Professor YUNG Sou Ying, Susan

Prof Susan Yung

Associate Professor

  • BSc Tech (Hons) (Wales, UK), PhD (Wales, UK)

Prof Yung is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. She graduated in Applied Biology from Cardiff University, U.K., and obtained a Ph.D. at Cardiff University School of Medicine, U.K. Prof Yung received post-doctoral training at Cardiff University School of Medicine and University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

Research Profile

Prof Yung's research interests focuses on:

  • Mechanisms leading to inflammation and fibrosis in chronic kidney disease and peritoneal dialysis
  • Immuno-pathogenesis of lupus nephritis

Patients with end-stage renal failure require life-long dialysis or kidney transplantation to sustain life. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is an established renal replacement therapy that is used by approximately 11% of the global dialysis population and is the predominant form of dialysis used in Hong Kong. My research focuses on the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that mediate PD-associated peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis and the identification of agents that may delay or reverse peritoneal fibrosis. Our findings include the discovery that peritoneal microRNA-200c expression is markedly reduced in PD fluid-treated mice when compared to control mice and this is accompanied by increased peritoneal α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin and collagen I expression. Over-expression of microRNA-200c in mesothelial cells attenuated PD fluid and TGF-β1 mediated fibrotic processes.

Collaborative research with Prof T. M. Chan focuses on mechanisms leading to inflammatory and fibrotic processes in lupus nephritis and chronic kidney disease. Our findings include the discovery that human polyclonal anti-dsDNA antibodies bind to annexin II on the cell surface of mesangial cells, are internalized and transported to the nuclei where they mediate downstream inflammatory and fibrotic processes. Our animal studies investigate the underlying mechanisms leading to kidney inflammation and fibrosis, and the effect of novel treatment for lupus nephritis and chronic kidney disease.
Our findings have been published in J Am Soc Nephrol, Kidney Int, Arthritis Rheum and other leading nephrology, rheumatology and translational medicine journals.

Selected Publications
  1. Zhang C, Chan CCY, Cheung KF, Chau MKM, Yap DYH, Ma MKM, Chan KW, Yung S*, Chan TM. Effect of mycophenolate and rapamycin on renal fibrosis in lupus nephritis. Clin Sci 2019; 133: 1721-1744.
  2. Chu JYS, Chau MKM, Chan CCY, Tai ACP, Cheung KF, Chan TM, Yung S*. miR-200c Prevents TGF-beta1-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition and Fibrogenesis in Mesothelial Cells by Targeting ZEB2 and Notch1. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2019; 17: 78-91.
  3. Yung S*, Ng CY, Au KY, Cheung KF, Zhang Q, Zhang C, Yap DY, Chau MK, Chan TM. Binding of anti-dsDNA antibodies to proximal tubular epithelial cells contributes to renal tubulointerstitial inflammation. Clin Sci 2017; 131: 49-67.
  4. Cheung KF, Yung S*, Chau MK, Yap DY, Chan KW, Lee CK, Tang CS, Chan TM. Annexin II-binding immunoglobulins in patients with lupus nephritis and their correlation with disease manifestations. Clin Sci 2017; 131: 653-671.
  5. Yung S*, Zhang Q, Chau MK, Chan TM. Distinct effects of mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide on renal fibrosis in NZBWF1/J mice. Autoimmunity 2015; 48: 471-487.
  6. Yung S*, Ng CY, Ho SK, Cheung KF, Chan KW, Zhang Q, Chau MK, Chan TM. Anti-dsDNA antibody induces soluble fibronectin secretion by proximal renal tubular epithelial cells and downstream increase of TGF-beta1 and collagen synthesis. J Autoimmun 2015; 58: 111-122.
  7. Yung S*, Lui SL, Ng CK, Yim A, Ma MK, Lo KY, Chow CC, Chu KH, Chak WL, Lam MF, Yung CY, Yip TP, Wong S, Tang CS, Ng FS, Chan TM. Impact of a low-glucose peritoneal dialysis regimen on fibrosis and inflammation biomarkers. Perit Dial Int 2015; 35: 147-158.
  8. Yung S*, Chau MKM, Zhang Q, Zhang CZ, Chan TM. Sulodexide decreases albuminuria and regulates matrix protein accumulation in C57BL/6 mice with streptozotocin-induced type I diabetic nephropathy. PLoS ONE 2013; 8: e54501.
  9. Yung S, Cheung KF, Zhang Q, Chan TM. Anti-dsDNA antibodies bind to mesangial annexin II in lupus nephritis. J Am Soc Nephrol 2010; 21: 1912-1927.
  10. Yung S, Zhang Q, Zhang CZ, Chan KW, Lui SL, Chan TM. Anti-DNA antibody induction of protein kinase C phosphorylation and fibronectin synthesis in human and murine lupus and the effect of mycophenolic acid. Arthritis Rheum 2009; 60: 2071-2082.
  11. Yung S*, Tsang RC, Leung JK, Chan TM. Increased mesangial cell hyaluronan expression in lupus nephritis is mediated by anti-DNA antibody-induced IL-1beta. Kidney Int 2006; 69: 272-280.
  12. Yung S*, Tsang RC, Sun Y, Leung JK, Chan TM. Effect of human anti-DNA antibodies on proximal renal tubular epithelial cell cytokine expression: implications on tubulointerstitial inflammation in lupus nephritis. J Am Soc Nephrol 2005; 16: 3281-3294.

*co-corresponding author

Research Funding
  • Health and Medical Research Fund 2017/2018
  • RGC General Research Fund 2015/2016
  • RGC General Research Fund 2014/2015
  • RGC General Research Fund 2012/2013