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

CHENG Hon Ki ChristopherResearch Professor

B.Sc., Ph.D.

Telephone:   3943 6801

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


  Rm 604A, 6/F., Lo Kwee Seong Integrated Biomedical Sci. Bldg, Area 39, CUHK






Prof. Cheng Hon Ki Christopher  (鄭漢其) has served as a faculty member at The Chinese University of Hong Kong over 30 years.  Throughout his academic career, Prof. Cheng has published over 200 peer-reviewed research papers and review articles in various international journals on areas of endocrinology, reproduction, chemical analyses, natural product research and drug development.  He is regularly invited to review manuscripts submitted to various international journals.  He is engaged in the editorial activities of international journals.  He has also published many articles and book chapters on the assessment and development of TCM as therapeutic agents or functional foods.  Together with his collaborators on natural product research in Mainland China, Prof. Cheng was awarded a Second Class State Natural Science Award of China in the year 2009.  Prof. Cheng has successfully obtained numerous grants from various organizations to support his research, notably from the RGC, ITF and NSFC.  He has also served as grant reviewers in Hong Kong and overseas, and as a visiting professor of a number of universities. Having supervised over 54 graduate students pursuing their Ph.D./M.Phil. degrees in his laboratory, Prof. Cheng regularly serves in thesis committees of graduate students in CUHK as well as in other universities. 

  1. Genomics and gene knockout studies in zebrafish.
  2. Molecular endocrinology and hormone action.
  3. Identification and development of drugs from natural and synthetic sources.
  4. Novel functional molecules.
  1. Li, J., Liu, Z., Kang, T., Li, M., Wang, D. and Cheng, C.H.K. (2021). Igf3: a novel player in fish reproduction. Biology of Reproduction, ioab042.
  2. Li, S., Wang, B., Liu, L., Song, Y., Lv, C., Zhu, X., Luo, Y., Cheng, C.H.K. ., Chen, H., Yang, X., and Li, T. (2021). Enhanced growth performance physiological and biochemical indexes of Trachinotus ovatus fed with marine microalgae Aurantiochytrium sp. rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, 7, 609837.
  3. Xie, Y., Huang, D., Chu, L., Liu, Y., Sun, X., Li, J., and Cheng, C. H. K. (2020). Igf3 is essential for ovary differentiation in zebrafish. Biology of Reproduction, ioaa218.
  4. Liu, Y., Zhu, Z., Ho, I. H., Shi, Y., Li, J., Wang, X., Chan M.T.V., and Cheng, C.H.K. (2020). Genetic deletion of miR-430 disrupts maternal-zygotic transition and embryonic body plan. Frontiers in Genetics, 11, 853.
  5. Liu, L., Hu, Z., Li, S., Yang, H., Li, S., Lv, C., Zaynab, M., Cheng, C.H.K., Chen, H. and Yang, X. (2020). Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis Uncovers Genes Responsible for the DHA Enhancement in the Mutant Aurantiochytrium sp. Microorganisms, 8(4), 529.
  6. Zhu, Z., Liu, Y., Xu, W., Liu, T., Xie, Y., Sham, K.W., Ou, Sha. & Cheng, C.H.K. (2020). Functional Characterization and Expression Analyses Show Differential Roles of Maternal and Zygotic Dgcr8 in Early Embryonic Development. Frontiers in Genetics, 11, 299.
  7. Li, M., Liu, X., Dai, S., Xiao, H., Qi, S., Li, Y., Zheng, Q., Jie, M., Cheng, C.H.K. and Wang, D. (2020). Regulation of spermatogenesis and reproductive capacity by Igf3 in tilapia. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 1-18.
  8. Wang, Y.F., Chen, X., Sha, L., Kendrick, K.M., Lee, L.T.O. and Cheng, C.H.K. (2020). Editorial: Neuroendocrine Research in Health and Disease. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14, 176.
  9. Sun, X., Ng, T.T.H, Sham, K.W.Y., Zhang Lin, Chan, M.T.V., Wu, W.K.K., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2019). Bufalin, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) compound, for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer. Cancer Prevention Research, 12, 653-666.
  10. Ng, T.T.H., Sham, K.W.Y., Xie, C., Ng, S.S.M., To, K.F., Tong, J.H.M., Liu, W.Y.Z., Chan, M.T.V., Wu, W.K.K., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2019). Eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase expression is an independent prognostic factor in colorectal cancer. BMC Cancer, 19(1), 649. 
  11. Li, J., Huang, D., Sun, X., Li, X., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2018). Zinc mediates the action of androgen in acting as a downstream effector of LH on oocyte maturation in zebrafish. Biology of Reproduction, 100(2), 468-478.
  12. Li, J., Niu, C., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2018). Igf3 serves as a mediator of luteinizing hormone in zebrafish ovulation. Biology of Reproduction, 99(6), 1235-1243.
  13. Li, J., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2018). Evolution of gonadotropin signaling on gonad development: insights from gene knockout studies in zebrafish. Biology of Reproduction, 99(4), 686-694.
  14. Zheng, B., Li, S., Liu, Y., Li, Y., Chen, H., Tang, H., Liu, X., Lin, H., Zhang, Y., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2017). Spexin suppress food intake in zebrafish: Evidence from gene knockout study. Scientific Reports, 7, 14643.
  15. Xie, Y., Chu, L., Liu, Y., Sham, K.W.Y., Li, J., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2017). The highly overlapping actions of Lh signaling and Fsh signaling on zebrafish spermatogenesis. Journal of Endocrinology, 234(3), 233-246.
  16. Liu, Y., Zhu, Z., Ho, I.H.T., Shi, Y., Xie, Y., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Chan, M.T.V., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2017). Germline-specific dgcr8 knockout in zebrafish using a BACK approach. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 74(13), 2503-2511.
  17. Liu, Y., Tang, H., Xie, R., Li, S., Liu, X., Lin, H., Zhang, Y., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2017). Genetic evidence for multifactorial control of the reproductive axis in zebrafish. Endocrinology, 158(3), 604-611.
  18. Tang, H., Liu, Y., Li, J., Yin, Y., Li G., Chen, Y., Li, S., Zhang, Y., Lin, H., Liu, X., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2016). Gene knockout of nuclear progesterone receptor provides insights into the regulation of ovulation by LH signaling in zebrafish. Scientific Reports, 6, 28545.
  19. Liu, Y., Zhao, H., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2016). Mutagenesis in Xenopus and Zebrafish using TALENs. Methods in Molecular Biology, 1338, 207-27.
  20. Chu, L., Li, J., Liu, Y., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2015). Gonadotropin signaling in zebrafish ovary and testis development: Insights from gene knockout study. Molecular Endocrinology, 29(12), 1743-58.
  21. Li, J., Chu, L., Sun, X., Liu, Y., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2015). Igfs mediate the action of luteinizing hormone on oocyte maturation in zebrafish. Molecular Endocrinology, 29(3), 373-83.
  22. Tang, H., Liu, Y., Luo, D., Ogawa, S., Yin, Y., Li, S., Zhang, Y., Hu, W., Parhar, I.S., Lin, H., Liu, X., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2015). The kiss/kissr systems are dispensable for zebrafish reproduction: evidence from gene knockout studies. Endocrinology, 156(2), 589-99.
  23. Chu, L., Li, J., Liu, Y., Hu, W., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2014). Targeted gene disruption in zebrafish reveals noncanonical functions of Lh signaling in reproduction. Molecular Endocrinology, 28(11), 1785-95.
  24. Li, J., Wu, P., Liu, Y., Wang, D., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2014). Temporal and spatial expression of the four Igf Ligands and two Igf Type 1 receptors in zebrafish during early embryonic development. Gene Expression Patterns, 15(2), 104-111.
  25. Liu, Y., Luo, D., Lei, Y., Hu, W., Zhao, H., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2014). A highly effective TALEN-mediated approach for targeted gene disruption in Xenopus tropicalis and zebrafish. METHODS, 69(1), 58-66.
  26. Xie, C., Liu, X., Sham, K.W.Y., Lai, J.M.Y., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2014). Silencing of elongation factor-2 kinase reveals AMPK-ULK1 dependent autophagy in colon cancer cells. Autophagy, 10(9), 1495-508.
  27. Liu, Y., Luo, D., Zhao, H., Zhu, Z., Hu, W., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2013). Inheritable and precise large genomic deletions of non-coding RNA genes in zebrafish using TALENs. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76387.
  28. Xie, C., Liu, X., Yu, S.B.S., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2013). Cardiac glycosides block cancer growth through HIF-1a and NF-kB mediated Plk1. Carcinogenesis, 34(8), 1870-80.
  29. Lei, Y., Guo, X., Liu, Y., Cao, Y., Deng, Y., Chen, X., Cheng, C.H.K., Dawid, I.B., Chen, Y., & Zhao, H. (2012). Efficient targeted gene disruption in Xenopus embryos using engineered transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 109(43), 17484-9.
  30. Xie, C., Chan, W.Y., Yu, S.S.B., Zhao, J., & Cheng, C.H.K. (2011). Bufalin induces autophagy-mediated cell death in human colon cancer cells through reactive oxygen species generation and JNK activation. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 51(7), 1365-75.
  1. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-20 to 31-Dec-22]: "An investigation on the role of gonadal somatic Dgcr8 in sex determination and differentiation in zebrafish" (HK$1,074,019).
  2. ITF - Guangdong - Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme [PI; 01-Jan-20 to 30-Jun-21]: “Study on Schizochytrium sp. SW7-7 in fish reproductive development and its industrial application” (HK$880,000).
  3. Health and Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Sep-16 to 29-Feb-2020]: "Bufalin, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Compound, for Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer" (HK$1,030,704).
  4. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-16 to 31-Dec-19]: "An Investigation on the Role of Igf3 in the Sex Differentiation of Zebrafish" (HK$1,389,718).
  5. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-15 to 31-Dec-17]: "Studies into the noncanonical functional differentiation of gonadotropins and their receptors in zebrafish ovary using a highly efficient targeted gene disruption approach" (HK$637,445).
  6. Science & Technology Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality - Shenzhen Municipal R&D Fund of Science and Technology [PI; 13-Jan-14 to 31-Dec-15]: "The Functional Roles of Zebrafish GPR54 in Regulation of Reproduction (Project awarded RMB81,000; no funding transferred to HK)" (RMB81,000).
  7. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-14 to 31-Dec-16]: "Investigations into the neuroendocrine control of the reproductive axis: insight from targeted gene knockout studies in zebrafish" (HK$796,750).