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 Peter Cheung
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
Nirmal Panesar
Adjunct Associate Professor 客座副教授
Professor Panesar was born and brought up in Nairobi, Kenya. He immigrated to the UK in the late sixties, where he completed higher education obtaining his PhD from the University of Leeds. He has been teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong since 1983.
Research Interests:
Prof Panesar's research interests are centered around steroid endocrinology. Before coming to the Chinese University, he was involved in research on glucocorticoids in the treatment of leukemia. At the Chinese University he has done research on Digoxin-like immunoreactive substance (DLIS), which got him interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, particularly herbal medicine containing Ch'an Su, secretions from toads containing potent cardioactive steroids - bufadienolides. His other interest has been in the etiology of in hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), i.e. excessive vomiting during pregnancy. In this regard his interest has shifted from role of thyroid hormones to that of human chorionic gonadotropin as a secretory agent that promotes the secretion of ions, such as chloride, which may be the underlying mechanism in HG. While investigating the latter, he serendipitously found that nitrite and nitrate ions are potent inhibitors of steroid hormone synthesis, which may be the cause for tolerance in angina pectoris patients undergoing nitrate treatment. Along with other well-known endocrine disrupters, chief among which are pesticides, nitrates are now being considered as potential endocrine disrupters (see
(, whilst nitrite has recently been touted as a new intracellular signaling molecule ( These ions are now being investigated as disruptors of syntheses of other hormones e.g. thyroid hormones by other scientists. More recently he has been involved in the role of a newly discovered protein termed BRE after Brain and Reproductive Organ Expressed in steroidogenesis in Leydig cells. He is also interested in the impact of superstitious Chinese cultural beliefs on mortality. During the recent outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Hong Kong, he has written on the role played by glucocorticoids in the development of lymphopenia with letters to Editor published in The Lancet and Nature Immunology Reviews.
His other duties include working as a hospital biochemist. He has authored or co-authored over sixty scientific papers.
Selected Publications:
Panesar NS, Herries DG, Stitch SR. Effects of cyproterone and cyproterone acetate on the adrenal gland in the rat: studies in vivo and in vitro. J Endocrinol 1979;80:229-38.
Panesar NS, Bird CC, Roberts BE, Child JA. Prednisolone levels in plasma and leukemia cells during therapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Pharm Sci 1984; 73:66-8.
Panesar NS. Bufalin and unidentified substance(s) in traditional Chinese medicine cross-react in commercial digoxin assay. Clin Chem 1992;38:2155-6.
Panesar NS, Poon CW. hCG: its pancreatic and duodenal receptors and in vivo electrolyte secretion in female rats. Am J Physiol 1998;275:G1430-6.
Panesar NS, Chan KW. Decreased steroid hormone synthesis from inorganic nitrite and nitrate: studies in vitro and in vivo. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2000;169:222-30.
Panesar NS. Lymphopenia in SARS. Lancet 2003;361(9373):1985. (see also:Panesar NS. Glucocorticoid treatment of patients with SARS: implications for mechanisms of immunopathology. Nature Reviews Immunology 2006; 6:334. .
Panesar NS, Chan NC , Li SN, Lo JK, Wong VW, Yang IB, Yip EK. Is four a deadly number for the Chinese? Med J Aust. 2003;179:656-8.
Panesar NS, Chan KW. Chloride efflux in unstimulated Leydig cells causes autonomous cAMP production and stimulatory/inhibitory steroidogenesis with an efflux inhibitor. Steroids 2005;70:652-9.
Miao J, Chan KW, Chen GG, Chun SY, Xia NS, Chan JY, Panesar NS. Blocking BRE expression in Leydig cells inhibits steroidogenesis by down-regulating 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. J Endocrinol 2005;185:507-17.
Panesar NS, Chan KW. Evidence for nitrite reductase activity in intact mouse Leydig tumor cells. Steroids 2006; 71:984-92.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong