Dr Rebecca Y. M. Chin (錢玥明博士)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Harvard Medical School)
PhD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Assistant Professor

Dr Rebecca Y. M. Chin

Contact Information

Office: 1A-103, 1/F, Block 1,
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-6743
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: rebecca.chin@cityu.edu.hk
Web: Personal Homepage
CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • Personalized targeted therapy
  • PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in cancer pathogenesis
  • Therapeutic resistance
  • Tumor organoids

Dr Chin received her Bachelor of Technology’s degree (Biomedical Science) with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She completed her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology with Marshall Horwitz at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York) in 2006. With a postdoctoral fellowship from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, Dr Chin studied the signal transduction events that drive breast cancer metastasis with Alex Toker at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Dr Chin was promoted to Instructor of Pathology in 2009. In 2013, she began her career as an Assistant Professor at HMS. Her research work has garnered more than 1000 citations (Google Scholar). Dr Chin joined the City University of Hong Kong in September 2016.

Dr Chin is a recipient of a 2015 V Scholar Award. She was named an Albert Wyrick Scholar, which recognises young scientists who pioneer techniques to make breakthroughs in cancer research. Dr Chin is also a Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award (NIH K99) recipient.

Research Interests

The major goal of our lab is to elucidate signaling pathways perturbed by genetic alterations in human solid tumors. We are particularly interested in studying tumorigenesis of triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer for which there is no effective targeted therapy. Another major area of our investigation is to explore how breast cancer cells develop acquired resistance to therapies targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway. The approaches that we are taking including patient-derived tumor organoids, 3D culture, live-cell signaling dynamics, and high-throughput proteomics. The ultimate goal of our research is to develop more effective therapies with lower toxicity for cancer patients.

Current Projects

Prostate Spheroid
  • Patient-derived breast tumor organoids: genomic and functional studies for the characterization of triple negative breast cancer
  • Resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies in breast cancer
  • 3D culture for uncovering Akt isoform-specific signaling in multiple cancer contexts
  • Identification of Akt targets that regulate cancer growth, survival and metastasis

More information can be found at Dr Chin’s lab website.

Position Available

We are looking for talented graduate students and research assistants to join our group. If you are creative, enthusiastic, persevere and self-driven, we would like you to be part of our team. Experience in molecular biology / cell biology or mouse models is desirable.

PhD students are encouraged to apply through the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, Department of Biomedical Sciences PhD programme or the Interdisciplinary Programme in Veterinary Science. Interested candidates should send a statement of interest and CV to rebecca.chin@cityu.edu.hk.

Publications (* corresponding author)

  1. ​Upregulation of Akt3 confers resistance to Akt inhibitors in breast cancer.
    Stottrup C, Tsang T, Chin YR *. Mol Cancer Ther, 15:1964 (2016) PMID: 27297869
  2. PtdIns(3,4,5)P3-dependent activation of the mTORC2 kinase complex.
    Liu P, Gan W, Chin YR, Ogura K, Guo J, Zhang J, Wang B, Blenis J, Cantley LC, Toker A, Su B, Wei W. Cancer Discov, 5:1194 (2015) PMID: 26293922
  3. PTEN-deficient tumors depend on Akt2 for maintenance and survival.
    Chin YR, Yuan X, Balk SP, Toker A. Cancer Discov, 4:942 (2014) PMID: 24838891
    • Cover image of Cancer Discov Vol. 4, Num. 8 issue
  4. Targeting Akt3 signaling in triple-negative breast cancer.
    Chin YR, Yoshida T, Marusyk A, Beck AH, Polyak K, Toker A. Can Res, 74:964 (2014) PMID: 24335962
    • Highlighted as a “Very Good” finding by Arthur Mercurio: F1000Prime Biology
  5. Akt-ing up on SRPK1: Oncogene or tumor suppressor?
    Toker A, Chin YR *. Mol Cell, 54:329 (2014) PMID: 24813709
  6. RhoB differentially controls Akt function in tumor cells and stromal endothelial cells during breast tumorigenesis.
    Kazerounian S, Gerald D, Huang M, Chin YR, Udayakumar D, Zheng N, Oí’Donnell RK, Perruzzi C, Mangiante L, Pourat J, Phung T, Bravo-Nuevo A, Shechter S, McNamara S, DuHadaway J, Kocher ON, Brown L, Toker A, Prendergast GC and Benjamin LE. Can Res, 73:50 (2013) PMID: 23135917
  7. Acetylation-Dependent Regulation of Skp2 Function.
    Inuzuka H, Gao D, Finley L, Yang W, Wan L, Fukushima H, Chin YR, Zhai B, Shaik S, Lau AW, Wang Z, Gygi SP, Nakayama K, Teruya-Feldstein J, Toker A, Haigis MC, Pandolfi PP and Wei W. Cell, 150:179 (2012) PMID: 22770219
  8. mTOR drives its own activation via SCF(βTrCP)-dependent degradation of the mTOR inhibitor DEPTOR.
    Gao D, Inuzuka H, Tan MK, Fukushima H, Locasale JW, Liu P, Wan L, Zhai B, Chin YR, Shaik S, Lyssiotis CA, Gygi SP, Toker A, Cantley LC, Asara JM, Harper JW and Wei W. Mol Cell, 44:290 (2011) PMID: 22017875
  9. NFAT promotes carcinoma invasive migration through glypican-6.
    Yiu GK, Kaunisto A, Chin YR and Toker A. Biochem J, 440:157 (2011) PMID: 21871017
  10. Akt isoform-specific signaling in breast cancer: Uncovering an anti-migratory role for palladin.
    Chin YR * and Toker A. Cell Adh Migr, 5:211 (2011) PMID: 21519185
  11. The actin bundling protein palladin is an Akt1-specific substrate that regulates breast cancer cell migration.
    Chin YR and Toker A. Mol Cell, 38:333 (2010) PMID: 20471940
    • Featured in a press release on the Harvard Medical School BIDMC website
    • Featured in Breast Cancer Network News
    • Highlighted as a “Must Read” finding by Brendan Manning: Faculty of 1000 Biology
  12. Akt2 regulates expression of the actin-bundling protein palladin.
    Chin YR * and Toker A. FEBS Lett, 584:4769 (2010) PMID: 21050850
  13. Akt/Protein kinase B and glycogen synthase kinase-3β signaling pathway regulates cell migration through the NFAT1 transcription factor.
    Yoeli-Lerner M, Chin YR, Hansen CK, and Toker A. Mol Cancer Res 7:425 (2009) PMID: 19258413
  14. Phosphorylation by Akt1 promotes cytoplasmic localization of Skp2 and impairs APC-Cdh1-mediated Skp2 destruction.
    Gao D, Inuzuka H, Tseng A, Chin RY, Toker A, and Wei W. Nat Cell Bio 11:397 (2009) PMID: 19270695
  15. Function of Akt/PKB signaling to cell motility, invasion and the tumor stroma in cancer.
    Chin YR and Toker A. Cell Signal 21:470 (2009) PMID: 19110052
  16. PDK1 potentiates upstream lesions on the PI3K pathway in breast carcinoma.
    Maurer M, Su T, Koujak S, Hopkins BD, Saal LH, Barkley CR, Wu J, Nandula S, Dutta B, Xie Y, Chin YR, Kim D, Ferris JS, Gruvberger-Saal SK, LaaksoM, Wang X, Memeo L, Rojtman A, Matos T, Yu JS, Cordon-Cardo C, Isola J, Terry MB, Toker A, Landry DW, Mills GB, Zhao JJ, Murty VV, Hibshoosh H, Parsons R. Can Res 69:6299 (2009) PMID: 19602588
  17. The Adenovirus RID complex enhances degradation of internalized tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 without affecting its rate of endocytosis.
    Chin YR *, and Horwitz MS. J Gen Virol, 87:3161 (2006) PMID: 15542663
  18. Mechanism for removal of TNF receptor 1 from the cell surface by the Adenovirus RIDα/β complex.
    Chin YR *, and Horwitz MS. J Virol 79:21 (2005) PMID: 16227281
  19. Inhibition of TNF signal transduction by the Adenovirus group C RID complex involves downregulation of surface levels of TNF receptor 1.
    Fessler SP, Chin YR, and Horwitz MS. J Virol 78:23 (2004) PMID: 15542663
  20. High-throughput screening of potential inhibitors for the metabolism of the investigational anti-cancer drug 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid.
    Zho S, Chiang D, Chin R, Kestell P, Paxton JW. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 767:19 (2002) PMID: 11863291
  21. Effects of anticancer drugs on the metabolism of the anticancer drug 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic (DMXAA) by human liver microsomes.
    Zhou S, Chin R, Kestell P, Tingle MD, Paxton JW. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 52:129. (2001) PMID: 11488768