Doctor Chu Wai Kit

CUHK Employment

Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Associate Head, Graduate Division of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Assistant Professor Representatives to the Faculty Board of Medicine

Phone Number

+852 3943 5860

Researcher ID

Web of Science ResearcherID: F-9405-2016


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’s work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) of Hong Kong and several CUHK internal grants.

Dr Chu is currently a journal editor of Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology. He was also a former journal editor of Disease Markers. He also serves as reviewers of multiple journals such as Scientific Reports, Oncotarget, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research and American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports.

Dr Chu served as the international advisory committee of the ARVO-Asia Annual Meeting in 2017. Dr Chu is also an active member of Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and served as the Secretary of the Visual Sciences Program of the 31st and 33rd APAO Annual Congress in 2016 and 2018 respectively.


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

Research Interest

1. Retinoblastoma: Paediatric ocular cancer 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.

2. Paediatric Glaucoma: Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for glaucoma. I am studying the causes and consequences of the IOP elevation.

3. Ocular inflammation: Uveitis is a group of diseases characterized by intraocular inflammation. I am currently developing novel treatments for uveitis.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Pterygium: Pterygium is an abnormally growing tissue invading onto the cornea. I am investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of pterygium development.


Cell biology, animal study and novel technology development in ophthalmology and visual sciences.

Award and Honour

1. SH Ho Visiting Professorship Exchange Programme, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK. August 2020.

2. United College Early Career Excellence Award 2019, United College, CUHK. August 2019.

3. Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Achievement Award, March 2019.

4. Anita Mui ‘True Heart’ Charity Foundation Scholarship. 2006-2008.

5. K. P. Tin Foundation Limited Scholarship. 2006-2008.

6. China Oxford Scholarship. 2007.


1) Honorary Appointment

  • Honorary Associate Professor, Eye School / Teaching Eye Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China, 20 October 2019 to 1 September 2024.
  • Honorary Associate Professor, Joint Shantou International Eye Center of Shantou University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shantou, China, 5 January 2017 to present.
  • Honorary Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2018.

2) Editorship

  • Editorial board member, Scientific Reports, June 2019 – present.
  • Editorial board member, Disease Markers, October 2016 – November 2017.
  • Editorial board member, Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology, September 2015 – present

3) Academic Engagement

  • Supervised 6 PhD students (Graduated).
  • Currently supervising 2 PhD students and 1 MPhil student. Supervised 6 final year undergraduate students from Molecular Biotechnology, CUHK.
  • Supervised 3 undergraduate students from Medicine, CUHK. Grant Reviewer of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 2020.


Selected Publications


Five most representative publications in the recent five years:

1. Liang, W. C., Ren, J. L., Yu, Q. X., Li, J., Ng, T. K., Chu, W. K., Qin, Y. J., Chu, K. O., Schally, A. V., Pang, C. P. and Chan, S. O. (2020) Signaling mechanisms of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor in LPS-induced acute ocular inflammation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117, 6067.

2. Li, J., Yip, Y. W. Y., Ren, J., Hui, W. K., He, J. N., Yu, Q. X., Chu, K. O., Ng, T. K., Chan, S. O., Pang, C. P. and Chu, W. K. (2019) Green tea catechins alleviate autoimmune symptoms and visual impairment in a murine model for human chronic intraocular inflammation by inhibiting Th17-associated pro-inflammatory gene expression. Scientific Reports, 9, 2301.

3. Qin, Y.J., Chu, W. K., Huang, L., Ng, C. H. Y., Chan, T. C. Y., Cao, D., Yang, C., Zhang, L., Huang, S. P., Li, J., Lin, H. L., Li, W. Q., Chen, L., Schally, A. V., Chan, S. O., Zhang, H. Y. and Pang, C. P. (2018) Induction of apoptosis in pterygium cells by antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 59, 5060.

4. Li, J., Ren, J., Yip, Y. W. Y., Zhang, X., Chu, K. O., Ng, T. K., Chan, S. O., Pang, C. P. and Chu, W. K. (2017) Quantitative Characterization of Autoimmune Uveoretinitis in an Experimental Mouse Model. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 58, 4193.

5. Chu, W. K., Law, K. S., Chan, S. O., Yam, J. C. S., Chen, L. J., Zhang, H., Cheung, H. S., Block, N. L., Schally, A. V. and Pang, C. P. (2016) Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor induce apoptosis specifically in retinoblastoma cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, 14396.


Five representative publications beyond the recent five years:

1. Chu, W.K., Payne, M.J., Beli, P., Hanada, K., Choudhary, C. and Hickson, I.D. (2015) FBH1 influences replication-associated homologous recombination through ubiquitylation of RAD51. Nature Communications, 6, 5931.

2. Ying, S., Minocherhomji, S., Chan, K. L., Palmai-Pallag, T., Chu, W. K., Wass, T., Mankouri, H. W., Liu, Y. and Hickson, I. D. (2013) MUS81 promotes common fragile site expression. Nature Cell Biology, 15, 1001.

3. Fugger, K., Chu, W. K., Haahr, P., Kousholt, A. N., Beck, H., Payne, M. J., Hanada, K., Hickson, I. D. and Sørensen, C. S. (2013) FBH1 co-operates with MUS81 in inducing DNA double-strand breaks and cell death following replication stress. Nature Communications, 4, 1423.

4. Chu, W.K., Hanada, K., Kanaar, R. and Hickson, I.D. (2010) BLM has early and late functions in homologous recombination repair in mouse embryonic stem cells. Oncogene, 29, 4705.

5. Chu, W.K. and Hickson, I.D. (2009) RecQ helicases: multifunctional genome caretakers. Nature Reviews Cancer, 9, 644.


Book Chapters

1. Lu, S. Y., Tham, C. C. Y., Tam, P. S. O., Rong, S., Pang, C. C. P., Chen, G. L. J. and Chu, W. K. (2018) Glaucoma Genes in East Asian Studies. Advances in Vision Research, Volume II: Genetic Eye Research in Asia and the Pacific, 29, 357.

2. He, J., Chu, W. K., Ma, L., Pang, C. C. P. and Chen, G. L. J. (2018) Retina Genes in Chinese. Advances in Vision Research, Volume II: Genetic Eye Research in Asia and the Pacific, 17, 177.

3. Zhang, B. N., Jiang, Y., Chu, W. K., Lau, W. W. Y., Ko, S. T. C., Choy, K. W., Pang, C. C. P., Chen, G. L. J. and Yam, J. C. S. (2018) Retinoblastoma Genes in Chinese Studies. Advances in Vision Research, Volume II: Genetic Eye Research in Asia and the Pacific, 24, 297.

4. Yam, J. C. S., Lau, W. W. Y., Chu, W. K., Chen, L. J., Choy, K. W., Ko, S. T. C. and Pang, C. C. P. (2017) Molecular and Clinical Genetics of Retinoblastoma. Advances in Vision Research, Volume I: Genetic Eye Research in Asia and the Pacific, 18, 243.