Dr. Judith Choi-Wo Mak
Associate Professor
Dr. Judith Choi-Wo Mak
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy
The University of Hong Kong
HKU Hubs
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Dr. Judith Makand her research associates
Dr. Judith Mak and her research associates

Associate Professor

Dr. Judith Choi-Wo Mak(麥翠和)
BSc (Hons), PhD Lond UK

Memberships:

  • Member of American Thoracic Society
  • Member of British Pharmacology Society
  • Member of British Association for Lung Research
  • Member of Biochemical Society
  • Member of Hong Kong Pharmacology Society
  • Member of Hong Kong Thoracic Society
  • Member of Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, HKU
  • Member of Research Centre of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging (HBHA), HKU
  • Member of Faculty Health and Safety Committee, HKU

Editorships:

  • Associate Editor for Respirology (Sept 2014 – present)
  • Editorial Board Member for Cardiovascular Pharmacology (Dec 2012 – present)
  • Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports (Aug 2014 – present)

Biography

Dr. Judith Mak is currently Associate Professor of Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Pharmacy. She received her degree in Pharmacology (BSc) from The University of London in the UK. She then completed her PhD in localization of lung receptors (‘Localization of some pharmacological receptors in human and animal lung’) at the University of London under the supervision of Professor Peter J. Barnes. Following her postdoctoral training and Lecturership in the research of treatment in lung diseases at the National Heart & Lung Institute of Imperial College London, she returned to Hong Kong in 2002 and joined the Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, where she went through the ranks of Research Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. Her research interest is mainly focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), understanding and developing therapies. Her major research contributions have been in the understanding of the development of b2-agonist tolerance, and the interaction between glucocorticoid receptors and b2-adrenoceptors in the intracellular signaling pathways leading to the combination therapy of long-acting inhaled b2-agonist and inhaled glucocorticoid (e.g. SymbicortÒ and SeretideÒ). She is an internationally recognized scientist in the respiratory field. She has collaborated with academic researchers, both locally and internationally on cross-disciplinary projects. She is the principal investigator and co-investigator of a number of research projects funded by RGC, HMRF and NSFC.

Honours and Awards

  • PhD student (Miss CUI, Y) awarded the Travel Award for her poster presentation at Airway Vista 2015, Seoul, Korea
  • PhD student (Miss LIANG, Y) awarded 3rd prize for an outstanding Oral Presentation at the 18th Annual Scientific Meeting of ICSM, Hong Kong (2014)
  • PhD student (Mr. LI, X) awarded Abstract Scholarship for his poster presentation at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2014 International Conference, San Diego, USA
  • PhD student (Miss LIANG, Y) awarded the Best Poster Award at the 17th Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Hong Kong (2012)
  • PhD student (Miss HAN, Q) awarded International Trainee Travel Award for her poster presentation at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2009 International Conference, San Diego, USA
  • Recipient of the Best Poster Award at the 12th Medical Research Conference, Hong Kong (2007)

My Research Interests

  • Airway epithelial, smooth muscle and endothelial cell biology and function
  • Elucidation of pathophysiological pathways and possible intervention with potential therapeutic agents in rodent models of chronic airway diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (i.e. cigarette smoke-exposed rat and mouse models), asthma (i.e. ovalbumin sensitized allergen challenged and ozone-exposed mouse models), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) [i.e. intermittent hypoxia (IH)-exposed rat and mouse models]
  • Examination of various antioxidants including pure EGCG, one of the major catechins present in Chinese green tea; resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine and active ingredient from Chinese herbal medicine in comparison to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on oxidant/antioxidant status, protease/antiprotease status, markers of pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory status, and the morphological changes of the lungs in various rodent models in vivo
  • Cellular mechanisms of mesenchymal stem cells in the preventive and therapeutic treatment of chronic airway diseases, i.e. COPD and asthma
Photomicrographs of H & E staining for histological changes (A and B), and PAS staining for mucin-containing goblet cells (C and D) of rat lung and airway sections after exposure to sham air (A and C) and cigarette smoke (B and D). Cigarette smoke caused alveolar wall destruction (B) and an increase in the number of mucin-containing goblet cells (D).
Photomicrographs of H & E staining for histological changes (A and B), and PAS staining for mucin-containing goblet cells (C and D) of rat lung and airway sections after exposure to sham air (A and C) and cigarette smoke (B and D). Cigarette smoke caused alveolar wall destruction (B) and an increase in the number of mucin-containing goblet cells (D).

Photomicrographs of mitochondrial transfer from human MSCs to lung cells in cigarette smoke-exposed rat lung sections under fluorescent microscope. Clara cell secretory protein (CC)-10 labelled red (Alexa Fluor 594) detecting lung epithelial cells, human/rat Complex I labelled green (Alexa Fluor 488) detecting human/rat mitochondria, and human Cox-4 labelled violet (Alexa Fluor 660) detecting human mitochondria only. Colocalization of red and violet signals indicates the adoption of human mitochondria by lung epithelium. (Cover page for American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 2014; Volume 51, Issue 3)
Photomicrographs of mitochondrial transfer from human MSCs to lung cells in cigarette smoke-exposed rat lung sections under fluorescent microscope. Clara cell secretory protein (CC)-10 labelled red (Alexa Fluor 594) detecting lung epithelial cells, human/rat Complex I labelled green (Alexa Fluor 488) detecting human/rat mitochondria, and human Cox-4 labelled violet (Alexa Fluor 660) detecting human mitochondria only. Colocalization of red and violet signals indicates the adoption of human mitochondria by lung epithelium. (Cover page for American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 2014; Volume 51, Issue 3)

Selected Publications

List of Publications

  • Li X, Zhang Y, Liang Y, Cui Y, Yeung SC, Ip MSM, Tse HF, Lian Q, Mak JCW*. iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cells exert SCF-dependent recovery of cigarette smoke-induced apoptosis/proliferation imbalance in airway cells. J Cell Mol Med. 2016 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12962. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Grainge C, Thomas PS, Mak JCW, Benton MJ, Lim TK, Ko FW. Year in review 2015: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology. 2016; 21:765-775.
  • Lui MM, Mak JCW, Lai AY, Hui CK, Lam JC, Lam DC, Ip MS. The impact of obstructive sleep apnea and tobacco smoking on endothelial function. Respiration. 2016; 91:124-31.
  • Lau WK, Cui LY, Chan SC, Ip MSM, Mak JCW*. The presence of serotonin in cigarette smoke – a possible mechanistic link to 5-HT-induced airway inflammation. Free Radic. Res. 2016; 50:495-502.
  • Lee MYK, Wang Y, Mak JCW, Ip MSM. Intermittent hypoxia induces NFκB-dependent endothelial activation via adipocyte-derived mediators. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 2016; 310:C446-C455.
  • Lam DC, Chan SC, Mak JCW, Freeman C, Ip MSM, Shum DK. S-maltoheptaose targets syndecan-bound effectors to reduce smoking-related neutrophilic inflammation. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:12945.
  • Li X, Zhang Y, Yeung SC, Liang Y, Liang X, Ding Y, Ip MSM, Tse HF, Mak JCW*, Lian Q. Mitochondrial transfer of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells to airway epithelial cells attenuates cigarette smoke-induced damage. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014; 51:455-65.
  • Han Q, Yeung SC, Ip MSM, Mak JCW*. Cellular mechanisms in intermittent hypoxia-induced cardiac damage in vivo. J Physiol Biochem. 2014; 70:201-13.
  • Han Q, Yeung SC, Ip MS, Mak JCW*. Intermittent hypoxia-induced NF-B and HO-1 regulation in human endothelial EA.hy926 cells. Cell Biochem. Biophys. 2013;66:431-441.
  • Guan S, Tee W, Ng D, Chan T, Peh H, Ho W, Cheng C, Mak JCW, Wong W. Andrographolide protects against cigarette smoke-induced oxidative lung injury via augmentation of Nrf2 activity. Br. J. Pharmacol. 2013;168:1707-1718.
  • Lau WKW, Li X, Yeung DSC, Chan KH, Ip MSM, Mak JCW*. The involvement of serotonin metabolism in cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress in rat lung in vivo. Free Radic. Res. 2012;46:1413-1419.
  • Chan KH, Chan SCH, Yeung SC, Man RYK, Ip MSM, Mak JCW*. Inhibitory effect of Chinese green tea on cigarette smoke-induced up-regulation of airway neutrophil elastase and matrix metalloproteinase-12 via antioxidant activity. Free Radic. Res. 2012; 46:1123-1129.
  • Ho Y-S, Yang X, Yeung S-C, Chiu K, Lau CF, Tsang AW-T, Mak JC-W, Chang RC-C. Cigarette smoking accelerated brain aging and induced pre-Alzheimer-like neuropathology in rats. PLoS One. 2012; 7:e36752.
  • Lau WKW, Chan SC, Law AC, Ip MS, Mak JCW*. The role of MAPK and Nrf2 pathways in ketanserin-elicited attenuation of cigarette smoke-induced IL-8 production in human bronchial epithelial cells. Toxicol. Sci. 2012; 125:569-577.

List of Publications

External Grant/Projects

  • General Programme, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (2014-2017) ‘Therapeutic potential of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hiPSC-MSCs) on oxidative stress-induced lung injury’ (81370140) – Principal Investigator
  • Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF), Hong Kong (2013-2016) ‘Therapeutic potential of herbal flavonoids in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease’ (11123011) – Co-Investigator
  • General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Council (RGC), Hong Kong (2012-2015) ‘Investigating the mechanisms of cigarette smoke-induced disruption of serotonin homeostasis in the airways in vitro and in vivo – relevant to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease’ (773612) – Principal Investigator
  • Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases (RFCID), Hong Kong (2011-2013) ‘Experimental models to study the impact of cigarette smoking on the tropism of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus in human respiratory tract’ (10091162) – Co-Investigator
  • General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Council (RGC), Hong Kong (2010-2013) ‘Effects of cigarette smoke on regulation of the expression of adiponectin and its receptors in airway cells’ (774410) – Principal Investigator
  • General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Council (RGC), Hong Kong (2008-2011) ‘Effects of intermittent hypoxia and/or cigarette smoking on endothelial injury in vivo – relevant to obstructive sleep apnea’ (771908) – Principal Investigator
  • General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Council (RGC), Hong Kong (2007-2010) ‘Exploration of the role of adipocyte fatty acid binding protein in the association of obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic dysfunction’ (766707) – Co-Investigator

Current Team Members

  • Mr Dave SC YEUNG (Technical Officer)
  • Dr Mary YK LEE (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dr Kenneth WK LIU (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dr Winnie YM LIANG (Research Assistant)
  • Miss Grace MQ GE (Research Assistant)
  • Mr Xiang LI (Joint PhD Student)
  • Miss Yang WANG (PhD Student)
  • Miss Louise YT CUI (PhD Student)
  • Miss Crystal YJ HE (PhD Student)

Key Research Collaborators

  • Prof. Daisy KY SHUM, Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Raymond CC CHANG, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Michael CW CHAN, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Qizhou LIAN, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Catherine K CHIU, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong
  • Professor Kian Fan CHUNG, Head of Group for Experimental Studies of Airway Disease, National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI) @ Imperial College London

Office

8/F, 21 Sassoon Road, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, Hong Kong SAR, China