Associate Professor

B.Sc., M.Sc, Ph.D.

Telephone: 3943 1344

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

  Room 620A, 6/F., Lo Kwee Seong Integrated Biomedical Sci. Bldg, Area 39, CUHK



Prof. ZHAO Hui (趙暉) is working at the School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  He received his Bachelor Degree and Master Degree from Shandong University. He then went to Germany, and got his Ph.D. from the University of Essen, Germany.  He had his post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Child Health and Development (NICHD) before he joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2008.  Professor Zhao’s research interests cover developmental biology and cancer biology.  His laboratory studies the mechanism of neural crest differentiation, germ layer formation and cell migration, and how these multiple events affect the embryonic patterning. In the past few years, he also studied the tumorigenesis of neuroblastoma.  Recently his group utilized TALEN and Cas9 nucleases to do gene targeting in Xenopus, zebrafish, and stem cells.  He has published over 70 papers in high impact journals including PNAS, Development, EMBO Journal, Nucleic Acids Research and Journal of Biological Chemistry.  He serves as reviewers for various magazines including PNAS, Development, and Plos Biology.  His research is supported by the funds from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Hong Kong Research Grants Council.

  1. Genetic and epigenetic regulation in the neural crest formation.
  2. Molecular mechanisms of germ layer formation during early embryonic development.
  3. Gene regulation and functional genomics in neuroblastoma.
  4. Genome editing in Xenopus embryos and stem cells.
  5. Molecular mechanisms of tissue regeneration and repair.
  1. Zhang, B.N., Wong, T.C.B., Yip, Y.W.Y., Liu, Z., Wang, C., Wong, J.S.C., He, J.N., Chan, T.C.Y., Jhanji, V., Pang, C.P., Zhao, H. & Chu, W.K. (2019). A sclerocornea-associated RAD21 variant induces corneal stroma disorganization. Exp Eye Res., 185: 107687.
  2. Li, T.F., Deng, Y., Shi, Y., Tian, R.J., Chen, Y.L., Zou, L., Kazi, J.U., Rönnstrand, L., Feng, B., Chan, S.O., Chan, W.Y., Sun, J. & Zhao, H. (2018). Bruton’s tyrosine kinase potentiates ALK signaling and serves as a potential therapeutic target of neuroblastoma. Oncogene, 37: 6180-6194.
  3. Mao, C.Z., Zheng, L., Zhou, Y.M., Wu, H.Y., Xia, J.B., Liang, C.Q., Guo, X.F., Peng, W.T., Zhao, H., Cai, W.B., Kim, S.K., Park, K.S., Cai, D.Q. & Qi, X.F. (2018). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated efficient and precise targeted integration of donor DNA harboring double cleavage sites in Xenopus tropicalis. FASEB J., doi: 10.1096/fj.201800093. [Epub ahead of print].
  4. He, X.Y., Tan, Z.L., Mou, Q., Liu, F.J., Liu, S., Yu, C.W., Zhu, J., Lv, L.Y., Zhang, J., Wang, S., Bao, L., Peng, B., Zhao, H. & Zou, L. (2017). microRNA-221 enhances MYCN via targeting nemo-like kinase, and functions as an oncogene related to poor prognosis in neuroblastoma. Clin. Cancer Res., 23: 2905-2918.
  5. Liu, Z., Guo, J., Wang, Y., Weng, Z., Huang, B., Yu, M.K., Zhang, X., Yuan, P., Zhao, H., Chan, W.Y., Jiang, X. & Chan, H.C. (2017). CFTR-β-catenin interaction regulates mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation and embryonic development. Cell Death Differ., 24: 98-110.
  6. He, X., Tan, C., Wang, F., Wang, Y., Zhou, R., Cui, D., You, W., Zhao, H., Ren, J. & Feng, B. (2016). Knock-in of large reporter genes in human cells via CRISPR/Cas9-induced homology-dependent and independent DNA repair. Nucleic Acids Res., 44(9): e85.
  7. Wang, C.D., Kam, R.T.K., Shi, W.L., Xia, Y., Chen, X.F., Cao, Y., Sun, J., Du, Y., Lu, G., Chen, Z.J., 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. J. Biol. Chem., 290(36): 21925-21938.
  8. Shi, Z., Wang, F., Cui, Y., Liu, Z., Guo, X., Zhang, Y., Deng, Y., Zhao, H. & Chen, Y. (2015). Heritable CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted integration in Xenopus tropicalis. FASEB J., 29(12): 4914-4923.
  9. Shi, W. L., Xu, G., Wang, C.D., Sperber, S.M., Chen, Y.L., Zhou, Q., Deng, Y. & Zhao, H. (2015). Heat shock 70kDa protein 5 (Hspa5) is essential for pronephros formation by mediating retinoic acid signaling. J. Biol. Chem., 290(1): 577-589.
  10. Hu, J., Lei, Y., Wong, W.K., Liu, S., Lee, K.C., He, X., You, W., Zhou, R., Guo, J.T., Chen, X., Peng, X., Sun, H., Huang, H., Zhao, H. & Feng, B. (2014). Direct activation of human and mouse Oct4 genes using engineered TALE and Cas9 transcription factors. Nucleic Acids Res., 42(7): 4375-4390.
  11. Guo, X. G., Zhang, T.J., Hu, Z., Zhang, Y. Q., Shi, Z. Y., Wang, Q. H., Cui, Y., Wang, F.Q., Zhao, H. & Chen, Y.L. (2014). Efficient RNA/Cas9-mediated genome editing in Xenopus tropicalis. Development, 141: 1-8.
  12. Kam, R.K.T., Shi, W., Chan, S.O., Chen, Y., Xu, G., Lau, C.B.S., Fung, K.P., Chan, W.Y. & Zhao, H. (2013). dhrs3 attenuates the retinoic acid signaling and is required for early embryonic patterning. J. Biol. Chem., 288(44): 31477-31487.
  13. Lei, Y., Guo, X.G., Liu, Y., Cao, Y., Deng, Y., Chen, X.F., Cheng, H.K.C., Dawid, I.B., Chen, Y.L. & Zhao, H. (2012). Efficient targeted gene disruption in Xenopus embryos using engineered transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109(43): 17484-17489.
  14. Zhao, H., Han, D., Pieler, T. & Chen, Y. (2012). Hhex induced conversion of intestinal to ventral pancreatic precursor cells results in the formation of giant pancreata in Xenopus embryos. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109: 8594-8599.
  15. Kam, K.T., Deng, Y., Chen, Y.L. & Zhao, H. (2012). Retinoic acid synthesis and functions in early embryonic development. Cell and BioSci, 2: 11.
  16. Wang, C.D., Liu, Y., Chan, W.Y., Chan, S.O., Grunz, H. & Zhao, H. (2011). Characterization of three synuclein genes in Xenopus laevis. Dev. Dyn., 240(8): 2028-2033.
  17. Tanegashima, K., Zhao, H., Rebbert, M. & Dawid, I.B. (2009). Notochord differentiation requires activation of the unfolded protein response. Development, 136: 3543-3548.
  18. Zhao, H., Tanegashima, K., Ro, H. & Dawid, I. (2008). Lrig3 regulates neural crest formation in Xenopus by modulating Fgf and Wnt signaling pathways. Development, 135(7): 1283-1293.
  19. Tanegashima, K., Zhao, H. & Dawid, I. (2008). WGEF activates Rho in the Wnt-PCP pathway and controls convergent extension in Xenopus gastrulation. EMBO. J., 27(4): 606-617.
  20. Zhao, H., Cao, Y. & Grunz, H. (2003). XXBP-1, a leucine zipper transcription factor, is involved in the BMP-4 signaling pathway. Dev. Biol., 257: 278-291.
  1. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-19 to 31-Dec-2011]: "A mechanistic study on embryonic patterning mediated by Zinc finger SWIM-type containing 4 (Zswim4)-a novel mediator of BMP-Smad1/5/8 signalling axis " (HK$972,000).
  2. RGC - General Research Fund [PI; 01-Jan-18 to 31-Dec-20]: "Mechanistic studies of Kindlin-2 in mesoderm formation: Explore the mechanism of integration of mechanotransduction and chemical signal transduction in embryos" (HK$894,340).
  3. International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (中國科學院國際合作局對外合作重點項目) [PI; 01-Jan-18 to 31-Dec-19]: "Molecular Mechanism of Autophagy in Alzheimer's Disease (Total project amount awarded: RMB1,000,000/HKD1,200,740; Total amount allocated to CUHK: RMB300,000/HKD360,223) (Exchange Rate: 1.20074 as of 1 Jan 2018)" (HK$1,200,740).
  4. RGC - General Research Fund-ECS [PI; 01-Jan-15 to 30-Jun-18]: "Xbp1-Bip pathway of the physiological endoplasmic reticulum stress in pronephric kidney (pronephros) development" (HK$914,900 + HK$50,000).