Personal Information

Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences 

Office: (852) 3943 6781
Address: Room 607A, 6/F, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building, CUHK
SBS Website:

Research Profile

Prof. KO Wing Hung (高永雄) obtained his PhD from the Department of Physiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 1992. Following postdoctoral training at the Institute of Physiology, University of Glasgow, he joined his alma mater as lecturer in 1993. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Ko’s recent research examines P2Y receptor-regulated Ca2+ signaling and ion transport in human airway epithelia, with a focus on the role of P2Y receptors in airway inflammation. Dr. Ko’s laboratory is one of the few in the world that is capable of simultaneously measuring real-time (1) Ca2+ and ISC (short circuit current; an index of electrogenic ion transport), (2) cAMP and ISC, or (3) Ca2+ and cAMP in polarized epithelia. This technically demanding approach is being employed to unravel novel molecular mechanisms of stimulus-secretion coupling in polarized epithelia. He has over 70 articles published in reputable international journals, such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Communications and Mucosal Immunology.

Research Interests

  1. Cellular signalling mechanisms and ion transport regulation in the mammalian epithelia, such as sweat gland, intestinal and airway epithelia
  2. Purinergic receptors and signaling pathways in epithelia
  3. Pathophysiological mechanisms of epithelial-related inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and ulcerative colitis
  4. Effect of Traditional Chinese Medicines and natural flavonoids on epithelial functions
  5. Development of a “trimultaneous” measurement technique for real-time monitoring of bioelectric properties, intracellular cAMP and Ca2+ in polarized epithelia

Selected Publications

  1. Hao Y, Chow AW, Yip WC, Li CH, Wan TF, Tong BC, Cheung KH, Chan WY, Chen Y, Cheng CH, Ko W H. “G protein-coupled estrogen receptor inhibits the P2Y receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling pathway in human airway epithelia.” Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology, 2016; 468(8):1489-1503.
  2. Liu PY, Li ST, Shen FF, Ko WH*, Yao XQ, Yang D. “A small synthetic molecule functions as a chloride-bicarbonate dual-transporter and induces chloride secretion in cells.” Chemical Communications, 2016; 52(46):7380-7383. (*co-corresponding author)
  3. Hao Y, Cheung CS, Yip WC, Ko WH.“Nobiletin Stimulates Chloride Secretion in Human Bronchial Epithelia via a cAMP/PKA-Dependent Pathway.” Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 2015; 37(1): 306-320.
  4. Hao Y, Ko WH.“Purinergic P2Y receptors in airway epithelia: from ion transport to immune functions.” Sheng Li Xue Bao, 2014; 66(1):16-22.
  5. Hao Y, Liang JF, Chow AW, Cheung WT, Ko WH.“P2Y6 Receptor-Mediated Proinflammatory Signaling in Human Bronchial Epithelia.” PLoS ONE, 2014; 9(9):e106235.
  6. Bovell DL, Riggs CM, Sidlow G, Troester S, MacLaren W, Yip W, Ko WH.“Evidence of purinergic neurotransmission in isolated, intact horse sweat glands.” Veterinary Dermatology, 2013; 24(4):398-6.
  7. Alzamora R, O’Mahony F, Ko WH, Yip TW, Carter D, Irnaten M, Harvey BJ. “Berberine reduces cAMP-induced chloride secretion in T84 human colonic carcinoma cells through inhibition of basolateral KCNQ1 channels.” Frontiers in Physiology, 2011; 2:33.
  8. Fung JC, Yue GG, Fung KP, Ma X, Yao X, Ko WH.“Cordyceps militaris extract stimulates Cl secretion across human bronchial epithelia by both Ca2+– and cAMP- dependent pathways.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2011; 138(1):201-211.
  9. Lau WK, Chow AW, Au SC, Ko WH.“Differential Inhibitory Effects of CysLT1 Receptor Antagonists on P2Y6 Receptor-Mediated Signaling and Ion Transport in Human Bronchial Epithelia.” PLoS ONE, 2011; 6(7):e22363.
  10. Chow AW, Liang JF, Wong JS, Fu Y, Tang NL, Ko WH. “Polarized Secretion of Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 by Human Airway Epithelia 16HBE14o- Cells in Response to Cationic Polypeptide Challenge.” PLoS ONE, 2010; 5(8):e12091.