Prof TANG Chi Wai, Sydney

Prof Sydney Tang

Yu Professor in Nephrology
Chair Professor of Renal Medicine

  • MBBS, MD (HK), PhD, MRCP (UK), FHKCP, FHKAM (Medicine), FRCP (Edinburgh), FRCP (Glasgow), FRCP (London), FASN, FACP
Professor Sydney Tang is currently Chair Professor of Renal Medicine and Yu Professor in Nephrology at the University of Hong Kong. He underwent his training in Nephrology and Internal Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, King’s College London, UK and the University of Washington, WA, USA.

Research Profile
Professor Tang is known for his contribution to both clinical and basic sciences in the field of nephrology. The research team has dissected some of the most important intracellular pathways through which excessive albumin, high glucose and glycated proteins induce toxicity to kidney tubule cells, the very cell type in the kidney that determines ultimate clinical outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. Albumin is a strong stimulus for tubular interleukin-8 overexpression through activation of nuclear factor-kappa B-dependent pathways, providing a mechanism for the occurrence of interstitial inflammatory cell infiltration that is observed in all forms of chronic proteinuric nephropathies. High glucose activates the Toll-like receptor that senses and reacts to diabetic injury in the kidney, and these observations are reproduced using gene knockout animal models, thus providing a novel therapeutic target for diabetic nephropathy which is currently the most prevalent disease leading to kidney failure in developed countries. In IgA nephropathy, a podocyte and glomerular-interstitial cross-talk pathway exists to mediate the occurrence of proteinuria and tubulointerstitial injury. The results of these observations have been published in J Clin Invest, J Am Soc Nephrol, and Kidney Int.

In the realm of clinical science, the focus is on the prevalence and mechanism of sleep apnea in patients with kidney disease and the treatment of IgA nephropathy, the commonest form of primary nephropathy worldwide. The prevalence of sleep apnea among peritoneal dialysis patients could be as high as 60-90%, and this is mainly related to fluid accumulation in the upper airway during sleep leading to obstructive sleep apnea, and accumulation of uremic toxins leading to central sleep apnea. In IgA nephropathy, both immunosuppressive and non-immunomodulating approaches may partially ameliorate proteinuria, a key prognostic biomarker in chronic nephropathies, in selected patient groups. The results of these observations have been published in Clin J Am Soc Nephrol, J Am Soc Nephrol, and Kidney Int.

Selected Publications
  1. Wong DW, Yiu WH, Chan KW, Li Y, Li B, Lok SW, Taketo MM, Igarashi P, Chan LYY, Leung JCK, Lai KN, Tang SCW. Activated renal tubular Wnt/β-catenin signaling triggers renal inflammation during overload proteinuria. Kidney Int 2018; 93: 1367-1383
  2. Yiu WH, Wong DW, Wu HJ, Yam I, Li RX, Chan LY, Leung JC, Lan HY, Lai KN, Tang SC: Kallistatin protects against diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice by suppressing AGE-RAGE-induced oxidative stress. Kidney Int 2016; 89: 386-398
  3. Lin M, Yiu WH, Li RX, Wu HJ, Wong DL, Chan LY, Leung JC, Lai KN, Tang SC: The TLR4 antagonist CRX-526 protects against advanced diabetic nephropathy. Kidney Int 2013; 83: 887-900
  4. Lin M, Au WS, Chan AW, Yiu WH, Chan LY, Leung JC, Chan KW, Lai KN, Tang SC: Toll-like receptor 4 promotes tubular inflammation in diabetic nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol 2012; 23: 86-102
  5. Diabetes and the Kidney. K.N. Lai and S.C.W. Tang, eds. Karger AG, 2011 (Book)
  6. Tang SC, Lam B, Leung WS, Chu CM, Ho YW, Ip MS, Lai KN: Sleep apnea as a novel risk predictor for cardiovascular morbidity and death in peritoneal dialysis patients. Kidney Int 2010; 77: 1031-1038
  7. Tang SC, Tang AW, Wong SS, Leung JC, Ho YW, Lai KN: Long-term study of mycophenolate mofetil treatment in IgA nephropathy. Kidney Int 2010; 77: 543-549
  8. Tang SC, Lai KN: The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and IgA nephropathy: a novel link? Kidney Int 2009; 75, 457-459 [invited review article]
  9. Tang SC, Leung JC, Chan LY, Eddy AA, Lai KN: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor but not angiotensin receptor blockade or statin ameliorates murine adriamycin nephropathy. Kidney Int 2008; 73: 288-299
  10. Lai KN, Leung JCK, Chan LY, Guo H, Tang SC: Interaction between proximal tubular epithelial cells and infiltrating monocytes/T cells in the proteinuric state. Kidney Int 2007; 71: 526-538
  11. Tang SC, Lam B, Ku PP, Leung WS, Chu CM, Ho YW, Ip MS, Lai KN: Alleviation of sleep apnea in patients with chronic renal failure by nocturnal cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis. J Am Soc Nephrol 2006; 17: 2607-2616 
  12. Tang SC, Leung JC, Chan LY, Tsang AW, Lai KN: Activation of tubular epithelial cells in diabetic nephropathy and the role of the PPAR-gamma agonist. J Am Soc Nephrol 2006; 17: 1633-1643
  13. Tang S, Leung JC, Chan LY, Lui YH, Tang CS, Kan CH, Ho YW, Lai KN: Mycophenolate mofetil alleviates persistent proteinuria in IgA nephropathy. Kidney Int 2005; 68: 802-812
  14. Tang S, Leung JC, Abe K, Chan KW, Chan LY, Chan TM, Lai KN: Albumin stimulates interleukin-8 expression in proximal tubular epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. J Clin Invest 2003; 111: 515-527

Key Offices
  1. Chairman, Institutional Review Board, The University of Hong Kong / Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (since 2013)
  2. Chairman, Basic Physician Board, Hong Kong College of Physicians (since 2015)
  3. Chairman, Hong Kong Society of Nephrology (since 2016)
  4. Panel Member, Grant Review Board for Health and Medical Research Fund, Food and Health Bureau, HKSAR Government
  5. Member, Hospital Governing Committee, Grantham Hospital, Hong Kong Hospital Authority (since 2013)
  6. Member, Central Renal Committee, Hong Kong Hospital Authority (since 2012)
  7. Member, Specialty Board in Nephrology, Hong Kong College of Physicians (since 2011)
  8. Council Member, Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology (since 2016)
  9. Hon. Treasurer, Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology (2008-2016)
  10. Licentiate Committee Member and Chairman of Credentials Subcommittee, The Medical Council of Hong Kong (2011 – 2014)

Esteem Measures
  1. Sir David Todd Lectureship Award, Hong Kong College of Physicians (2002)
  2. Young Investigator Award, 47th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Nephrology, Utsunomiya, Japan (2004)
  3. Clinical Research Fellowship Scheme Award, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong (2004)
  4. Best Presentation Award, 9th Research Postgraduate Symposium for PhD Candidates, The University of Hong Kong (2004)
  5. Teaching Medal Award, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (2009)
  6. King's College London/HKU Fellowship Award (2013)
  7. Outstanding Researcher Award, The University of Hong Kong (2017)

Editorial Board Memberships
  1. Kidney International (since 2012)
  2. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Theme and Subspecialties Editor (Clinical Nephrology and Diabetes) (since 2013)
  3. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (since 2017)
  4. Nephrology, Editor-in-Chief (since 2018)
  5. American Journal of Nephrology (since 2014)
  6. Journal of Nephrology (since 2009)
  7. Faculty 1000Trials (since 2013)
  8. Case Reports in Nephrology and Urology, Managing Editor (2011-2012)

Ongoing Competitive Research Grants as P.I.
Project Code/Funding Scheme Project Title Amount (HK$)
RGC General Research Fund 2018/19   Role of renal tubular Wnt/β-catenin in modulating renal inflammation 971,990
Health and Medical Research Fund 2017/18 Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)-targeted therapy: potential for preventing renal fibrosis 1,041,848
RGC Collaborative Research Fund 2016/17 Mechanisms of Renal Inflammation: Role of Toll-like Receptor 4 7,518,927
RGC General Research Fund 2016/17 Role of kallistatin in Wnt/β-catenin signaling during renal fibrosis 1,098,800
Health and Medical Research Fund 2016/17 Efficacy, safety and response predictors of adjuvant astragalus therapy for diabetic kidney disease – An open-label randomised controlled trial with responder regression analysis 1,199,954
Health and Medical Research Fund 2016/17 Exploring the Role of induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Nephropathies 1,200,000
Health and Medical Research Fund 2015/16 Semi-structured Chinese Medicine Treatment as an Adjuvant Therapy to the Management of Diabetic Nephropathy – A pilot comparative clinical trial 1,000,000
National Natural Science Foundation of China 探索Wnt/beta-catenin信号通路在蛋白尿肾病中的双相双重作用 570,000