Professor Chan is serving as a Professor at the Department of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Allen’s main research interest is on the development of innovative diagnostic approaches based on circulating DNA analysis. He developed the first digital PCR based method for the detection of EGFR mutations in the plasma of lung cancer patients. He is a co-inventor of the noninvasive Down syndrome test and developed numerous approaches for the detection of cancers. He is an inventor of over 40 patents families on molecular diagnostics. He has just finished a prospective study on the screening of early nasopharygeal carcinoma in 20,000 asymptomatic men using liquid biopsy.
In addition to research, Allen is also passionate about teaching and received a total of four Teacher of the Year awards from the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK.
Associate Professor Spring holds an academic appointment (Medical Oncology) with Western Sydney University, is a Centre for Oncology Education and Research Training (CONCERT) Centre Fellow and Group Leader at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research at Liverpool Hospital. He is also a conjoint Associate Professor at the University of NSW.
Since gaining his PhD from the University of Queensland in 1997 he has made substantial contributions toward defining the serrated neoplasia pathway in colorectal cancer; established that BRAF mutation was highly associated with methylation (CIMP) in these tumours (GUT 2004) and that sessile serrated adenomas were the precursors of MSI-H cancers (Gastroenterology 2006). He has also made significant findings in the DNA damage field, with publications in Nature (1997), Nature Genetics (2000, 2002), and was the first to generate an Atm missense knockin mutant mouse, demonstrating cancer predisposition in AT heterozygotes (Nature Genetics 2002).
His more recent research interests focus on the clinical utility of blood-based “liquid biopsy” involving circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and ctNAs. He is a foundation member of the Centre for CTC Diagnostics and Research (CCDR) at the Ingham Institute, and is the founding convenor for the Thomas Ashworth CTC & Liquid Biopsy Symposium. His research is centered on the development of predictive and prognostic biomarkers (especially microRNA) for patient stratification and real-time monitoring of treatment response in the precision oncology setting.