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Research is about keep pushing the boundaries!

Professor Larry Chow Ming-cheung

Medical Laboratory Science graduate

Professor, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, PolyU

“Research is about keep pushing the boundaries!” 

As healing patients is an important mission of doctors, biomedical researchers find ways to improve people’s lives and bring hope to dying patients. For more than 20 years, Professor Larry Chow Ming-cheung of PolyU’s Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology has striven to benefit mankind with the fruits of his research. 

Professor Chow graduated from the Medical Laboratory Science Department of the former Hong Kong Polytechnic. After a stint working at a hospital laboratory, he furthered his study in Britain and the US, exposing himself to challenging and impactful research. In 1997, he returned to Hong Kong and began his teaching and research career at PolyU. Professor Chow made cancer his research focus, seeking to tackle particularly the predicament of drug resistance. 

PolyU has always promoted interdisciplinary research collaboration, enabling scholars from different disciplines and specialties to carry out impactful research together. Since 2006, Professor Chow and his team have begun to develop treatment methods for drug-resistant cancer cells. After 10 years, they finally succeeded in developing from a natural nutrient the brand new inhibitor Apigenin Flavonoid Dimer. It is more potent and far safer than other inhibitors on the market. Professor Chow said excitedly, “We have found that different types of vegetables contain Apigeni, which prevents cancer cells from rejecting drugs. But to improve the effects, we used a chemical synthesis method and discovered that flavonoid dimer is far more effective in reversing drug resistance. Through inhibiting the P protein in the intestine, it also allows the anti-cancer drugs to be absorbed by the body through oral consumption. This spares patients the pain of intravenous injection.”

“Biotechnology research is a time-consuming process and yet can provide actual benefits for patients. We are collaborating with an international drug company to apply the inhibitor widely in various kinds of anti-cancer drugs.”

Professor Chow is grateful to his team for bringing hope to cancer patients. He hopes that more young people can join in biotechnology research, work closely with experts from various disciplines, and together overcome hurdles in the unknown research world. 


The above is an English translation of a story abridged from the Chinese book “Heartening Stories” published by PolyU in 2017.


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