Professor Dennis Lo
Professor Rossa Chiu
Professor Allen K C Chan
Professor Nelson Tang
Professor Chun Kwok Wong
Professor Hao Sun
Professor Kathy Lui
Professor Peiyong Jiang
Professor Jacky Lam
Professor Masashi Yukawa
Professor Chun Kit Choi
Professor Jason Liao
Professor Christopher Lam
Professor Nirmal Panesar
Dr Michael H M Chan
Dr Angel Chan
Dennis Lo 盧煜明
Professor of Chemical Pathology
Dennis Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Dennis Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford.
Following his training at Oxford, he was appointed as the University Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry and Honorary Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Oxford Clinical School. He was also a Fellow at Green College, Oxford.
Dennis Lo returned to Hong Kong in 1997. In the same year, he discovered the presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma. His group has since remained at the forefront of this field. His group was the first to report the presence of cell-free fetal RNA and fetal epigenetic markers in maternal plasma and pioneered the use of such markers for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Dennis Lo and his colleagues were also the first to show that cell-free fetal nucleic acids in maternal plasma could be used for the noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal trisomy 21 and had devised multiple solutions for this hitherto difficult diagnostic problem, including methods based on plasma RNA-SNP allelic ratios, plasma epigenetic markers, digital PCR and massively parallel DNA sequencing. With the use of massively parallel sequencing and the development of novel bioinformatics strategies, Dennis Lo's group succeeded at deciphering a genome-wide genetic map of the fetus through the analysis of the small amounts of fragmented DNA floating in the blood of pregnant women. This scientific achievement lays the foundation for developing non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests for multiple genetic diseases in a non-invasive way.
In the area of cancer detection, Dennis Lo has pioneered a number of approaches to cancer liquid biopsy, especially for the detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and genomewide approaches for screening multiple types of cancer.
In recognition of his work, Dennis Lo has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine in 2014, the Future Science Prize - Life Science Prize in 2016 and the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, as a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2013 and as a Founding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong in 2015.



Translational Biomedicine


Press conference on December 9, 2010: CUHK researchers decode fetal genomic map from maternal blood
(Lo et al Sci Transl Med 2010;2:61ra91).
Selected publications:
Chan RWY, Serpas L, Ni M, Volpi S, Hiraki LT, Tam LS, Rashidfarrokhi A, Wong PCH, Tam LHP, Wang Y, JIang P, Cheng ASH, Peng W, Han DSC, Tse PPP, Lau PK, Lee WS, Magnasco A, Buti E, Sisirak V, AlMutairi N, Chan KCA, Chiu RWK, Reizis B, Lo YMD (2020). Plasma DNA Profile Associated with DNASE1L3 Gene Mutations: Clinical Observations, Relationships to Nuclease Substrate Preference, and In Vivo Correction. American Journal of Human Genetics 107(5):882-894.
Han DSC, Ni M, Chan RWY, Chan VWH, Lui KO, Chiu RWK, Lo YMD (2020). The biology of cell-free DNA fragmentation and the roles of DNASE1, DNASE1L3, and DFFB. American Journal of Human Genetics 106(2):202-214.
Lam WKJ, Jiang P, Chan KCA, Cheng SH, Zhang H, Peng W, Tse OYO, Tong YK, Gai W, Zee BCY, Ma BBY, Hui EP, Chan ATC, Woo JKS, Chiu RWK, Lo YMD (2018). Sequencing-based counting and size profiling of plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA enhance population screening of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115(22):E5115-E5124.
Sun K, Jiang P, Wong AIC, Cheng YKY, Cheng SH, Zhang H, Chan KCA, Leung TY, Chiu RWK, and Lo YMD (2018). Size-tagged preferred ends in maternal plasma DNA shed light on the production mechanism and show utility in noninvasive prenatal testing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115(22):E5106-E5114.
Tsang JCH, Vong JSL, Ji L, Poon LCY, Jiang P, Lui KO, Ni YB, To KF, Cheng YKY, Chiu RWK, Lo YMD (2017). Integrative single-cell and cell-free plasma RNA transcriptomics elucidates placental cellular dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(37): E7786-E7795.
Chan KCA, Woo JKS, King A, Zee BCY, Lam WKJ, Chan SL, Chu SWI, Mak C, Tse IOL, Leung SYM, Chan G, Hui EP, Ma BBY, Chiu RWK, Leung SF, van Hasselt AC, Chan ATC, Lo YMD (2017). Analysis of Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA to Screen for Nasopharyngeal Cancer. N Engl J Med 377(6):513-522.
Jiang P, Chan CWM, Chan KCA, Cheng SH, Wong J, Wong VWS, Wong GLH, Chan SL, Mok TSK, Chan HLY, Lai PBS, Chiu RWK, Lo YMD (2015). Lengthening and shortening of plasma DNA in hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(11):E1317-E1325.
Yu SCY, Chan KCA, Zheng YWL, Jiang P, Liao GJW, Sun H, Akolekar R, Leung TY, Go ATJI, van Vugt JMG, Minekawa R, Oudejans CBM, Nicolaides KH, Chiu RWK, Lo YMD (2014). Size-based molecular diagnostics using plasma DNA for noninvasive prenatal testing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(23):8583-8588.
Lo YMD, Chan KCA, Sun H, Chen EZ, Jiang P, Lun FMF, Zheng YW, Leung TY, Lau TK, Cantor CR, Chiu RWK (2010). Maternal plasma DNA sequencing reveals the genome-wide genetic and mutational profile of the fetus. Sci Transl Med 2:61ra91.
Lo YMD, Lun FMF, Chan KCA, Tsui NBY, Chong KC, Lau TK, Leung TY, Zee BC, Cantor CR, Chiu RWK (2007). Digital PCR for the molecular detection of fetal chromosomal aneuploidy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:13116-13121.
Ng EKO, Tsui NBY, Lau TK, Leung TN, Chiu RWK, Panesar NS, Lit LCW, Chan KW, Lo YMD (2003). mRNA of placental origin is readily detectable in maternal plasma. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100(8):4748-4753.
Lo YMD, Chan LYS, Lo KW, Leung SF, Zhang J, Chan ATC, Lee JC, Hjelm NM, Johnson PJ, Huang DP (1999). Quantitative analysis of cell-free Epstein-Barr virus DNA in plasma of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Cancer Res 59:1188-1191.
Lo YMD, Zhang J, Leung TN, Lau TK, Chang AM, Hjelm NM (1999). Rapid clearance of fetal DNA from maternal plasma. Am J Hum Genet 64:218-224.
Lo YMD, Tein MS, Lau TK, Haines CJ, Leung TN, Poon PM, Wainscoat JS, Johnson PJ, Chang AM, Hjelm NM (1998). Quantitative analysis of fetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum: implications for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Am J Hum Genet 62:768-775.
Lo YMD, Hjelm NM, Fidler C, Sargent IL, Murphy MF, Chamberlain PF, Poon PM, Redman CW, Wainscoat JS (1998). Prenatal diagnosis of fetal RhD status by molecular analysis of maternal plasma. N Engl J Med 339:1734-1738.
Lo YMD, Corbetta N, Chamberlain PF, Rai V, Sargent IL, Redman CW, Wainscoat JS (1997). Presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum. Lancet 350:485-487.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong