Personal Information

Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences 

Office: (852) 3943 4494
Address: Room 128A, 1/F, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Science Building, Area 39, CUHK
SBS Website:

Research Interests

Prof. WAN Chao (萬超) is an Associate Professor in School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is an active member of Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, MOE Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, and CUHK-GIBH Joint Laboratory on Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, CUHK. Prof. Wan obtained his Ph.D. in Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in 2002, then worked as a resident Orthopaedic Surgeon in Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He pursued postdoctoral training in School of Medicine, The Queen’s University of Belfast, UK (2003-2005), and in School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), USA (2005-2007). He was then appointed as an Instructor in Department of Pathology, UAB, and an Instructor in Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prof. Wan joined CUHK as an Assistant Professor in 2009. Prof. Wan’s research interests include the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the oxygen sensing and growth factor pathways in skeletal development, degeneration and regeneration, and discovery of novel therapies for skeletal tissue repair or regeneration. His research work has been published in international journals including Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, J Clin Invest, Nat Med, Cell, Bone Res, and Biomaterials. He was a recipient of British Orthopaedic Research Society Travelling Award, ICMRS Webster Jee Young Investigator Award, and ASBMR Harold Frost Young Investigator Award. He serves as an editorial board member of J Orthop Translat and Medical Reference Newspaper, Osteoporosis Channel, National Health and Family Planning Commission, P.R. China, and as a reviewer of more than 20 international journals in the field. His research work was supported by Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Health and Medical Research Fund, NSFC and MOST.

Research Interests

  1. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of skeletal development, metabolism and regeneration
  2. Molecular control of stem cell self-renewal and mesenchymal lineage differentiation
  3. Tissue engineering for skeletal tissue repair
  4. Efficacy and novel therapeutics of Chinese medicines for skeletal tissue repair

Selected Publications

  1. Wang J, Zhang F, Tsang WP, Wan C, Wu C. “Fabrication of injectable high strength hydrogel based on 4-arm star PEG for cartilage tissue engineering.” Biomaterials, 2017; 120:11-21.
  2. Tsang WP, Zhang F, He Q, Cai W, Huang J, Chan WY, Shen Z, Wan C. “Icaritin enhances mESC self-renewal through upregulating core pluripotency transcription factors mediated by ERα.” Sci Rep, 2017; 7:40894.
  3. He Q, Swindle SC, Wan C, Flynn RJ, Oster RA, Chen D, Zhang F, Shu Y, Klug CA. “Enhanced hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal-promoting ability of clonal primary MSC versus their osteogenic progeny.” Stem Cells, 2017; 35(2):473-484.
  4. Wang PZ, Zhang F, Shu Y, Shiu HT, He Q, Tsang WP, Wan C. “Flavonoid compound Icariin activates hypoxia inducible factor-1α in chondrocytes and promotes articular cartilage repair.” PLoS One, 2016; 11(2):e0148372.
  5. Chen X, Gu S, Chen BF, Shen WL, Yin Z, Xu GW, Hu JJ, Zhu T, Li G, Ouyang HW, Wan C, Lee TL, Chan WY. “Nanoparticle delivery of stable miR-199a-5p agomir improves the osteogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells via the HIF1a pathway.” Biomaterials, 2015; 53:239-250.
  6. Tian Y, Xu Y, Fu Q, Chang M, Wang Y, Shang X, Wan C, Marymont JV, Dong Y. “Notch inhibits chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitor cells by targeting Twist1.” Mol Cell Endocrinol, 2015; 403C:30-38.
  7. Su X, Zuo W, Wu Z, Chen J, Wu N, Ma P, Xia Z, Jiang C, Ye Z, Liu S, Liu J, Zhou G, Wan C, Qiu G. “CD146 as a new marker for an increased chondroprogenitor cell sub-population in the later stages of osteoarthritis.” J Orthop Res, 2015; 33(1):84-91.
  8. Zhang F, He Q, Tsang WP, Garvey WT, Chan WY, Wan C. “Insulin exerts direct, IGF-1 independent actions in growth plate chondrocytes.” Bone Research, 2014; 2:14012.
  9. Wan L, Zhang F, He Q, Tsang WP, Lu L, Li Q, Liu Z, Qiu G, Zhou G, Wan C. “EPO promotes bone repair through enhanced cartilaginous callus formation and angiogenesis.” PLoS One, 2014; 9(7):e102010.
  10. Tsang WP, Shu Y, Kwok PL, Zhang F, Lee KKH, Tang MK, Li G, Chan KM, Chan WY, Wan C. “CD146 human umbilical cord perivascular cells maintain stemness under hypoxia and as a cell source for skeletal regeneration.” PLoS One, 2013; 8(10):e76153.