Personal profile


My PhD research is focusing on the mechanisms underlying cell fates acquisition in the sympathetic neuronal stem cells using mouse model. During the last four years under the supervision of A/Prof Colin Anderson, I have successfully characterized the neural crest-derived sympathoadrenal (SA) cells, a progenitor cell gives rise to the adrenal endocrine cells and the sympathetic neurons. My studies revealed the differentiation and proliferation patterns of these cells during embryonic development. I have also discovered and validated that the two markers, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) are able to discriminate the two immature daughter cell types. Using these markers, I have developed an isolation method for the SA cells by fluorescent-activated cell sorting that support further comparative molecular analyses using RNA-seq. I have learnt basic bioinformatic concept when working with bioinformatician to analyse the whole-transcriptome sequencing for unveiling the molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways driven the cell fate diversification. This transcriptomic analysis could also provide a valuable reference for the neuroblastoma research, a solid cancer originated from SA cells. I am currently working in a project about loss of genomic imprinting during embryonic development.


Before my PhD research, I did research on a neurotoxin, ciguatoxin as part of my MPhil study in Hong Kong. In this study, I examined the distribution of the pacific ciguatoxin-1 within different locations, fish species as well as different tissue types. I optimized the sensitivity of laboratory bioassay detection method of this toxin. My thesis compared the proteomes of the poisonous fishes to non-toxic references. 


I have published 5 journal papers and 2 book chapter during my MPhil and PhD studies, of which 3 are with first authorship papers. Among them, a 3D reconstructed microscopic image in paper “Differences in CART Expression and Cell Cycle Behaviour Discriminate Sympathetic Neuroblast from Chromaffin Cell Lineages in Mouse Sympathoadrenal Cells” was chosen as the cover image of the issue of the journal.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research area keywords

  • neurodevelopment
  • Cancer Cell Biology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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