Dr Mingliang He (何明亮博士)

BS (Sichuan University)
PhD (The Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry)
Postdoc (Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis)

Assistant Head (Research) and Associate Professor

Dr Mingliang He

Contact Information

Office: 1A-202, 2/F, Block 1,
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-4492
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: minglihe@cityu.edu.hk
Web: CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • Anticancer
  • Antiviral
  • Signal Transduction
  • Biomarker
  • Drug Development
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress
  • Innate Immune Response

Dr He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Sichuan University (Biochemistry). After graduation in 1988, he worked as an engineer in a pharmaceutical factory in Chongqin. He obtained his PhD degree from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry (and Cell Biology) in 1995. He obtained his postdoctoral training in Roswell Park Cancer Institute at Buffalo (1995–1997) and Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis in USA (1997–2000). He joined The University of Hong Kong (Institute of Molecular Biology) as Research Assistant Professor in 2000. After SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003, He was appointed as Associate Professor (2005–2011) and Research Associate Professor (2011–2015, Policy Change) at Stanley Ho Center for Emerging Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He joined Department of Biomedical Sciences at City University of Hong Kong in February 2015.

Honorary Position

Guest Professor:

  • Peking University (School of Basic Medical Sciences)
  • Sichuan University (West China College of Preclinical Medicine and Forensic Medicine)
  • Xuzhou Medical University

Editorial Board Member

  • Scientific Reports, UK (Nature Publishing Group) IF=4.269
  • American Journal of Cancer Research, USA IF=3.264

Organizing International Conference

Virology Congress 2017: World Congress on Virology & Infectious Diseases | Virology

Key word: anticancer, antiviral, signaling transduction, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, innate immune response


National Basic Science Development Program of China (973), National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), General Research Fund (GRF) of HKSAR, Innovative Technology Fund of HKSAR, Research Fund for Infectious Diseases (RFCID) of HKSAR, AIDS Trust Fund (HKSAR), Fund of The Science Technology and Innovation Committee of Shenzhen Municipality.

Position Availability

Postgraduate Students are welcome to join our research team. Scholarships are available, including Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, University Scholarship, and Interdisciplinary PhD Programme in Veterinary Medicine. Interested candidates please send your CV and a summary of past research experience to Dr He (email: minglihe@cityu.edu.hk).

Research Interests

  • Cancer Biology: Mechanisms of carcinogenesis (hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, colon cancer)
  • Virology: Mechanisms of human diseases caused by virus infection (Hepatitis B virus, enterovirus 71, Zika virus)
  • Drug development: target-based or common antiviral/anticancer drugs

Common diseases such as cancers and infectious diseases are major challenges for public health and great economic burden of societies. There are approximately 15 million new cancer cases and 8 million cancer-related deaths annually with constant increasing numbers in the last decade. Every individual is affected by some pathogens from time to time in his/her life; and infectious Diseases caused by pathogen invasion kill at least 5 million people worldwide every year (http://www.who.int/mediacentre). Accompanied with economic globalization, infectious diseases spread rapidly from one place to other countries that may cause pandemic infections and high mortalities. Virus (such as hepatitis virus, Ebola virus, human immunodeficient virus, influenza virus, enterovirus) infections cause a variety of human infectious diseases and cancers. However, there is no common drug against these viruses. Research on cancer and virus would facilitate us to discover new biomarkers for early and accurate diagnosis, to identify new targets for drug development and to develop new prevention strategies.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is one of the major and fast responses of living cells to exogenous and endogenous insults. Recent studies have highlighted ER stress response because the unfolded protein response (UPR) by expanding its protein-folding capacity adapts to minimize the harmful effects of accumulated misfolded proteins under both physiological and pathological conditions, and therefore eliciting protective processes such as autophagy, antioxidant responses, innate immune response and inflammatory response. They are key processes not only for limiting and eradicating pathogen invasions, but for inducing cancers and other diseases as well. Severe ER stress elicits cell death to protect unreversed damage of organs in the body, while low levels of ER stress is beneficial to cells by stimulating UPR for cells adapt to subsequent lethal insults. Up to now, our knowledge on these complicated stress response networks remains very limited. We are trying to figure out how virus stimulates and regulates these stress response, to identify new diagnostic markers and drug targets. In addition, we are also interested in developing new drugs against viral infections and human cancers.

Exo- or Endo- stress signal (e.g. virus invasion)


  • Inhibition of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication by RNA interference (US patent No. 7,067,249)
  • Gene Therapy of HBV Infection Via Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Mediated Long Term Expression of Small Hairpin RNA (shRNA).(U.S. patent No. 20070027099 A1).
  • Inhibition of SARS-associated coronavirus infection and replication by RNA interference (US patent No.7,129,223)
  • Synthetic peptide targeting critical sites on the SARS-associated coronavirus spike protein responsible for viral infection and method of use there of (US Patent 7,491,489)
  • 抗腫瘤的核酸與多肽及其應用 (中國專利號: 201010110980.2)

Lab Members

Principle Investigator (PI): Dr HE Mingliang
Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. DONG Liang
Dr. LV Xiaoming
Research Assistant: CHEN Ying Joy
PhD Students: SONG Dan (CityU-Cornell University Joint Program)
WAN Qianyan (CityU-Cornell University Joint Program)
DAN Xuelian
LI Huang Can
ZHOU Fanghang
LI Yichen
FENG Zhuoying
FALETI Oluwasijibomi Damola

Previous Staffs:
Prof. LI Zhi (postdoctoral fellow, now Shann Xi Normal University)
Dr JIANG Bingfu (postdoctoral fellow)
Ms DONG Qi (Senior Research Assistant)
Ms ZHENG Ying (Visitor)
Ms ZHAO Tingting (Visitor)

Graduated students:
Prof. ZHAO Jin (Shenzhen CDC)
Prof. LU Jing (Guangdong CDC)
Prof. LIU Zheng (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Tianjing Union Medical College)
Dr. DONG Qingmin (University of Tennessee)
Dr. MEN Ruotin (Faculty member in Sichuan University)
Dr. YI Lina (Guangdong CDC)

Selected Publications (out of 120, * corresponding author, # co-first author)

  1. Dong L., Lyu X, Faleti OD, He ML*. The special stemness functions of Tbx3 in stem cells and cancer development. Seminars in Cancer Biolol. DOI: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2018.09.010
  2. Dong L, Dong Q, Chen Y, Li Y, Zhang B, Zhou F, Lyu X, Chen GG, Lai P, Kung HF, He M.L.* Novel HDAC5 interacting motifs of Tbx3 are essential for suppressing E-cadherin expression and promoting metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy Aug 2018, 3: 22. doi: 10.1038/s41392-018-0025-6. eCollection 2018. (Nature Publish Group)
  3. Zhao T, Xu Z, Gu D, Huo X , … , He ML*, Chen J* The effects of polymorphisms in one-carbon metabolism pathways on survival of gastric cancer patients received fluorouracil-based adjuvant therapy. Sci. Rep. 2016 Jul 6:28019; doi:10.1038/srep28019.
  4. Li C, Ip KW, Man WL, Song D, He ML, Yiu SM, Lau TC, Zhu G Cytotoxic (salen)ruthenium(III) anticancer complexes exhibit different modes of cell death directed by axial ligands. Chemical Science Oct. 2017 8(10) : 6865-70. DOI: 10.1039/C7SC02205K
  5. He Y, Zou L, Chong MKC, …, Zhou Y*, He ML*, Wang MH* Genetic Evolution of Human Enterovirus A71 Subgenotype C4 in Shenzhen, China, 1998-2013. J. Infection 2016 72(6) 731-737.
  6. Hu JJ, Song W, Zhang SD, …, He ML*, Fan H* HBx-upregulated lncRNA UCA1 promotes cell growth and tumorigenesis by recruiting EZH2 and repressing p27Kip1/CDK2 signaling Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 24; 6:23521. doi: 10.1038/srep23521.
  7. Wang M , Dong Q, Wang H, …, Xu HX* He ML* Oblongifolin M, an active compound isolated from a Chinese Medical herb Garcinia oblongifolia, potently inhibits Enterovirus 71 reproduction through downregulation of ERp57. Oncotarget 2016. Feb 1. 7(8) 8797-8808.
  8. Wu C, Wang MH, Lu X, …, Zhang R*, He ML* Concurrent epidemics of influenza A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm in Southern China: A serial cross-sectional study. J Infection 2016 March 1, 72(3): 369-371.
  9. Zhao T, Gu D, Xu Z, …, He ML*, Chen J* Polymorphisms in One-carbon Metabolism Pathway Affect Survival of Gastric Cancer Patients: Large and Comprehensive Study. Oncotarget 2015 Apr 20;6(11):9564-76.
  10. Lu J, Zhao FP, Peng Z, …, He ML*, Li XP* EZH2 promotes angiogenesis through inhibition of miR-1/Endothelin-1 axis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Oncotarget 2014 Nov 30; 5(22):11319-32.
  11. Lu J, Yi L, Ke C, …, He ML* The Interaction between Human Enteroviruses and Type I IFN Signaling Pathway. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2015 Jun; 41(2): 201-7.
  12. Bao Zhang, Xianbo Wu, Keyong Huang, Ling Li, Li Zheng, Chengsong Wan, Ming-Liang He*, Wei Zhao* The variations of VP1 protein might be associated with nervous system symptoms caused by enterovirus 71 infection. BMC Infectious Diseases 2014 May 7;14(1):243.
  13. He L, Zhao J, Wang MH, …, Yang ZR*, He ML* Interleukin-27 is differentially associated with HIV viral load and CD4+ T cell counts in therapy-naïve HIV-mono-infected and HIV/HCV-co-infected Chinese. PLOS One 2014 May 9(5): e96792.
  14. Yi L, Zhao J, Lu J, Chen Y, …, Yang Z*, He ML* Gene expression profiling of CD4+ T cells in treatment-naive HIV, HCV mono- or co-infected Chinese. Virol J. 2014 Feb 13; 11(1):27.
  15. Lu J, Xu X, Liu X, …, He ML, Li XP Predictive value of miR-9 as a potential biomarker for nasopharyngeal carcinoma metastasis Brit J Cancer. 2014 Jan 21;110(2):392-8.
  16. Cheng XW#, Tan Y#, He ML#, Lam TTY, et al. Epidemiological dynamics and phylogeography of influenza in southern China J. Infect. Dis. 2013 Jan; 207(1):106-14.
  17. Liu X.#, Lu J.#, He M.L#, Li Z., Zhang B., Zhou L.-H., Li Q., Li G., Peng Y., Li X.-P. (2012) Antitumor effects of interferon-alpha on cell growth and metastasis in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Current Cancer Drug Targets 2012 Jun 1;12(5):561-70.
  18. He ML*, Luo XM, Lin MC, Kung HF (2012) MicroRNAs: potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma. BBA-reviews on Cancer 2012 Jan;1825(1):1-10.
  19. Yi L, Lu J, Kung HF, He ML* The virology and developments towards control of human enterovirus 71. Crit. Rev. in Microbiol. 2011 37(4):313-27.
  20. Zhang JF, He ML, Fu WM, et al. (2011) Primate-specific miRNA-637 Inhibits Tumorigenesis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma by disrupting Stat3 signaling. Hepatology 2011 Dec;54(6):2137-48.
  21. Lu J, He ML*, Wang L, et al. (2011) MiR-26a inhibits cell growth and tumorigenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma through repression of EZH2. Cancer Research 71(1): 225-233.
  22. Yi L, He Y, Chen Y, Kung HF, He ML* (2011) Potent Inhibition of Human Enterovirus 71 Replication by Type I Interferon Subtypes. Antiviral Therapy 16(1):51-8.
  23. Cheng XW, Lu J, Wu CL, …, He ML* (2011) Three fatal cases of pandemic 2009 influenza A virus infection in Shenzhen are associated with cytokine storm. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 175(1):185-187.
  24. He ML*, Chen Y, Chen Q, et al. (2011) Multiple gene dysfunctions lead to high cancer-susceptibility: evidences from a whole-exome sequencing study. American Journal of Cancer Research 1(4):562-573.
  25. Yi L, Lu J, Kung HF, He ML* The virology and developments towards control of human enterovirus 71. Crit. Rev. in Microbiol. 2011 37(4):313-27.
  26. Zhao J, Cai WD, Chen L, …, Wang XR*, He ML* (2011) A comparison of HIV infection and related risks among male sex workers in different venues in Shenzhen, China. AIDS and Behavior 15(3):635-42.
  27. Lu J, Li XP, Dong Q, Kung HF, He ML* (2010) TBX2 and TBX3, the special value for anticancer targets. BBA-reviews on Cancer 1806(2): 268-274.
  28. Ma Y, Yu J, …, Cheng CHK, He ML* (2009) Glucose-Regulated Protein 78 Is an Intracellular Antiviral Factor against Hepatitis B Virus Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 8: 2582-2594.
  29. Liang B#, He ML#, Chan CY, et al. (2009) The Use of Folate-PEG-grafted-hybranched-PEI Nonviral Vector for the Inhibition of Glioma Growth In The Rat. Biomaterials 30(23-24):4014-20.
  30. Dong Q, Liu Z, …, Sung JJY, He ML* (2009) High Level Virion Production and Surface Antigen Expression with 1.5 Copies of Hepatitis B Viral Genome J Virol. Methods 159(2):135-40.
  31. Zhi Li#, Ming-Liang He#*, Hong Yao#, et al. (2009) Inhibition of HBV replication and gene expression in vitro and in vivo with a single AAV vector delivering two shRNA molecules. BMB reports 42(1): 59-64.
  32. Li G, Zhang XA, Wang H, …, He ML, and Kung HF* (2009) Comparative proteomic analysis of mesenchymal stem cells derived from human bone marrow, umbilical cord, and placenta: implication in the migration. Proteomics 9(1):20-30.
  33. Dong Q, Xu B, Tan Y, …, He ML* (2009) The genetic variability of MDR1 C3435T polymorphisms in four Southern Chinese populations. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 63(9):658-662.
  34. Dong Q, Chan HLY, …, Sung JJY, Ming-Liang He* (2008) A1762T/G1764A Mutations of Hepatitis B virus, Associated with the Increased Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Reduce Basal Core Promoter Activities. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 374(4):773-6.
  35. Liang B#, He ML#, Xiao ZP, et al. (2008) Synthesis and characterization of folate-PEG-grafted-hyperbranched-PEI for tumor-targeted gene delivery. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 367(4):874-880.
  36. Li Z, Yao H, Ma Y, Dong Q, …, Kung HF, He ML* (2008) Inhibition of HBV gene expression and replication by stably expressed interferon-α1 via adeno-associated viral vectors J. Gen. Med. 10(6):619-27.
  37. Shen Z, Yang ZF, Gao Y, Li JC, Chen HX, Liu CC, Poon RT, Fan ST, Luk JM, Sze KH, Li TP, Gan RB, He ML, Kung HF, Lin MC. (2008) The Kringle 1 Domain of Hepatocyte Growth factor has antiangiogenic and antitumor Cell effects on Hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Research 68(2): 404-414.
  38. Yang N, Tanner JA, Zheng BJ, Rory M. Watt, Ming-Liang He, Lin-Yu Lu, Jie-Qing Jiang, Ka-To Shum, Yong-Ping Lin, Kin-Ling Wong, Marie C. M. Lin, Hsiang-Fu Kung, Hongzhe Sun*, and Jian-Dong Huang* (2007) Bismuth Complexes Inhibit the SARS Coronavirus. Angew. Chem.-Int. Edit. 46: 6464-6468.
  39. Ng SSM, Cheung YT, An XM, Chen YC, Li M, Li GHY, Cheung W, Sze J, Lai L, Peng Y, Xia HHX, Wong BCY, Leung SY, Xie D, He ML, Kung HF*, Lin MC* (2007) Cell cycle related kinase, a novel candidate oncogene in human glioblastoma JNCI – Journal of The National Cancer Institute 99:936-948.
  40. Tong K, He ML, Lin CK, Guo L, Kung HF, Sung JJ, Lee SS (2006) The implications of a high allelic frequency of CYP2B6 G516T in ethnic Chinese. Clin. Infect. Dis. 43, 541-542.
  41. He ML*, Zheng BJ*, Chen Y, Wong KL, Huang JD, Lin MC, Peng Y, Yuen KY, Sung JJY, Kung HF (2006) Kinetics and synergistic effects of siRNAs targeting structural and replicase genes of SARS-associated coronavirus. FEBS Lett 580 (10):2414-2420.
  42. Zheng B#, He ML#, Wong KL, Lum CT, Poon LLM, Peng Y, Guan Y, Lin MCM, Kung HF (2004) Potent Inhibition of SARS-Associated Coronavirus (SCoV) Infection and Replication by Type I Interferons (IFNα/β) but not by Type II Interferon (IFNγ) J. Interferon Cytokine Res. 24, 388-390.
  43. Chen Y, Sze J, He ML* (2004) HBV cccDNA in the patients’ sera is an indicator for HBV reactivation and an early signal of liver damage. World J. Gastroenter. 10: 82-85.
  44. He ML, Zheng B, Peng Y, Peiris JSM, Poon LLM, Yuen KY, Lin MC, Kung HF; Guan Y (2003) Inhibition of SARS-Associated Coronavirus Infection and Replication by RNA Interference. JAMA-J AM MED ASSOC 290: 2665-2666.
  45. Chen Y, Du D, Wu J, Chan CP, Tan Y, Kung HF, He ML* (2003) Inhibition of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication by stably-expressed shRNA Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 311, 398-404.
  46. Chen Y, Zhao M, Li ZP, He ML* (2002) The function of the nuclear matrix attachment region of silkworm rDNA as an autonomously replicating sequence in plasmid and chromosomal replication origin in yeast. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 299, 723-729.
  47. Lau GK, He ML, Fong DYY, Fong DY, Bartholomeusz A, Au WY, Lie AK, Locarnini S, Liang R (2002) Pre-emptive use of lamivudine reduces hepatitis B exacerbation after allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation. Hepatology, 36, 702-709.
  48. He ML*, Wu J, Chen Y, Lin MC, Lau GK, Kung HF (2002) A new and sensitive method for the quantification of HBV cccDNA by real-time PCR. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 295, 1102-1107.
  49. He ML, Wen L, Campbell C, Wu J, Rao Y (1999) Transcription Repression by Xenopus ET and its human ortholog TBX3, a gene involved in ulnar-mammary syndrome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96, p10212-10217.