Staff Profile – Dr CHU Wai Kit 朱偉傑助理教授


Dr CHU Wai Kit 朱偉傑助理教授

BSc, MPhil (CUHK), DPhil (Oxon)

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Office tel.: (852) 3943 5860
Fax no.: (852) 2715 9490


Dr Chu graduated in Molecular Biotechnology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004 and completed his DPhil research program at the University of Oxford in 2010, followed by 4-year post-doctoral research in the University of Copenhagen.

In 2015, Dr Chu was appointed as the Assistant Professor in Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

The academic interests of Dr Chu focus in gene functions in various eye diseases as well as developing novel treatments for these diseases. Dr Chu’s earlier work established molecular roles for helicases BLM and FBH1 in preserving genome stability.

Dr Chu is currently a journal editor of Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology. He also serves as reviewers of multiple journals such as Scientific Reports, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research, BioMed Research International and Disease Models & Mechanisms. Dr Chu is also an active member of Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and serves as the Secretary of the Visual Sciences Program of the 31st APAO Annual Congress in 2016.

Research Interests

  1. Ocular inflammation: Uveitis is a group of diseases characterized by intraocular inflammation. I am currently developing novel treatments for uveitis.
  2. Thyroid-associated orbitopathy (TAO): Patients with TAO have expanded fibrotic orbital tissues. If left untreated, TAO would lead to double vision and optic nerve compression. I am studying the disease mechanisms of TAO.
  3. Mitotic defects in eye diseases: Mitosis is a cell cycle stage that chromosomes in a nucleus are separated into two daughter nuclei. Defective mitosis would lead to genome instability. I am studying how mitotic defects lead to eye diseases.
  4. Retinoblastoma: Retinoblastoma cells have lower levels of apoptotic cell death. I am exploring pathways that could induce apoptosis to restrict the uncontrolled cell growth in retinoblastoma.
  5. Pterygium: Pterygium is an abnormally growing tissue invading onto the cornea. I am investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of pterygium development.

Representative Publications

  1. Li, J., Chu WK. An experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis model and intraocular inflammation. Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology. 20, 7.
  2. Chen LJ, Ma L, Chu WK, Lai TY, Chen H, Brelén ME, Rong SS, Young AL, Tam PO, Zhang M, Pang CP. Identification of PGF as a New Gene for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Chinese Population. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr;57(4):1714-20.
  3. Rong SS, Tang FY, Chu WK, Ma L, Yam JC, Tang SM, Li J, Gu H, Young AL, Tham CC, Pang CP, Chen LJ. Genetic Associations of Primary Angle-Closure Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ophthalmology. 2016 Jun;123(6):1211-21.
  4. Chu WK, Payne MJ, Beli P, Hanada K, Choudhary C, Hickson ID. FBH1 influences DNA replication fork stability and homologous recombination through ubiquitylation of RAD51. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 14;6:5931.
  5. Fugger K, Mistrik M, Neelsen KJ, Yao Q, Zellweger R, Kousholt AN, Haahr P, Chu WK, Bartek J, Lopes M, Hickson ID, Sørensen CS. FBH1 Catalyzes Regression of Stalled Replication Forks. Cell Rep. 2015 Mar 10. pii: S2211-1247(15)00174-6.
  6. Ying S, Minocherhomji S, Chan KL, Palmai-Pallag T, Chu WK, Wass T, Mankouri HW, Liu Y, Hickson ID. MUS81 promotes common fragile site expression. Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Aug;15(8):1001-7.
  7. Fugger K, Chu WK, Haahr P, Kousholt AN, Beck H, Payne MJ, Hanada K, Hickson ID, Sørensen CS. FBH1 co-operates with MUS81 in inducing DNA double-strand breaks and cell death following replication stress. Nat Commun. 2013;4:1423.
  8. Mankouri HW, Chu WK, Hickson ID. A novel antirecombinase gains PARIty. Mol Cell. 2012 Jan 13;45(1):6-7.
  9. Chu WK, Hanada K, Kanaar R, Hickson ID. BLM has early and late functions in homologous recombination repair in mouse embryonic stem cells. Oncogene. 2010 Aug 19;29(33):4705-14.
  10. Chu WK, Hickson ID. RecQ helicases: multifunctional genome caretakers. Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Sep;9(9):644-54.