Research output per year

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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.

Research area keywords

  • neurodevelopment
  • Cancer Cell Biology

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Research Output

  • 7 Article
  • 2 Chapter (Book)
  • 1 Review Article

Patient-Derived Colorectal Cancer Organoids Upregulate Revival Stem Cell Marker Genes following Chemotherapeutic Treatment

Engel, R. M., Chan, W. H., Nickless, D., Hlavca, S., Richards, E., Kerr, G., Oliva, K., McMurrick, P. J., Jarde, T. & Abud, H. E., 2 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Clinical Medicine. 9, 1, 13 p., 128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

RNA-seq of Isolated Chromaffin Cells Highlights the Role of Sex-Linked and Imprinted Genes in Adrenal Medulla Development

Chan, W. H., Komada, M., Fukushima, T., Southard-Smith, E. M., Anderson, C. R. & Wakefield, M. J., 8 Mar 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 17 p., 3929.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

From proliferation to target innervation: signaling molecules that direct sympathetic nervous system development

Chan, W. H., Anderson, C. R. & Gonsalvez, D. G., 1 May 2018, In : Cell and Tissue Research. 372, 2, p. 171-193 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Multiple sclerosis: Basic and clinical

Buzzard, K., Chan, W. H., Kilpatrick, T. & Murray, S., 2017, Neurodegenerative Diseases: Pathology, Mechanisms, and Potential Therapeutic Targets. Beart, P., Robinson, M., Rattray, M. & Maragakis, N. J. (eds.). Springer, p. 211-252 42 p. (Advances in Neurobiology; vol. 15).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Development of the Autonomic Nervous System

Chan, W. H., Stamp, L. A., Hirst, C. S., McKeown, S. J., Anderson, C. R. & Young, H. M., 14 Nov 2016, Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. John Wiley & Sons, Vol. 2. p. 23-65 43 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Australasian Neuroscience Society - Istvan Work Student Oral Award

Wing Hei Chan (Recipient), 7 Dec 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Under the Coverslip Microscopic Image Competition 2016 - Organiser Choice

Horace Chan (Recipient), Oct 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)