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Laboratory of Liver Cancer Functional Genomics

​Research head:​A/Prof Caroline G. LEE
​Research team:


Shi Hui GOH

Lee Jin LIM

Jade LEE

Wai Yeow LEE

Yu Pei NEO

Seung Hoon WOO

Yong Zher KOH


Steven Setiawan THENG

Wei Sheng LOO

Peter HE

Weitai HUANG

Samuel WONG

Jun Yan LOH

Shuaichen LIU

Jian HAN

There are three major focus in the Liver Cancer Functional Genomics Laboratory. The first is to understand the role of chronic inflammation in tumorigenesis for the development of intervention strategies. Our laboratory has identified FAT10 as a molecule that plays an important role in liver cancers associated with chronic inflammation, and we seek to understand how polymorphisms in the molecule will modulate the risk for cancer. We also aim to develop strategies to target this molecule. The second major focus is to elucidate the role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in cancer development. We have comprehensively characterised the integration of HBV into the host genome in HCC patients at both the genomic and transcriptomic levels, and observed chimeric HBV-human transcripts with variable potential to induce tumorigenesis. The third major focus of the laboratory is to elucidate the role of various non-coding RNAs (including circular RNA, microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs) in hepatocellular carcinoma. Our laboratory has employed an integrative big data approach to identify clinically relevant networks of non-coding RNAs in the cancer pathway. We will characterise these networks of non-coding RNAs for their tumorigenic potential to identify novel molecular biomarkers that can be used
to help detect liver cancer at an early stage more accurately, predict patient responses to specific treatments, and identify targets for therapy.

Selected publications:

  1. Theng SS, Wang W, Mah WC, et al. Disruption of FAT10-MAD2 binding inhibits tumor progression Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111:E5282–E5291. (Featured in 10 different news agencies)
  2. Gao Y, Theng SS, Zhuo J, et al. FAT10, an ubiquitin-like protein, confers malignant properties in non-tumorigenic and tumorigenic cells. Carcinogenesis. 2014;35:923–934.
  3. Slagle BL, Andrisani OM, Bouchard MJ, et al. Technical standards for hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) research. Hepatology. 2015;61:1416–1424.
  4. Thurnherr T, Mah WC, Lei Z, et al. Differentially expressed miRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma target genes in the genetic information processing and metabolism pathways. Sci Rep. 2016;6:20065.
  5. Chan C, Thurnherr T, Wang J, et al. Global re-wiring of p53 transcription regulation by the hepatitis B virus X protein. Mol Oncol. 2016;10:1183–1195.