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

Ken Lee


B.Sc., PhD., C.Biol., M.I.Biol.

Telephone:  3943 6785

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


 Rm 126A, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sci. Bldg, CUHK






Professor Lee Ka Ho Kenneth (李嘉豪) is the Chief of the Developmental and Regenerative Biology Thematic Research Program.  He is also the Director of the Joint CUHK-University of Southampton laboratory for Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine.  Educated in Scotland, he has over 35 years of research and teaching experiences, published 148 scientific papers and awarded 2 US patents.  His research interests, among which many have commercial values, include the discovery of small molecules that induce somatic cells into become pluripotent stem cells, molecular biology of embryo development, cardiac and skeletal muscles regeneration, BRE gene in stem cell and cancer biology, and drug discovery for the treatment of liver fibrosis.  In 2015, Professor Lee found a startup StapWorks Stem Cell Limited which markets a “Programin kit” for producing stem cells from human skin fibroblasts.  Stapworks’ performance was recognized by the Hong Kong Federation of Innovative Technologies and Manufacturing Industries (FITMI) and Bank of China and was a Bronze Award winner in 2015.  Professor Lee has also won many other awards including the prestigious Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship, University of Southampton.  In addition, he is a Prestigious Professor at the Chinese Academy of Science and a visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University. 

  1. Application of Small Molecules in Stem Cell Biology.
  2. Use of Small Molecules in the treatment of Liver fibrosis and heart diseases.
  3. Role of BRE gene in HUCPV stem cell biology.
  1. Pun, C.C.M., Lee, K.K.H., & Chui, Y.L. (2019). C-terminal BRE Inhibits Cellular Proliferation and Increases Sensitivity to hemotherapeutic Drugs of MLL-AF9 Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells. Leukemia & Lymphoma, In Press.
  2. Gan, J., Tang, M.K., Su, X., Lu, G., Xu, J., Lee, H.S.S., & Lee, K.K.H. (2019). microRNA-1 Inhibits Cardiomyocyte Proliferation in Mouse Neonatal Hearts by Repressing CCND1 Expression. Annals of Translational Medicine, In Press.
  3. Green, D.W., Kelly, S., Lee, K.K.H., Watson, G.S., Watson, J.A., & Jun, H.S. (2018). High-definition X-ray imaging of small gecko skin surface protuberances for digitization and 3D printing. Advanced materials: interfaces, 5(13), Article Number: 1800201 (pp.1-12).
  4. Zhang, X.T., Wang, G., Li, Y., Chuai, M., Lee, K.K.H., & Yang, X. (2018). Role of FGF signaling in neural crest cell migration during early chick embryo development. Zygote, 26(6): 457-464.
  5. Tang, C.C., Li, P.S., Wang, W.-M., Lu, G., Tare, R.S., & Lee, K.K.H. (2017). Generation of a Bag1 homozygous knockout mouse embryonic stem cell line using CRISPR/Cas9. Stem Cell Research, 21, 29-31.
  6. Yeung, C.-K., Wang, G., Yao, Y., Liang, J.-X., Chung, T.C.Y., Chuai, M., Lee, K.K.H.*, & Yang, X.* (2017). BRE modulates granulosa cell death to affect ovarian follicle development and atresia in the mouse. Cell Death & Disease, 8(3), e2697.
  7. Green, D.W., Lee, K.K.H., Watson, J.A., Kim, H.-Y., Kyung, S.-Y., Kin, E.-J., Lee, J.-M., Watson, G.S., & Jung, H.-S. (2017). High Quality Bioreplication of Intricate Nanostructures from a Fragile Gecko Skin Surface with Bactericidal properties. Scientific Reports, 7, 41023.
  8. Zhang, P., Wang, G., Lin, Z.-L., Wu, Y., Zhang, J., Liu, M., Lee, K.K.H., Chuai, M., & Yang, X. (2017). Alcohol exposure induces chick crainiofacial bone defects by negatively affecting cranial neural crest development. Toxicology Letters, 281, 53-64.
  9. Cuo, C.-C., Jin, Y.-M., Lee, K.K.H., Yang, G., Jing, C.-X., & Yang, X. (2016). The relationships between HLA class II alleles and antigens with gestational diabetes mellitus: A meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 6, 35005.
  10. Xiao, L.-H., & Lee, K.K.H. (2016). BRE facilitates skeletal muscle regeneration by promoting satellite cell motility and differentiation. Biology Open, 5(2), 100-111.
  11. Shi, W., Tang, M.K., Yao, Y., Tang, C.-C., Chui, Y.L., & Lee, K.K.H. (2016). BRE plays an essential role in preventing replicative and DNA damage induced premature senescence. Scientific Reports, 6, 23506.
  12. Gan, J., Sonntag, H.-J., Tang, M.K., Cai, D.Q., & Lee, K.K.H. (2015). Integrative Analysis of the Developing Postnatal Mouse Heart Transcriptome. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0133288.
  13. He, Y.Q., Li, Y., Wang, X.Y., He, X.D., Li, J., Chuai, M., Lee, K.K.H., Wang, J., Wang, L.J., & Yang, X. (2014). Dimethyl phenyl piperazine iodide (DMPP) induces glioma regression by inhibiting angiogenesis. Experimental Cell Research, 320 (2), 354-364.
  14. Lam, K.H., Gambari, R., Lee, K.K.H., Chen, Y.X., Kok, S.H.L., Wong, R.S.M., Lau, F.Y.L., Cheng, C.H., Wong, W.Y., Bian, Z.A., Chan, S.C., Tang, J.O.C., & Chui, C.H. (2014). Preparation of 8-hydroxyquinoline derivatives as potential antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 24(1), 367-370.
  15. Chui, Y.L., Ma, C.H., Li, W., Xu, Z., Yao, Y., Lin, K.Y., Chan, J.Y.H., & Lee, K.K.H. (2014). Anti-apoptotic protein BRE/BRCC45 attenuates apoptosis through maintaining the expression of caspase inhibitor XIAP in mouse Lewis lung carcinoma D122 cells. Apoptosis, 19(5), 829-840.
  16. Lam, P.L., Lu, G.L., Hon, K.M., Lee, K.W., Ho, C.L., Wang, X., Tang, J.C.O., Lam, K.H., Wong, R.S.M., Kok, S.H.L., Bian, Z., Li, H., Lee, K.K.H., Gambari, R., Chui, C.H., & Wong, R.W.Y. (2014). Development of ruthenium (II) complexes as topical antibiotics against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Dalton Transactions, 43, 3949-3957.
  17. Lam, K.H., Lee, K.K.H., Gambari, R., Kok, S.H.L., Kok, T.W., Chan, A SC, Bian, Z.X., Wong, W.Y., Wong, R.S.M., Lau, F.Y., Tong, S.W., Chan, K.W., Cheng, C.H., & Chui, C.H. (2014). Anti-tumour and pharmacokinetics study of 2-Formyl-8-hydroxy-quinolinium chloride as Galipea longiflora alkaloid analogue. Phytomedicine, 21, 877-882.
  18. Lam, P.L., Lee, K.K.H., Ho, Y.W., Wong, R.S.M., Tong, -W., Cheng, C.H., Lam, K.H., Tang, J.C.O., Bain, Z.-X., Gambari, R., Kok, S.H.L., & Chui, C.H. (2014). Development of chitosan based microcapsules as a delivery vehicle for orally administered daunorubicin. RSC Advances, 4, 14109-14114.
  19. Zhao, B.Y., Liao, Z.F., Chen, S., Yuan, Z.Q., Chen, Y.L., Lee, K.K.H., Qi, X.F., Shen, X.T., Zheng, X., Quinn, T., & Cai, D.Q. (2014). Intramyocardial transplantation of cardiac telocytes decreases myocardial infarction and improves post-infarcted cardiac function in rat. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 8(5), 780-789.
  20. Ma, Z.L., Wang, G., Cheng, X., Chuai, M., Kurihara, H., Lee, K.K.H., & Yang, X. (2014). Excess caffeine exposure impairs eye development during chick embryogenesis, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 18(6), 1134-1143.

    * Co-corresponding author
  1. Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board [PI; 01-Aug-17 to 31-Jan-19]: "Efficacy of Bioactive Tree Bark Extracts to Reverse Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis" (HK$702,094).
  2. Hong Kong Cancer Fund [PI; 01-Jul-17 to 30-Jun-19]: "Translation Application of the Tree Bark Extract for the Treatment of Human Liver Fibrosis" (HK$2,280,000).
  3. Hong Kong Cancer Fund [PI; 01-Mar-16 to 28-Feb-17]: "Translation Application of the Tree Bark Extract for the Treatment of Human Liver Fibrosis" (HK$1,500,000).
  4. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Dec-15 to 30-Nov-18]: "Effects of Conditional Knockout of the Bcl-2-associated Athanogene-1 (Bag-1) Gene on Chondrogenesis and Osteogenesis in Murine Skeletal Development" (HK$1,324,987).
  5. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-14 to 31-Dec-16]: "Functions of the Brain and Reproductive organ-Expressed (BRE) gene in mouse embryo development and gonadogenesis" (HK$848,712).