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Professor Chim, James Chor Sang 詹楚生

Clinical Professor

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QMH 419 

Professor Chim, James Chor Sang 詹楚生

Clinical Professor

Curriculum Vitae:

Also Cited As:
Chim, Chor-sang, James
Chim, CS

Professional Qualifications
YearAwarding InstitutionQualification
2011Royal College of Pathologists of AustralasiaFFSc (RCPA)
2007Royal College of PathologistsFRCPath (UK)
2006The University of Hong KongPh.D.
2004American College of PhysiciansFACP
2002Royal College of PhysiciansFRCP(London)
2002The University of Hong KongMD
1999Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of GlasgowFRCP(Glasgow)
1999Royal College of Physicians of EdinburghFRCP(Edinburgh)
1995Hong Kong Academy of MedicineFHKAM
1995Hong Kong Academy of MedicineFHKCP
1991Royal College of PhysiciansMRCP(UK)
1986The Chinese University of Hong KongMB ChB

Professor Chim focuses on understanding the role of DNA methylation of tumour suppressor protein-coding genes and non-coding RNAs in multiple myeloma and other haematological cancers. DNA methylation refers to the covalent addition of a methyl (-CH3) group to the carbon 5 position of a cytosine ring in a CpG dinucleotide. In carcinogenesis, dysregulation of DNA methylation attributes to global DNA hypomethylation, and locus-specific DNA hypermethylation. Particularly, tumour suppressor gene with a promoter-associated CpG island, clustered CpG dinucleotides, is usually hypermethylated, leading to the formation of a closed chromatin configuration, which precludes the access of transcription factors, and hence gene silencing.

Professor Chim was among the first pioneers to elucidate the role of gene hypermethylation by a cancer pathway-specific approach in myeloma. In particular, his research has demonstrated DNA methylation and hence silencing of SHP1 but not SOCS1 accounted for constitutive activation of JAK-STAT signalling in myeloma (Blood 2004). Moreover, DNA methylation-mediated silencing of soluble Wnt inhibitors resulted in constitutive activation of the canonical Wnt signalling in myeloma (Leukemia 2007). On the other hand, he has also showed DNA methylation of negative regulators of cell cycle progression was implicated in disease progression from monoclonal gammopathy of undermined significance (MGUS), the premalignant stage of myeloma, to symptomatic or progressive myeloma (Leukemia 2003). Furthermore, he has also found DNA methylation of DAPK1, an upstream activator of TP53 tumour suppressor, is an adverse prognostic factor for inferior survival, which has subsequently been confirmed in a uniformly-treated cohort of myeloma patients (J Clin Pathol. 2007; J Transl Med. 2010).

Recently, miRNA has emerged as a novel class of short single-stranded non-coding RNAs, which inhibit expression of target protein-coding genes through binding to their three prime untranslated region (3’-UTR). In carcinogenesis, oncogenic miRNAs targeting tumour suppressor genes are known as oncomiRs, whereas tumour suppressive miRNAs targeting oncogenes are known as tumour suppressor miRNAs.

Professor Chim was the first to establish several original observations for the role of DNA methylation in the regulation of tumour suppressor miRNAs in myeloma. His studies on miR-34 family miRNAs, direct targets of TP53 tumour suppressor, have illustrated DNA methylation of miR-34b/c was implicated in myeloma relapse/progression (Carcinogenesis 2010; Blood 2011). Moreover, he has identified CREB as a novel target of tumour suppressive miR-203 in myeloma and demonstrated methylation of miR-203 was implicated in myelomagenesis (Br J Haematol. 2011). Furthermore, he has also showed methylation of miR-129-2 was implicated in progression from MGUS to symptomatic myeloma (J Hematol Oncol. 2013). Hence, aberrant methylation of tumour suppressor miRNAs is implicated in the pathogenesis and disease progression of myeloma.

Currently, Professor Chim strives to identify bona fide tumour suppressor miRNAs silenced by DNA methylation in myeloma in a genome-wide scale, which integrates high-throughput miRNA microarray platforms, DNA methylation arrays, and data derived from high-resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, and chromosomal regions with recurrent deletions or mutations [also known as cancer-associated genomic regions (CAGRs)]. Moreover, based on his expertise on gene methylation and survival, he is elucidating the potential of miRNA methylation as an independent prognostic factor impacting on response rate, event-free survival and overall survival in a uniformly-treated cohort of myeloma patients. Furthermore, since epigenetic drugs are coming-of-age, his research may contribute to the scientific basis of epigenetic therapy in myeloma.

Honours, Awards & Prizes
AwardeesAward DateHonours / Awards / PrizesCategory
2009-12-01National Scientific and Technological Advancement Award, Eipigenetic alterations in acute leukaemia: China, 國家科學技術進步獎 (二等獎), 白血病表觀遺傳學基礎及臨床應用研究
Research Achievement
1992-09-01Croucher Foundation Fellowship: Croucher Foundation
Research Achievement
Zou, B
Zeng, H
He, H
Yu, L
Sun, Y
Jiang, SH
2005-09-25Distinguished Poster Award, "Correlation between the single-site CpG mutation within the gene promoter and the expression silencing of XIAP -Associated Factor 1 (XAF1) in human colon cancer cell lines": Asian Pacific Digestive Week, Sept. 25-28, Seoul, Korea
Research Achievement
2007-12-01Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologist (UK): The Royal College of Pathologist
Research Achievement
Lie, AKW
Hwang, YYG
Chan, TSY
2013-12-01Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award 2013: 'Multi-media Haematology Protocol: Haematology Protocol Book, iPad/iPhone App, Internet Website' (Group Award): The University of Hong Kong
Teaching Accomplishment
Wong, KY
Yim, RLH
2012-02-01Epigenetic Inactivation of the MIR34B/C in Multiple Myeloma/ Best Abstract: 3rd International Hematologic Malignancies Conference/ The Asia Pacific Hematology Society
Research Achievement
Professional Societies
Term PeriodPositionProfessional Societies
2002-nowCouncil memberHong Kong Cancer Chemotherapy Society
2003-nowCouncil memberFederation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong
2007-2010ConsultantHematological Oncology Division, Quangzhou Anti-cancer Society
2010-nowFounding PresidentHong Kong Society of Myeloma
2005-nowDirectorFoundation of Federation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong
2008-nowAdvisory Board MemberInternational Myeloma Working Group, IMWG
2008-nowConsultantPhysicians’ Information and Education Resources (PIER), American College of Physicians
2007-2008Council memberHong Kong Society of Haematology
2003-2006ChairmanHong Kong Society of Haematology
2000-2003Honorary TreasurerHong Kong Society of Haematology
1999-2000Honorary SecretaryHong Kong Society of Haematology
1998-1999Scientific OfficerHong Kong Society of Haematology
2005-nowScientific OfficerHong Kong Society for the Study of Thalassemia
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