Kathy O. Lui

Dr Kathy O. Lui

Dr. Lui has completed her B.Sc (Hons, First Class) and M.Phil. degrees in the Department of Biochemistry of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2003 and 2005, respectively. In 2005, before the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Dr. Lui had witnessed that one of the major hurdles in the success of using embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in regenerative medicine was associated with immune rejection. With support from the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Scholarship, Dr. Lui joined Prof. Herman Waldmann and Dr. Paul Fairchild’s lab at Oxford University to study transplantation tolerance of PSCs. During her Ph.D. work,  Dr. Lui observed the immune-privileged property of ESCs, and discovered a regime to induce tolerance to ESC-derived tissues across the whole MHC barrier in murine recipients using therapeutic antibodies. 

Dr. Lui was also the recipient of the Senior Scholarship at Lincoln College, Oxford and the Peter Beaconsfield Prize in Physiological Sciences, Oxford which is awarded specifically to young researchers who are ‘capable of escaping from the stereotype of narrow specialization, and who display a wider grasp of the significance and potential applicability of their research’. After her Ph.D., Dr. Lui has received the Croucher Fellowship and continued her research in the field of Stem Cell and Heart Regeneration in Prof. Kenneth Chien's lab at Harvard.

Current work

Dr. Lui is interested in the search of stem cell-derived angiocrine factors and to upregulate such factors using chemically modified mRNA to drive heart regeneration after injuries (e.g. myocardial infarction) in adult hearts. Moreover, Dr. Lui is also studying the potential use of human patient-specific iPSCs to model cardiovascular diseases "in a dish".