5-6), 395-402.
  23. Chan, W.Y., Ng, T.B., Lam, J.S., Wong, J.H., Chu, K.T., Ngai, P.H., Lam, S.K., & Wang, H.X. (2010). The mushroom ribosome-inactivating protein lyophyllin exerts deleterious effects on mouse embryonic development in vitro. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 85(4), 985-993.
  24. Ng, T.B., Lam, J.S., Wong, J.H., Lam, S.K., Ngai, P.H., Wang, H.X., Chu, K.T., & Chan, W.Y. (2010). Differential abilities of the mushroom ribosome-inactivating proteins hypsin and velutin to perturb normal development of cultured mouse embryos. Toxicology in Vitro, 24(4), 1250-1257.
  25. Cheung, K.K., Mok, S.C., Rezaie, P., & Chan, W.Y. (2008). Dynamic expression of Dab2 in the mouse embryonic central nervous system. BMC Developmental Biology, 8, 76-213X-8-76.
  26. Ng, A.K., Zhang, H., Tan, K., Li, Z., Liu, J.H., Chan, P.K., Li, S.M., Chan, W.Y., Au, S.W., Joachimiak, A., Walz, T., Wang, J.H., & Shaw, P.C. (2008). Structure of the influenza virus A H5N1 nucleoprotein: Implications for RNA binding, oligomerization, and vaccine design. FASEB Journal, 22(10), 3638-3647.
  27. Chan, W.Y., Kohsaka, S., & Rezaie, P. (2007). The origin and cell lineage of microglia: New concepts. Brain Research Reviews, 53(2), 344-354.
  28. Ackermann, G.E., Marenholz, I., Wolfer, D.P., Chan, W.Y., Schafer, B., Erne, P., & Heizmann, C.W. (2006). S100A1-deficient male mice exhibit increased exploratory activity and reduced anxiety-related responses. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1763(11), 1307-1319.
  29. Chan, W.Y., Cheung, C.S., Yung, K.M., & Copp, A.J. (2004). Cardiac neural crest of the mouse embryo: Axial level of origin, migratory pathway and cell autonomy of the splotch (Sp2H) mutant effect. Development, 131(14), 3367-3379.
  1. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-19]: "Transplantation of enteric neural progenitors derived from induced pluripotent stem cells using mutant mice with congenital gastrointestinal motility disorder" (HK$868,249).
  2. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-18 to 31-Dec-20]: "Skin-derived precursors as a source of progenitors of enteric neurons" (HK$1,229,089).
  3. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-17 to 30-Jun-19]: "Investigation of Migration Defects, and Roles of Cadherin-19, in Sacral Neural Crest Cells Using a Sox10 Mutant Mouse Model of Human Hirschsprung's Disease" (HK$721,050).
  4. RGC – Theme-based Research Scheme [Co-PI; 01-Jan-15 to 31-Dec-19]: “Genetics and Functional Genomics of Neural Crest Stem Cells and Associated Disease: Hirschsprung’s Disease” (HK$62,360,000).
  5. Health and Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Jul-15 to 30-Jun-17]: "Effects of Early Life Adversity on the Development of Enteric Neurons" (HK$956,432).
  6. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-15 to 30-Jun-18]: "Contribution of sacral neural crest cells to the enteric nervous system in the hindgut" (HK$1,380,408).
  7. Health and Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Apr-14 to 31-Mar-16]: "Therapeutic Potentials of Stem Cells in Hirschsprung's Disease" (HK$999,528).