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

Hannah HUIAssistant Professor

B.Sc., Ph.D.

Telephone:  3943 5101

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

Address: Room 204A, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building, Area 39, CUHK







Prof. Hannah Xiaoyan HUI (惠曉艷) obtained her B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Biotechnology from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and completed her Ph.D. study in Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIBS, CAS). She then pursued her postdoctoral training at Department of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong and was later took up her post as Research Assistant Professor at the same department. In 2021, she joined the School of Biomedical Sciences, the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Assistant Professor.

The research interest of Dr. Hui lies solely on Adipose Tissue---a highly plastic organ in our body. By using state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary approaches, the goal of our laboratory is to understand the molecular basis of adipose tissue remodelling and its physiological relevance in obesity and cardio-metabolic diseases. Ultimately we seek to develop biomedicine that can educate the dysfunctional adipose tissue to a metabolically beneficial organ. Refer to Lab Web page for more informations.

Dr. Hui is the principal investigator of research grants including General Research fund (GRF), Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF), NSFC-RGC, and NSFC (Young Excellent Scientist). Her research work has been published in top-ranked journals including Cell Metab, Nat Commun, Adv Sci, Sci Adv, J Clin Invest, Diabetes, Cell Rep, EMBO rep, Brit J Pharmacol. She also receives awards such as National Science and Technology Progress Award (2020).

  1. Thermogenic adipocytes.
  2. Chronic inflammation in obese adipose tissue.
  3. Development of biomedicine to reprogram “unhealthy” adipose tissue to a “healthy” one.
  1. Liu, Q., Long, Q., Zhao, J., Wu, W., Lin, Z., Sun, W., Gu, P., Deng, T., Loomes, K.M., Wu, D., Kong, A.K., Zhou, J., Cheng, A.T. & Hui, X.# (2023). Cold-Induced Reprogramming of Subcutaneous White Adipose Tissue Assessed by Single-Cell and Single-Nucleus RNA Sequencing. Research, 6: 0182.
  2. Zhao, S., Nie, T., Li, L., Long, Q., Gu, P., Zhang, Y., Sun, W., Lin, Z., Liu, Q., Qi, Y., Wang, W., Xie, M., Loomes, K., Cai, C., Wu, D.# & Hui, X.# (2023). Androgen Receptor is a Negative Regulator of PRDM16 in Beige Adipocyte. Advanced Science., 10(21): 2300070.
  3. Gu, P., Ding, K., Lu, L., Zhang, Y., Wang, W., Guo, Q., et al., Hui, X.#, & Shao, J.# (2023). Compromised browning in white adipose tissue of aging people. European Journal of Endocrinology, 188(2): lvad014.
  4. Feng, T., Zhao, X., Gu, P., Yang, W., Wang, C., Guo, Q., Long, Q., Liu, Q., Cheng, Y., Li, J., Cheung, C., Wu, D., Kong, X., Xu, Y., Ye, D., Hua, S., Loomes, K., Xu, A.#, Hui, X.# (2022). Adipocyte-derived lactate is a signalling metabolite that potentiates adipose macrophage inflammation via targeting PHD2. Nature Communications, 13, 5208.
  5. Chen, K., Cheong, L.Y., Gao, Y., Zhang, Y., Feng, T., Wang, Q., Jin, L., Honoré, E., Lam, K.S.L., Wang, W., Hui, X.# & Xu, A.# (2022). Adipose-targeted triiodothyronine therapy counteracts obesity-related metabolic complications and atherosclerosis with negligible side effects. Nature Communications, 13: 7838.
  6. Mao, L., Peng, L., Ren, X., Chu, Y., Nie, T., Lin, W., Zhao, X., Libby, A., Xu, Y., Chang, Y., Lei, C., Loomes, K., Wang, N., Liu, J., Levi, M., Wu, D., Hui, X.# & Ding, K.#. (2022). Discovery of JND003 as a New Selective Estrogen-Related Receptor a (ERRa) Agonist Alleviating Noalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Insulin Resistance. ACS Bio & Med Chem Au., 2, 3, 282.
  7. Sun, W., Nie, T., Li, K., Wu, W., Long, Q., Feng, T., Mao, L, Gao, Y., Liu. Q., Gao, X., Ye, D., Yan, K., Gu, P., Xu, Y., Zhao, X., Chen, K., Loomes, K.M., Lin, S., Wu, D.# & Hui, X.# (2022). Hepatic CPT1A facilitates liver-adipose cross-talk via induction of FGF21 in mice. Diabetes, 71(1):31.
  8. Gu, P.*, Hui, X.*#, Zheng, Q., Gao, Y., Jun, L., Jiang, W., Zhou C., Liu, T., Huang, Y., Liu, Q., Nie, T., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Zhao, J#. & Xu, A#. (2021). Mitochondrial Uncoupling Protein-1 Antagonizes Atherosclerosis by Blocking NLRP3-Inflammasome-dependent Interleukin-1b production. Science Advances, 7(50), eabl4024.
  9. Pan, Y., Hui, X., Hoo, R.L.C., Ye, D., Chan, C.Y.C., Feng, T., Wang, Y., Lam, K.S.L. & Xu, A. (2019). Adipocyte-secreted exosomal microRNA-34a inhibits M2 macrophage polarization to promote obesity-induced adipose inflammation. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 29(2):834.
  10. Hui, X.*, Zhang, M., Gu, P., Li, K., Gao, Y., Wu, D., Wang, Y. & Xu, A. (2017). Adipocyte SIRT1 controls systemic insulin sensitivity by modulating macrophages in adipose tissue. EMBO Reports, 18(4):645.
  11. Nie, B.*, Nie, T.*, Hui, X.*, Gu, P., Mao, L., Li, K., Xu, A., Wu, D. & Ding, S. (2017). Brown adipogenic reprogramming induced by a small molecule. Cell Reports, 18 (1): 624.
  12. Hui, X.*, Gu, P., Zhang, J., Nie, T., Pan, Y., Wu, D., Feng, T., Zhong, C., Wang, Y., Lam, K.S. & Xu, A. (2015). Adiponectin Enhances Cold-Induced Browning of Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue via Promoting M2 Macrophage Proliferation. Cell Metabolism, 22(2): 279.
  13. Gu, P.*, Hui, X.*,Cheng, M., Lu, B., Jiang, W. & Shi, Z. (2015). Elevating circulation chemerin level is associated with endothelial dysfunction and early atherosclerotic changes in essential hypertensive patients. Journal of Hypertension, 33(8):1624.
  14. Hui, X.*, Li, H., Zhou, Z., Lam, K.S., Xiao, Y., Wu, D., Ding, K., Wang, Y., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Xu, A. (2010). Adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein modulates inflammatory responses in macrophages through a positive feedback loop involving c-Jun NH2-terminal kinases and activator protein-1. J Biol Chem., 285(14):10273.
  15. Hui, X.*, Zhu, W., Wang, Y., Lam, K.S., Zhang, J., Wu, D., Kraegen, E.W., Li, Y. & Xu, A. (2009). Major urinary protein-1 increases energy expenditure and improves glucose intolerance through enhancing mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle of diabetic mice. J Biol Chem., 284 (21):14050.
  16. * first author, # corresponding author

  1. National Natural Science Foundation of China/RGC Joint Research Scheme[PI; 01-Jan-24 to 31-Dec-27]: “MHC class II+ adipocyte in control of white adipose tissue browning”.
  2. RGC - General Research Fund[PI; 01-Jan-23 to 31-Dec-25]: “LETM-domain containing protein 1 as a new player in adipose thermogenesis”.
  3. Health Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Oct-22 to 31-Jul-25]: “Preservation of β cell mass by targeting fatty acid oxidation in islet macrophages”.
  4. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-21 to 31-Dec-23]: “Androgen regulates white adipose tissue remodelling”.
  5. Health Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Jul-20 to 31-Jul-23]: “ANNEXIN A8 as a novel adipokine mediating visceral obesity-associated metabolic complications”.
  6. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Oct-19 to 30-Sep-22]: “Thyroid hormone induces facultative thermogenesis in white adipose tissue through UCP1-independent mechanism”.
  7. Health Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Sep-19 to 30-Sep-23]: “AMPK γ2 as a master regulator of adipokine transcription: biological function, molecular mechanism and clinical implications”.
  8. Excellent Young Scientist Award [PI; 01-Jan-20 to 31-Dec-22]: “Mechanism of adipose browning”.
  9. Health Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Apr-18 to 30-Nov-20]: “Lactate produced in adipose tissue as a culprit of obesity-related metabolic complications: mechanisms and clinical implications”.
  10. Health Medical Research Fund [PI; 01-Apr-15 to 30-Sep-17]: “SIRT1 in perivascular adipose tissues as a mediator of obesity-induced endothelial dysfunction”.
  11. France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme [Co-PI; 01-Jan-18 to 31-Dec-20]: “The Mechanobiology of Obesity”