Prof. Mingliang He (何明亮教授)

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)

Prof. Mingliang He

Contact Information

Office: 1A-202, 2/F, Block 1,
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-4492
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Web: CityU Scholars

Research Interests

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

Prof. 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), 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.

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 Prof. He (email:

Research Interests/Areas

  • 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 ( 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.

Lab Members

Principle Investigator (PI): Prof. HE Mingliang
Research Assistant: CHEN Ying Joy
PhD Students:

DAN Xuelian,br> SONG Dan
LI Huangcan
ZHOU Fanghang
FENG Zhuoying
LI Yichen
WAN Qianya
FALETI Oluwasijibomi Damola
WANG Xiong
WU Mandi

Previous Lab Members

Prof. LI Zhi (postdoctoral fellow, now Shann Xi Normal University)
Dr JIANG Bingfu (postdoctoral fellow)
Ms DONG Qi (Senior Research Assistant)
Dr DONG Liang (PI in Guangzhou Medical University)
Dr LV Xiaoming (PI in Nanfang Medical University)
Dr DAN Xuelian (Ph.D student, graduated; Current position: Medical doctor in Chongqin Medical University)
Dr MEN Ruotin (CUHK Ph.D student, graduated; Current position: Medical doctor in Sichuan University Huaxi Medical College)
Ms ZHENG Ying (Visitor)
Ms ZHAO Tingting (Visitor)

Editor / Editorial Membership

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

Selected Publications (out of 130, * corresponding author, # co-first author)

  1. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.08.008.
  2. He Y, Feng Z, Wang W, Chen Y, Cheng J, Meng J, Yang H, Wang Y, Yao X, Feng Q, Chen L, Zhang H, Wang MHT, Zee BCY, Wang X, He ML* Global cytokine/chemokine profile identifies potential progression prediction indicators in hand-foot-and-mouth disease patients with Enterovirus A71 infections. Cytokine. 2019 Nov;123:154765. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2019.154765.
  3. 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. doi: 10.1038/s41392-019-0037-x. eCollection 2019.
  4. 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
  5. 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. doi: 10.1038/s41392-018-0025-6. eCollection 2018. (Nature Publish Group)
  6. Dong L, Lyu X, Faleti OD, He ML* The special stemness functions of Tbx3 in stem cells and cancer development. Semin Cancer Biol. 2019 Aug;57:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2018.09.010. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 & Neurobiology175(1):185-187.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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 Behavior15(3):635-42.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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 Institute99:936-948.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.