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Research groups

Leukaemia and Stem Cell Biology

Team Leader

Professor Eric So
Professor and Chair in Leukaemia Biology
Email: eric.so@kcl.ac.uk
Tel (Direct): (44) 020 7848 5888
Tel (PA): (44) 0207848 5890

Research focus

Leukaemia is a clonal disease initiated from a very small number of pre-leukaemic stem cells (pre-LSCs) carrying the initiating genetic events, which subsequently convert to full blown LSCs by acquiring further mutations necessary for the overt diseases such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Emerging evidence indicates that pathways critical for regulation of normal stem cells are frequently hijacked or mutated in LSCs.


Our work focuses in two major areas:
  • Biology of normal hematopoietic and leukemic stem Cells.
  • Molecular dissection and targeting transcriptional complexes and epigenetic modifying enzymes in hematological malignancies.
Please visit Professor So’s website for further details on our work.

Personal Awards

2012    Pezcoller-EACR Cancer Researcher Award “A Researcher of Excellence”, The Pezcoller Foundation and European Association for Cancer Research

2010-    Elected Member of European Research Institute for Integrated Cellular Pathology (ERI-ICP)

2010-    Elected Fellow of Academy of Life Sciences for Chinese in the UK (ALSC-UK)

2008-2011    Young Investigator Award, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO-YIP)

2005-2011    Fellowship Award, The Association for International Cancer  
                        Research (AICR), U.K.

2002-2005    Special Fellowship Award, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, U.S.A.

2000-2002    Research Fellowship Award, The Croucher Foundation, Hong Kong

2000    Young Investigator’s Award, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), U.S.A.

1997    Dr. K.P. Stephen Chang Gold Medal Award, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

1994-1997        Scholarship, The Croucher Foundation, Hong Kong

Relevant publications

  1. Fung TK, Leung AYH *So CW.  Sox4you: a new player in C/EBPa leukemia.  Cancer Cell (24): 557-9, 2013.
  2. Arteaga MF, Mikesch JH, Qiu JH, Christensen J, Helin K, Kogan, SC, Dong S, *So CW.  The histone demethylase PHF8 governs retinoic acid response in acute promyelocyctic leukemia.  Cancer Cell 23: 376-89, 2013 (Journal Cover).
  3. Zeisig BB, Kulasekararaj AG, Mufti GJ, *So CW. Acute Myeloid Leukemia-Snapshot, Cancer Cell 22 (5): 698, 2012.
  4. Smith L, Yeung J, Zeisig BB, Popov N, Huijbers I, Barnes J, Wilson AJ, Taskesen E, Delwel R, Gil J, Van Lohuizen M, *So CW. Functional crosstalk between Bmi1 and MLL/Hoxa9 axis in establishment of normal hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells.  Cell Stem Cell 8 (3): 649-62, 2011 (Featured article).
  5. Yeung J, Esposito MT, Gandillet A, Zeisig BB, Griessinger E, Bonnet D, *So CW. β-catenin mediates the establishment and drug resistance of MLL leukemic stem cells.  Cancer Cell Vol. 18 (6): 606-18, 2010.
  6. Cheung N, Chan LC, Thompson A, Cleary ML, *So CW.  Protein arginine methyltransferase dependent oncogenesis.  Nature Cell Biology, vol. 9 (10): 1208-15, 2007.
  7. Zeisig BB, Kwok C, Zelent A, Shankaranarayanan P, Gronemeyer H, Dong S, *So CW.  Recruitment of RXR by homo-tetrameric RAR fusion proteins is essential for transformation.  Cancer Cell, vol. 12 (1): 36-51, 2007 (Journal Cover and accompanied with a preview article; Research Highlights by Nature Reviews Cancer).
  8. Kwok C, Zeisig BB, Dong S, *So CW.  Forced homo-oligomerization of RARa leads to transformation of primary hematopoietic cells.  Cancer Cell vol. 9: 95-108, 2006 (accompanied with a preview article).
  9. So CW, Lin M, Ayton PM, Chen EH, Cleary ML.  Dimerization contributes to oncogenic activation of MLL chimeras in acute leukemias.  Cancer Cell vol. 4, 99-110, 2003 (the featured article accompanied with a perspective).
  10. So CW, Karsunky H, Cozzio A, Passegue E, Weissman IL, Cleary ML.  MLL-GAS7 transforms multipotent hematopoietic progenitors and induces mixed lineage leukemias in mice.  Cancer Cell vol. 3: 161-171, 2003 (A cover article).
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