KE Ya Associate Professor

B.Med., Ph.D.

Telephone:  3943 6780

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


 305A, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building, Area 39, CUHK



  1. My lab is interested in a) the neural circuit basis of brain functions, including motor control and cognitive functions as well as their dysfunctions, and b) the etiology, pathology and novel treatments of common neurodegenerative diseases and brain damage such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ischemic stroke.
  2. In addressing the research questions, different experimental and transgenic animal models, including rodents, zebrafish and Drosophila, are used. A variety of experimental techniques such as molecular biology, circuit mapping via viral tools, electrophysiological recordings, behavioral analysis, optogenetics and in vivo brain imaging are employed.
  1. Zhou, Y.F., Wu, X.M., Zhou, G., Mu, M.D., Zhang, F.L., Li, F.M., Qian, C., Du, F., Yung, W.H., Qian, Z.M. & Ke, Y.* (2018). Cystathionine b-synthase is required for body iron homeostasis. Hepatology. 67(1):21-35. (Editorial highlight)
  2. Li, Q., Ko, H., Qian, Z.M., Yan, L.Y.C., Chan, D.C.W., Arbuthnott, G., Ke, Y.* & Yung, W.H.* (2017). Refinement of learned skilled movement representation in motor cortex deep output layer. Nature Communications 8:15834.
  3. Wu, X.M., Qian, C., Zhou, Y.F., Yan, Y.C., Luo, Q.Q., Yung, W.H., Zhang, F.L., Jiang, L.R., Qian, Z.M. & Ke, Y.* (2017). Bi-directionally protective communication between neurons and astrocytes under ischemia. Redox Biology 20;13:20-31.
  4. Zhu, Z.J., Wu, K.C., Yung, W.H., Qian, Z.M. & Ke, Y.* (2016). Differential interaction between iron and mutant alpha-synuclein causes distinctive Parkinsonian phenotypes in Drosophila. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease 1862(4):518-525.
  5. Lu, L.N., Qian, Z.M., Wu, K.C., Yung, W.H. & Ke, Y.*. (2016). Expression of iron transporters and pathological hallmarks of parkinson's and alzheimer's diseases in the brain of young, adult, and aged rats. Molecular Neurobiology 54(7):5213-5224.
  6. Gong, J., Du, F., Qian, Z.M., Luo, Q.Q., Sheng, Y., Yung, W.H., Xu, Y.X. & Ke, Y.* (2016). Pre-treatment of rats with ad-hepcidin prevents iron-induced oxidative stress in the brain. Free Radical Biology Medcine 90:126-32.
  7. Wu, X.M., Liu, Y., Qian, Z.M., Luo, Q.Q. & Ke, Y.*(2016). CX3CL1/CX3CR1 Axis Plays a Key Role in Ischemia-Induced Oligodendrocyte Injury via p38MAPK Signaling Pathway. Molecular Neurobiology 53(6):4010-8.
  8. Xu, L.H., Xie, H., Shi, Z.H., Du, L.D., Wing, Y.K, Li, A.M., Ke, Y.* & Yung, W.H.* (2015). Critical Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Deficits in Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 23(9):695-710.
  9. Du, F., Qian, Z.M., Luo, Q., Yung, W.H. & Ke, Y.* (2015). Hepcidin suppresses brain iron accumulation by downregulating iron transport proteins in iron-overloaded rats. Molecular Neurobiology. 2015 52(1):101-14.
  10. Huang, X.T., Qian, Z.M., He, X., Gong, Q., Wu, K.C., Jiang, L.R., Lu, L.N., Zhu, Z.J., Zhang, H.Y., Yung, W.H. & Ke, Y.*(2014). Reducing iron in the brain: a novel pharmacological mechanism of Huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging 35(5):1045-54.
  11. Li, Q., Qian, Z.M., Arbuthnott, G.W., Ke, Y.* & Yung, W.H.* (2013). Cortical Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation: Implications for Pathogenesis and Treatment of Parkinson's Disease. JAMA Neurology 71:100-103 (Editorial highlight)
  12. Li, Q., Ke, Y.*, Chan, D.C.W., Qian, Z.M., Yung, K.K.L., Ko, H., Arbuthnott, G.W. & Yung, W.H.* (2012). Therapeutic deep brain stimulation in parkinsonian rats directly influences motor cortex. Neuron 76:1030-1041 (Highlighted in 'Nature Reviews Neuroscience' and 'Nature China')
  13. Yang, L., Fan, M., Du, F., Gong, Q., Bi, Z.G., Zhu, Z.J., Zhu, L.L. & Ke, Y.* (2012). Hypoxic preconditioning increases iron transport rate in astrocytes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease 1822(4):500-8.
  14. Du, F, Qian, Q., Qian, Z.M., Wu, X.M., Xie, H., Yung, W.H. & Ke, Y.* (2011). Hepcidin directly inhibits transferrin receptor 1 expression in astrocytes via a cyclic AMP-protein kinase a pathway. GLIA 59(6):936-45.
  15. Wu, X.M., Qian, Z.M., Zhu, L., Du, F., Yung, W.H., Gong, Q. & Ke, Y.* (2011). Neuroprotective effect of ligustilide against ischemia-reperfusion injury via up-regulation of erythropoietin and down-regulation of RTP801. British Journal of Pharmacology 164(2):332-43.
  16. Du, F., Zhu, L., Qian, Z.M., Wu, X.M., Yung, W.H. & Ke, Y.* (2010). Hyperthermic preconditioning protects astrocytes from ischemia/reperfusion injury by up-regulation of HIF-alpha expression and binding activity. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease 1802:1048-1053.
  17. Zhao, L., Qian, Z.M., Zhang, C., Yung, W.H., Du, F. & Ke, Y.* (2008). Amyloid beta-peptide 31-35-induced neuronal apoptosis is mediated by caspase-dependent pathways via cAMP-dependent protein kinase A activation. Aging Cell 7(1):47-57.
  18. Wang, Q., Du, F., Qian, Z.M., Ge, X.H., Zhu, L., Yung, W.H., Yang, L. & Ke, Y.* (2008). Lipopolysaccharide induces a significant increase in expression of iron regulatory hormone hepcidin in the cortex and substantia nigra in rat brain. Endocrinology 149(8): 3920-3925.
  19. Ke, Y. & Qian, Z.M. (2007). Brain iron metabolism: neurobiology and neurochemistry. Progress in Neurobiology 83(3):149-173.
  20. Ke, Y. & Qian, Z.M. (2003). Iron misregulation in the brain: a primary cause of neurodegenerative disorders. Lancet Neurology 2(4):246-253.