Dr CHU Wai Kit

Assistant Professor

BSc (CUHK), MPhil (CUHK), DPhil (Oxon)

Contact :

(852) 3943 5860

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Editorial board member, Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology


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 Areas

  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.

Glaucoma Subspecialty Liaison and Session Chairs

World Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Spain)

Coordinator/Secretary and Session Chairs (Glaucoma Subspecialty program)

The 33rd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Hong Kong)

International Advisory Committee

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology-Asia 2017 (Australia)

Research Programmes

  1. Regulation of apoptosis in retinoblastoma.
  2. Novel treatments for autoimmune-related uveitis.
  3. Genetic basis of corneal opacity.
  4. Pathophysiology of pterygium.
  5. Disease mechanisms of thyroid-associated orbitopathy.
  6. Autophagy and glaucoma.

Results of Note

  1. Dr Ng and his research team at CUHK used the latest imaging technology in optical coherence tomography (OCT) for non-invasive scanning of the choroid, the deep layer underlying the retina, to study the morphological changes of blood vessels in AMD and PCV patients.
  2. Characterization of the structural changes of the choroid in association with disease phenotypes and treatment responses that are imperative to the optimisation and individualization of novel medical treatments.
  3. The application of OCT-angiography to study choroidal neovascularisation and chorioretinal atrophy in pathologic myopia.
  4. Identification of the role angiopoietin-2, a cytokine associated with angiogenesis, in AMD and PCV patients.
  5. Validation of a computer-generated virtual reality training environment in cataract extraction surgery, in terms of increasing the training efficiency and improving patient safety outcomes.

Representative Publications:

  1. Ng DS, Bakthavatsalam M, Lai FH, Cheung CY, Cheung GC, Tang FY, Tsang CW, Lai TY, Wong TY, Brelén ME. Classification of Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Pachyvessels on En Face Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):1054-1062.
  2. Ma L, Brelen ME, Tsujikawa M, Chen H, Chu WK, Lai TY, Ng DS, Sayanagi K, Hara C, Hashida N, Chan VC, Tam PO, Young AL, Chen W, Nishida K, Pang CP, Chen LJ. Identification of ANGPT2 as a New Gene for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy in the Chinese and Japanese Populations. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):1076-1083.
  3. Bakthavatsalam M, Ng DS, Lai FH, Tang FY, Brelén ME, Tsang CW, Lai TY, Cheung CY. Choroidal structures in polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, neovascular age-related maculopathy, and healthy eyes determined by binarization of swept source optical coherence tomographic images. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 May;255(5):935-943.
  4. Fan H, Ma H, Gao R, Ng DS, Cheung CY, Li S, Wu D, Tang S. Associated factors for visibility and width of retrobulbar subarachnoid space on sweptsource optical coherence tomography in high myopia. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 9;6:36723.
  5. Huang Y, Huang W, Ng DS, Duan A. Risk factors for development of macular hole retinal detachment after pars plana vitrectomy for pathologic myopic foveoschisis. Retina. 2017 Jun;37(6):1049-1054.
  6. Lai FH, Ng DS, Bakthavatsalam M, Chan VC, Young AL, Luk FO, Tsang CW, Brelén ME. A Multicenter Study on the Long-term Outcomes of Half-dose Photodynamic Therapy in Chronic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy. Am J Ophthalmol. 2016 Oct;170:91-99.
  7. Ng DS, Lai TY, Ng TK, Pang CP. Genetics of Bietti Crystalline Dystrophy. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2016 Jul-Aug;5(4):245-52.
  8. Ng DS, Cheung CY, Luk FO, Mohamed S, Brelen ME, Yam JC, Tsang CW, Lai TY. Advances of optical coherence tomography in myopia and pathologic myopia. Eye (Lond). 2016 Jul; 30(7): 901-16.
  9. Ng DS, Kwok AK, Tong JM, Chan CW, Li WW. Bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration in Chinese patients in a clinical setting. Int J Ophthalmol. 2016 Mar 18; 9(3):424-30.
  10. Ng DS, Kwok AK, Tong JM, Chan CW, Li WW. Factors influencing need for retreatment and longterm visual outcome after intravitreal bevacizumab for myopic choroidal neovascularization. Retina. 2015 Dec;35(12):2457-68.

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