University Staff

Dr. David W. CHAN hong kong university logo queen mary hosipital logo

Dr. David W. CHAN (陳衛博士)

Assistant Professor
BSc; MPhil (HK); PhD (Monash)
  • location
    Rm 748, Laboratory Block, LKS Faculty of Medicine, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam
  • telephone
  • facsimile
  • HKU Scholars Hub
Research Interests
  • Functional characterization of tumor suppressors and oncogenes and delineation of the related cellular signaling pathways such as ERK, Hedgehog and Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathways which contribute to the tumorigenesis of gynaecological malignancies. 



  • To examine the role of miRNAs in the development of chemo-resistance and metastasis in ovarian cancer.
  • To understand the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with cancer cell metabolism and tumor microenvironment in ovarian cancer.


  • Chan D.W., Hui W.W., Wang J.J., Yung M.H., Hui M.N., Qin Y.I.M.I.N.G., LIANG R., Leung T.H.Y., Xu D., Chan K.K.L., Yao K.M., Tsang B.K. and Ngan HYS, DLX1 acts as a crucial target of FOXM1 to promote ovarian cancer aggressiveness by enhancing TGF-β/SMAD4 signaling, Oncogene. 2017 Mar;36(10):1404-1416.

  • Chan D.Y.L., Lam K.K.W., Lau E.Y.L, Yeung W.S.B., Ng E.H.Y., Human varicella zoster virus is not present in the semen of a man affected by chickenpox during the in vitro fertilisation of his wife. Andrologia. 2017 Jul 3. doi: 10.1111/and.12822.

  • Mak CS, Yung MM, Hui LM, Leung LL, Liang R, Chen K, Liu SS, Qin Y, Leung TH, Lee KF, Chan KK, Ngan HY, Chan DW. MicroRNA-141 enhances anoikis resistance in metastatic progression of ovarian cancer through targeting KLF12/Sp1/survivin axis. Mol Cancer. 2017 Jan 17;16(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12943-017-0582-2.

  • Liu X, Siu KY, Liu S, Yam JWP, Ngan HYS and Chan DW. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-199b-5p is associated with acquired chemoresistance via activation of JAG1-Notch1 signaling in ovarian cancer. Oncotarget 2014, 5: 944–958.

  • Li C, Liu VWS, Chiu PM, Yao KM, Ngan HYS and Chan DW. Reduced expression of AMPK-beta1 during tumor progression enhances the oncogenic capacity of advanced ovarian cancer. Molecular Cancer 2014, 13: 49.

  • Chan KKL, Leung THY, Chan DW, Wei N, Lau TY, Liu S, Siu KY and Ngan HYS. Targeting estrogen receptor subtypes (ERalpha and ERbeta) with selective ER modulators in ovarian cancer. Journal of Endocrinology 2014, 221: 325-336.

  • Cai C, Shi L, Liu VWS, Tang WM, Liu J, Leung THY, Chan KKL, Yam JWP, Yao KM, Ngan HYS and Chan DW. Elevated TAK1 augments tumor growth and metastatic capacities of ovarian cancer cells through activation of NF-κB signaling. Oncotarget 2014, 5: 7549-62.

  • Kwan HT, Chan DW, Cai PC, Mak CS, Yung MM, Leung TH, Wong OG, Cheung AN, Ngan HY. AMPK activators suppress cervical cancer cell growth through inhibition of DVL3 mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53597. [PubMed]

  • Leung TH, Wong SC, Chan KK, Chan DW, Cheung AN, Ngan HY.The interaction between C35 and ΔNp73 promotes chemo-resistance in ovarian cancer cells. Br J Cancer. 2013 Aug 20;109(4):965-75. [PubMed]

  • Yung MM, Chan DW, Liu VW, Yao KM, Ngan HY. Activation of AMPK inhibits cervical cancer cell growth through AKT/FOXO3a/FOXM1 signaling cascade. BMC Cancer. 2013 Jul 3;13:327. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-13-327. [PubMed]

  • Chan DW, Hui WY, Cai C, Liu X, Yung MH, Mak SL, Leung THY, Chan KKL, Ngan HYS. Targeting GRB7/ERK/FOXM1 Signaling Pathway Impairs Aggressiveness of Ovarian Cancer Cells. PLoS ONE. 2012, 7: e52578. [PubMed]

  • Chan DW, Mak CS, Leung TH, Chan KK, Ngan HY. Down-regulation of Sox7 is associated with aberrant activation of Wnt/b-catenin signaling in endometrial cancer. Oncotarget. 2012 Dec;3(12):1546-56. [PubMed]

  • Chan DW, Ngan HYS. The potential molecular therapeutic approach in targeting ovarian clear cell carcinoma, Gynecology & Obstetrics. OMICS Group, 2012, 2: 1000e103. 

  • Fung FK, Chan DW, Liu VW, Leung TH, Cheung AN, Ngan HY. Increased expression of PITX2 transcription factor contributes to ovarian cancer progression. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37076. [PubMed]

  • Li C, Liu VW, Chiu PM, Chan DW, Ngan HY. Over-expressions of AMPK subunits in ovarian carcinomas with significant clinical implications. BMC Cancer. 2012 Aug 16;12:357. [PubMed]

  • Liu X, Chan DW, Ngan HYS. Mechanisms of Chemoresistance in Human Ovarian Cancer at a Glance. Gynecology & Obstetrics. 2012; 2:1000e104. [PubMed]

  • Chan DW, Liu VW, Leung LY, Yao KM, Chan KK, Cheung AN, Ngan HY. Zic2 synergistically enhances Hedgehog signalling through nuclear retention of Gli1 in cervical cancer cells. J Pathol. 2011 Dec;225(4):525-34. [PubMed]

  • Lok GT, Chan DW, Liu VW, Hui WW, Leung TH, Yao KM, Ngan HY. Aberrant activation of ERK/FOXM1 signaling cascade triggers the cell migration/invasion in ovarian cancer cells. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23790. [PubMed]

  • Wang Y, Chan DW, Liu VWS, Chiu PM, Ngan HYS. Differential functions of growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (GRB7) and its variant GRB7v in ovarian carcinogenesis, Clinical Cancer Research 2010;16:2529-39. [PubMed]

  • KY Tse, VW Liu, DW Chan, PM Chiu, KF Tam, KK Chan, XY Liao, Cheung AN, HY Ngan. Epigenetic alteration of the Metallothionein 1E gene in human endometrial carcinomas. Tumour Biol 2009; 30: 93 - 99

  • Chan DW, Yu SY, Chiu PM, Yao KM, Liu VW, Cheung AN, Ngan HY. Over-expression of FOXM1 transcription factor is associated with cervical cancer progression and pathogenesis. J Pathol. 2008 Jul;215(3):245-52. [PubMed]

  • Chan DW, Liu VW, Tsao GS, Yao KM, Furukawa T, Chan KK, Ngan HY. Loss of MKP3 mediated by oxidative stress enhances tumorigenicity and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer cells. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Sep;29(9):1742-50.  [PubMed]

Research Grants
  • Functional significance of TAK1-mediated NFkB signaling in omental metastasis of ovarian cancer. University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (UGC) Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant for Research 2013-2014 (Principal Investigator) HK$1,039,239 (2013-2016)
  • The functional impact of AMP-activated protein kinase gamma-2 (AMPK-g2) subunit expression on AMPK activity and oncogenesis in ovarian cancer. University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (UGC) Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant for Research 2011-2012 (Principal Investigator) HK$1,173,000 (2013-2015)
  • Mechanistic and functional characterization of Bitter Melon extract (BME) and its active component, MAP30, in combating ovarian cancer chemoresistance. HKU Seed Funding Programme for Basic research (Pricipal Investigator) $67,300 (2013-2015)
  • Functional Characterization of Has-miR-141, a Putative Oncogene in Promoting Anchorage-Independent Growth Ability of Ovarian Cancer Cells HKU Seed Funding Programme for Basic research (Pricipal Investigator) $67,100 (2012-2014)
  • Gynecology & Obstetrics : Editorial Board member (2010-present)
  • American Journal of Clinical Cancer Research: Senior Editorial Board member (2012-present)
Reviewer of Journals (2007-present)
  • Gastroenterology, PNAS, Cancer Res, Clin Cancer Res, J. Pathol, Carcinogenesis, PLosOne, Brit J Cancer, Int J Cancer, Liver Int,BMC Cancer, Future Oncol, FASEB J
Awards and Honors
  • The Best Poster Award - Kwan HT, Chan DW, Liu VW and Ngan HY. Metformin inhibits cell growth through reduction of Dvl3 in gynecological cancer. The 15th Research Postgraduate Symposium December 1-2, 2010 
  • The Best Oral Presentation Award - Cai CH, Chan DW and Ngan HY. Increased expression of TAK1 promotes aggressiveness of ovarian cancer. The 17th Research Postgraduate Symposium December 13-14, 2012