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Associate Professor, Teaching and Research Division

Expert in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Chemotherapy and Gastroenterology


Dr Ko obtained his bachelor degree at the University of Toronto, Canada in Toxicology and Nutritional Sciences. He then continued his doctoral study at the University of Hong Kong and obtained a PhD in Pharmacology. Dr Ko had lectured in the Medical School of the University of Hong Kong for years and had been actively involved in many research projects. He had published around 100 journal papers and conference proceedings. 

My research disciplines include pharmacology, toxicology, chemotherapy and gastroenterology. My current research interest and strength focus on the study of the carcinogenesis and pharmacotherapy of gastrointestinal cancers (particularly colon) by using active herbal medicinal compounds, and also on the identification of key molecular drug targets. I have recently explored the potential anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory actions of TCM formulations and single herbal drugs in the treatment of cancer pain and inflammation pain. I employ different cell and molecular biology methods, animal models of cancer and pain, with increasing works using proteomics and metabolomics approaches in our current studies. The new ventures in the coming years include research works on micro-RNA and tumor-targeting peptides delivery system. 



 Dr. Kathy Ka Wai Au Yeung (Ph.D.)

  Research Assistant Professor


  Email: aykathy@gmail.com


 Ms. Yue Wang

  Ph.D. student


  Email: 11467444@life.hkbu.edu.hk


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., HAN, Q. & KO, J.K.S. (2014) Astragalus membranaceus: potential benefits and prospective role in the protection against inflammation and gastrointestinal cancers. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (Accepted)


TAN, Y., KO, J.,* LIU, X., LU, C., LI, J., XIAO, C., LI, L., NIU, X., JIANG, M., HE,  X., ZHAO, H., ZHANG, Z., BIAN, Z., YANG, Z., ZHANG, G., ZHANG, W. & LU, A. (2014) Serum metabolomics reveals betaine and phosphatidylcholine as potential biomarkers for the toxic responses of processed Aconitum Carmichaeli Debx. Molecular BioSystems (Accepted; doi: 10.1039/C4MB00072B) [*denotes co-first author]


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2014) Combined therapeutic effects of vinblastine and Astragalus saponins (AST) in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft via inhibition of tumor growth and proangiogenic factors. Nutrition and Cancer 66(4), 662-674.


KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2014) Identification of functional peptides from natural and synthetic products on their anticancer activities by tumor targeting. Current Medicinal Chemistry 21, 2346-2356.


KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2014) Inflammatory bowel disease: etiology, pathogenesis and current therapy. Current Pharmaceutical Design 20, 1082-1096.


KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2013) Target-oriented mechanisms of novel herbal therapeutics in the chemotherapy of gastrointestinal cancer and inflammation. Current Pharmaceutical Design 19(1), 48-66.


TAN, Y., LI, J., LIU, X., KO, J., HE, X., LU, C., ZHAO, H., XIAO, C., NIU, X., ZHA, Q., YU, Z., ZHANG, W. & LU, A. (2013) Deciphering the differential toxic responses of Radix aconiti lateralis praeparata in healthy and hydrocortisone-pretreated rats based on serum metabolic profiles. Journal of Proteome Research 12, 513-524.


LU, C., LIU, X., DING, X., CHEN, X., FAN, H., LIU, Y., XIE, N., TAN, Y., KO, J.K., ZHANG, W. & LU, A. (2013) A metabolomics profiling study in hand-foot-and-mouth disease and modulated pathways of clinical intervention using rapid performance liquid chromatography/ quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 647452. (doi: 10.1155/2013/647452)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C., CHAN, L.Y. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Astragalus saponins downregulate hypoxia-induced VEGF induction in colon cancer cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 12(1), 160. (doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-160)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Novel anti-angiogenic effects of formononetin in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft. Oncology Reports 28, 2188-2194. (doi: 10.3892/or.2012.2056)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., WOO, P.K., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Astragalus saponins modulate cell invasiveness and angiogenesis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 141(2), 635-641. (doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.08.010)


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (2011) Adaptive cytoprotection and the brain-gut axis. Digestion 83(Suppl. 1), 19-24. [Invited Review] (doi: 10.1159/000323400)


WONG, H.P., HO, J.W., KOO, M.W., YU, L., WU, W.K., LAM, E.K., TAI, E.K., KO, J.K., SHIN, V.Y., CHU, K.M. & CHO, C.H. (2011) Effects of adrenaline in human colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells. Life Sciences 88 (25-26), 1108-1112.


KO, J.K.S. & LEUNG, C.C.Y. (2010) Ginger extract and polaprezinc exert gastroprotective actions by antioxidant and growth factor modulating effects in rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 25, 1861-1869. (doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06347.x)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., MOK, N.L., WONG, C.M., CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (2010) Astragalus saponins modulate mTOR and ERK signaling to promote apoptosis through the extrinsic pathway in HT-29 colon cancer cells. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 26, 341-349. (doi: 10.3892/ijmm_00000471)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W. & KO, J.K.S. (2010) Novel herbal flavonoids promote apoptosis but differentially induce cell cycle arrest in human colon cancer cell. Investigational New Drugs 28, 1-13. (doi: 10.1007/s10637-008-9207-3)


KO, J.K.S., LEE, S.S. & MARTIN, H. (2010) Phytochemicals as modulators of PPARs and RXRs. PPAR Research 2010, 407650. [Editorial] (doi: 10.1155/2010/407650)


AUYEUNG, K.K., CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (2009) A novel anticancer effect of Astragalus saponins: transcriptional activation of NSAID-activated gene. International Journal of Cancer 125, 1082-1091. (doi: 10.1002/ijc.24397)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W. & KO, J.K.S. (2009) Coptis chinensis inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell growth through nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene activation. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 24, 571-577. (doi: 10.3892/ijmm_00000267)


KO, J.K.S. & CHIK, C.W.S. (2009) The protective action of radix Astragalus membranaceus against hapten-induced colitis through modulation of cytokines. Cytokine 47, 85-90. (doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.05.014)


AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2009) Astragalus saponins induces apoptosis via an ERK-independent NF-kB signaling pathway in the human hepatocellular HepG2 cell line. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 23, 189-196. (doi: 10.3892/ijmm_00000116)


AUYEUNG, K.K., LIU, P., CHAN, C., WU, W., LEE, S.S. & KO, J.K.S. (2008) Herbal isoprenols induce apoptosis in human colon cancer cells through transcriptional activation of PPARg. Cancer Investigation 26, 708-717. (doi: 10.1080/07357900801898656)


TIN, M.M.Y., CHO, C.H., CHAN, K., JAMES, A.E. & KO, J.K.S. (2007) Astragalus saponins induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft. Carcinogenesis 28(6), 1347-1355. (doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgl238)


KO, J.K.S., LEUNG, W.C., HO, W.K. & CHIU, P. (2007) Herbal diterpenoids induce growth arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells with increased expression of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene. European Journal of Pharmacology 559, 1-13. (doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2006.12.004)


KO, J.K.S., LAM, F.Y.L. & CHEUNG, A.P.L. (2005) Amelioration of experimental colitis by Astragalus membranaceus through anti-oxidation and inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis. World Journal of Gastroenterology 11 (37), 5787-5794.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (2005) The diverse actions of nicotine and different extracted fractions from tobacco smoke against hapten-induced colitis in rats. Toxicological Sciences 87 (1), 285-295.


CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (2005) Herbal medicines and animal models of gastrointestinal diseases. In: S. Gad (ed.) Drug Discovery Handbook. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, U.S.A. Chapter 22, pp.1013-1035.


KO, J.K.S., CHO, C.H. & LAM, S.K. (2004) Adaptive cytoprotection through modulation of nitric oxide in ethanol-evoked gastritis. World Journal of Gastroenterology 10 (17), 2503-2508.


CHO, C.H., KO, J.K.S. & KOO, M.W.L. (2004) Perspective and clinical significance of eicosanoids in the digestive system. In: P. Curtis-Prior (ed.) The Eicosanoids. John Wiley & Sons: London. Chapter 36, pp.407-414.


LUK, H.H., KO, J.K., FUNG, H.S. & CHO, C.H. (2002) Delineation of the protective action of zinc sulfate on ulcerative colitis in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology 443, 197-204.


KO, J.K.S. (2002) Biomolecular free radical toxicity: causes and prevention. Biochimie 84, 349-351. [Invited Book Review]


KO, J.K.S., SHAM, N.F., GUO, X. & CHO, C.H. (2001) Beneficial intervention of experimental colitis by passive cigarette smoking through the modulation of cytokines in rats. Journal of Investigative Medicine 49, 21-29.


GUO, X., KO, J.K.S., MEI, Q.B. & CHO, C.H. (2001) Aggravating effect of cigarette smoke exposure on experimental colitis is associated with leukotriene B4 and reactive oxygen metabolites. Digestion 63, 180-187.


GUO, X., LIU, E.S.L., KO, J.K.S., WONG, B.C.Y., YE, Y., LAM, S.K. & CHO, C.H. (2001) Protective role of cyclooxygenase inhibitor in the adverse action of passive cigarette smoking on the initiation of experimental colitis in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology 411, 193-203.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (2000) Alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking: a “partner” for gastric ulceration. Chinese Medical Journal (Taipei) 63, 845-854. [Invited Review]


GUO, X., WANG, W.P., KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1999) Involvement of neutrophils and free radicals in the potentiating effects of passive cigarette smoking on inflammatory bowel disease in rats. Gastroenterology 117, 884-892 (with editorial).


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1999) Co-regulation of mucosal nitric oxide and prostaglandins in gastric defensive mechanisms and their roles in adaptive cytoprotection. Inflammation Research 48, 471-478.


KO, J.K.S., MA, J.J., CHOW, J.Y.C. & CHO, C.H. (1998) The correlation of the weakening effect on gastric mucosal integrity by 5-HT with neutrophil activation. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 24, 1007-1014.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1998) A histological study on the mechanisms of adaptive cytoprotection on ethanol-induced mucosal damage in rat stomachs. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 43, 1248-1257.


KO, J.K.S., CHING, C.K., CHOW, J.Y.C., ZHANG, S.T., LAM, S.K. & CHO, C.H. (1997) The vascular and glandular organoprotective properties of metronidazole in the rodent stomach. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 11, 811-819.


KO, J.K.S., TANG, F. & CHO, C.H. (1997) Co-regulation of mucosal prostanoids and substance P by indomethacin in rat stomachs. Life Sciences 60, PL277-PL281.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1996) Adaptive gastric mucosal cytoprotection in rats: different modes of action by three mild irritants. Digestion 57, 54-59.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1996) The antilesion actions of anticholinergic agents on ethanol-induced injury in rat stomachs: The importance of gastric vascular integrity and tonicity. Journal of Autonomic Pharmacology 16, 117-125.


WONG, D., QIU, B.S., KO, J.K.S., KOO, M.W.L. & CHO, C.H. (1996) Mucosal nitric oxide is not responsible for the hemodynamic changes induced by nicotine in rat stomachs. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 1, 167-174.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1995) Leucocyte-endothelial interactions in the vasculature following inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 10, 469-470. [Editorial]


KO, J.K.S., CHO, C.H., LAM, S.K., KOO, M.W.L. & CHING, C.K. (1995) Contributions of physical and chemical properties of mild irritants to gastric cytoprotection in rats. Life Sciences 57, PL13-PL18.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1995) Endogenous mediators in adaptive cytoprotection against ethanol-induced gastric gland damage in rabbits. Life Sciences 56, PL1-PL5.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1995) The mechanistic pathway of gastric adaptive cytoprotection: a study on different components of the autonomic nervous system. Journal of Autonomic Pharmacology 15, 205-214.


KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1995) The role of non-protein sulfhydryl compounds in gastric adaptive cytoprotection against ethanol-induced mucosal damage in rats. Inflammation Research 44, 242-244.


KO, J.K.S., CHO, C.H., LAM, S.K. & CHING, C.K. (1995) The importance of gastric emptying and mucosal folds in the adaptive cytoprotection of mild irritants in rats. Inflammation Research 44, 518-522.


CHAN, Y.S., KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (1995) The role of dorsal motor nucleus of vagus in gastric function and mucosal damage induced by ethanol in rats. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 40, 2312-2316.


LIU, X.G., CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (1995) Felodipine and ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats. Pharmacology 51, 391-397.


KO, J.K.S., CHO, C.H. & OGLE, C.W. (1994) A correlative study on the mechanism of adaptive cytoprotection against ethanol-induced gastric lesion formation in rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 9, 492-500.


CHO, C.H., KO, J.K.S. & TANG, X.L. (1994) The differential mechanisms of mild irritants on adaptive cytoprotection. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 9 (Suppl. 1), S24-S28.


KO, J.K.S., CHO, C.H. & OGLE, C.W. (1994) The vagus nerve and its non-cholinergic mechanism in the modulation of ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 46, 29-32.


CHO, C.H., KOO, M.W.L. & KO, J.K.S. (1994) Modulatory role of 5-HT3 receptors in gastric function and ethanol-induced mucosal damage in rat stomachs. Pharmacology 49, 137-143.


CHO, C.H., CHEN, B.W., HO, C.S., KO, J.K.S. & LAM, S.K. (1994) Assessment of hemodynamic changes in rat stomachs by laser Doppler velocimetry and reflectance spectrophotometry. Digestion 55, 389-394.

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