HE, Mingliang

HE, Mingliang (何明亮)


Postdoc (Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis)

PhD (The Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry)

BS (Sichuan University)

  • 1A-202, 2/F, Block 1, To Yuen Building
  • +852 3442-4492
  • +852 3442-0549
  • CityU Scholars
  • Anticancer • Antiviral • Signal Transduction • Biomarker • Drug Development • Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress • Innate Immune Response

Prof. He obtained his PhD degree from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry (and Cell Biology), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) 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 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.

Research Interests/Areas


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

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, influenza 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. 2019-nCoV pandemic caused health disaster worldwide without either effective prevention or treatment means. It is urgently to put more effort to investigate the underlining mechanisms of these diseases and to develop effective therapeutic drugs. 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 and therapeutic strategies.

Stress response is a common mechanism of cells upon internal and external stress stimuli including oxidative stress in tumors and virus invasion. Long term stress response would lead to varieties of physiological and pathological changes that contribute to many diseases. 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.


  • National Basic Science Development Program of China (973)
  • National Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
  • General Research Fund (GRF) of HKSAR
  • Innovative Technology Fund (ITF) 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 in collaboration with Cornell University. Interested candidates please send your CV and a summary of past research experience to Prof. He (email: minglihe@cityu.edu.hk).

Editor / Editorial Membership

  • Signal Transduction and Target Therapy (Nature Publishing Group, 2020–)
  • MedComm (Wiley, 2020–)
  • Genes & Diseases (Elsevier, 2020–)
  • American Journal of Cancer Research, USA (2011–)
  • Guest Editor:
    • Pathogens (2022–2023, MDPI)
    • Biomedicines (2022–2023, MDPI)
    • Pharmaceutics (2022–2023, MDPI)

Lab Members

PhD Students

  • CHEN Cien
  • CHEN Peiran
  • CHEN Sheng
  • FENG Yaxiu
  • HU Huan
  • WAN Qianya
  • WANG Xiong
  • WANG Yiran
  • WU Mandi

Previous Lab Members

  • Prof. LI Zhi (Postdoctoral fellow, now Shann Xi Normal University)
  • LIANG Bing (Joint PhD student, Professor, Guangzhou Medical U)
  • LU Jiuan (Joint PhD student, Associate Professor, Nanfang Med U)
  • LIU Zheng (PhD student, now Associate Professor, Chinese Medical Institute, Tianjin)
  • DONG Qingming (PhD student, Senior Research Fellow, U Tennessee, USA)
  • Prof. LV Xiaoming (Postdoc, Associate Professor, Nanfang Medical University)
  • DONG Liang (Postdoc, PI in Guangzhou Medical University)
  • Prof. MEN Ruotin (PhD student; current position: faculty member in Sichuan University Huaxi Medical College)
  • JIANG Bingfu (Postdoc)
  • DONG Qi (Senior Research Assistant)
  • Prof. DAN Xuelian (PhD student; current position: faculty member in Medical University)
  • ZHAO Jin (PhD student, now Professor, Shenzhen CDC)
  • LU Jing (PhD student, Associate Professor, Guangdong CDC)
  • YI Lina (PhD student, Associate Professor, Guangdong CDC)
  • HE Lai (PhD student, Director and CEO, Shenzhen).
  • SONG Dan (PhD student, graduated)
  • ZHOU Fanghang (PhD student, graduated)
  • FENG Zhuoying (PhD student, graduated)
  • FALETI Oluwassijibomi Damala (PhD student, postdoc in PolyU)
  • LI Yichen (PhD, 药明康德高级研究员)
  • LI Huangcan (PhD, postdoc in CUHK)

Publication with Undergraduate (UG) Students

  • Feng YX, Hu H, Wong YY (UG), Yao X*, He ML* Microneedles: An Emerging Vaccine Delivery Tool and a Prospective Solution to the Challenges of SARS-CoV-2 Mass Vaccination. Pharmaceutics 2023; 15 (5), 1349.
  • Chan W (UG), He B, Wang X, He ML* Pandemic COVID-19: current status of antiviral practice and challenges for developing highly effective antiviral therapies. Genes and Diseases, 2020 Jul 7. doi: 10.1016/j.gendis.2020.07.001.
  • Wang Y, Wu M, Li Y, Yuen HM (UG), He ML* The effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on modulating innate immunity and strategies of combating inflammatory response for COVID-19 therapy. Journal of Biomedical Science 2022 May 3; 29(27):1-19.

Publication with MSc Students

  • Feng Y, Young CH (MSc), Lau SH, He ML* Outbreak Control Management: Lessons from SARS-Coronavirus Infections in 2003 and 2020-2022 in Hong Kong, An International Municipality with High Frequency Travelers. MedComm 2022 Jul 25;3(3):e158.

Selected Publications (out of 160, * corresponding author)

  1. Deng Z, Li H, Chen S, Wang N, Liu G, Liu D, Ou W, Xu F, Wang X, Lei D, Lo PC, Li YY, Lu J, Yang M, He ML*, Zhu G* Near-Infrared-Activated anticancer platinum (IV) complexes directly photooxidize biomolecules in an oxygen-independent manner. Nature Chemistry 2023 June 22. doi:10.1038/s41557-023-01242-w.
  2. Li H#, Wang X# Wang Y#, Li Y, Chen Y, Wong TY, He J, He ML* Secreted LRPAP1 as a ligand binds and induces IFNAR1 degradation to facilitate virus evasion from innate immunity. Signal Transduc Target Ther. 2023 (In press).
  3. Chen P, Wu M, He Y, Jiang B, He ML* Metabolic alterations upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and potential therapeutic targets against coronavirus infection 2023 Signal Transduc Target Ther 2023 June 7, 8(1):237.
  4. Hu H, Feng X, He ML* Targeting Type I Interferon Induction and Signaling: How Zika Virus Escapes from Host Innate Immunity. International Journal of Biological Sciences 2023 19(10): 3015-3028.
  5. Feng YX, Hu H, Wong YY, Yao X*, He ML* Microneedles: An Emerging Vaccine Delivery Tool and a Prospective Solution to the Challenges of SARS-CoV-2 Mass Vaccination. Pharmaceutics 2023; 15 (5), 1349.
  6. Wang H, Hu L, Li H, Lai YT, Wei X, Xu X, Cao Z, Cao H, Wan Q, Chang YY, Xu A, Zhou Q, Jiang G, He ML, Sun H. Mitochondrial ATP synthase as a direct molecular target of chromium(III) to ameliorate hyperglycaemia stress. Nat Commun. 2023; 14(1):1738.
  7. Long Y, Chong T, Lyu X, Chen L, Luo X, Faleti OD, Deng S, Wang F, He ML, Qian Z, Zhao H, Zhou W, Guo X, Chen C, Li X. FOXD1-dependent RalA-ANXA2-Src complex promotes CTC formation in breast cancer. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Oct 13; 41(1):301.
  8. Li Y#; Zhang Q#; Wu M#; Zhang P; Huang L; Ai X; Yang Z; Shen Q; Yang Y; Wang P*; Zhou S*; He ML* Suppressing MDSC infiltration in tumor recruitment serves as an option for treating ovary cancer metastasis. International Journal of Biological Sciences May 24 2022, 18(9): 3697-3713.
  9. Yan Q, Duan M, Chen C, Deng Z, Wu M, Yu P, He ML* Zhu G*, Hou KN*, Sun J* Organocatalytic Discrimination of Non-Directing Aryl and Heteroaryl Groups: Enantioselective Synthesis of Bioactive Indole-Containing Thiarylmethanes Chemical Science April 2022, 13(19): 5767-5773.
  10. Feng Z, Zhou F, Tan M, Wang T, Chen Y, Xu W, Li B, Deng X*, Wang X*, He ML* Targeting m6A Modification Inhibits Herpes Virus 1 Infection. Genes & Diseases 2022 June 9, 1114-1128.
  11. Zhou F, Wan Q, Chen S, Chen Y, Wang PH, Yao X*, He ML* SARS-CoV2 NSP1 Suppresses IFNβ Expression through Interacting with and Retaining hnRNP A2/B1 Cytosol Localization Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 2021, 6:371.
  12. Li Z, Li Y, Li X, Wu M, He ML*, Sun J* Organocatalytic Asymmetric Formal Oxidative Coupling for the Construction of All-aryl Quaternary Stereocenters. Chemical Sciences 2021 July 29. 12(35): 11793-98.
  13. Wang Z, Yi B, Wu M, Lv D, He ML*, Liu M*, Yao X* Bioinspired supramolecular slippery organogels for controlling pathogen spread by respiratory droplets. Advanced Functional Materials 2021 June 19. doi.org/10.1002/adfm8.202102888
  14. Zhou F, Wan Q, Chen Y, He ML* PIM1 Kinase Facilitates Zika Virus Evasion by Suppressing Host Cells’ Natural Immunity. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 2021 Jun 2; 6(1):207.
  15. Yang L, Peltier R, Zhang M, Song D, Huang H, Chen G, Chen Y, Zhou F, Hao Q, Bian L, He ML*, Wang Z*, Hu Y*, Sun H* Desuccinylation-Triggered Peptide Self-Assembly: Live Cell Imaging of SIRT5 Activity and Mitochondrial Activity Modulation Journal of the American Chemical Society Sep 29, 2020. doi: 10.1021/jacs.0c08463
  16. Wan Q, Song D, He B, Li H, He ML* Stress proteins: the biological functions in virus infection, present and challenges for target-based antiviral drug development. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 2020 July. doi:10.1038/s41392-020-00233-4
  17. Li H, Feng Z, He ML* Lipid metabolism alteration contributes to and maintains the properties of cancer stem cells. Theranostics 2020 May 30; 10(16): 7053-7069.
  18. Zhou F, Wan Q, Lu J, Chen Y, Lu G, He ML*. Pim1 Impacts Enterovirus A71 Replication and Represents a Potential Target in Antiviral Therapy. iScience 2019 Sep 27;19:715-727.
  19. Li C, Huang L, Sun W, Chen Y, He ML*, Yue J*, Ballard H* Saikosaponin D suppresses enterovirus A71 infection by inhibiting autophagy. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2019 Feb 22; 4:4.
  20. Dan X, Wan Q, Yi L, Lu J, Jiao Y, Li H, Song D, Chen Y, Xu H, He ML*. Hsp27 Responds to and Facilitates Enterovirus A71 Replication by Enhancing Viral Internal Ribosome Entry Site-Mediated Translation. J Virol, 2019 Apr 17; 93(9). pii: e02322-18
  21. Dong L, Dong Q, Chen Y, Li Y, Zhang B, Zhou F, Lyu X, Chen GG, Lai P, Kung HF, He ML* 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.
  22. Dong Q, Men R, Dan X, Chen Y, Li H, Chen G, Zee B, Wang MHT, He ML* Hsc70 regulates the IRES activity and serves as an antiviral target of enterovirus A71 infection. Antiviral Res. 2018 Feb;150:39-46. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.11.020
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  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. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.

13 August 2023

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