“Don’t let small failures stop you from going forward, every result you make is another step paving for the foundation of knowledge.” Jimmy Cheung
Jimmy has a bioengineering background focused on biomaterials and nanoparticle drug delivery systems from the University of Manchester, UK. Currently, he finished his Ph.D. study in the school of optometry at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with research focusing on different ocular components using the proteomics approach with new generation mass spectrometry.
This training allowed him to excel in mass spectrometry (Quadrupole TOF, Ion Trap TOF), high-performance liquid chromatography (nano, micro-flow) handling, maintenance, and analysis as well as handling of various animal models (chicken and rodent).
He is focusing on Tear Fluid Biomarkers research project under the supervision of Prof Thomas Lam.
1. What’s your main role in this research project? Why do you interest in this role? What did you find something interesting in your research?
I am interested in proteomics which can be used to identify and quantify ocular proteins and potential biomarkers for various diseases. Currently, I have involved in tears biomarkers diagnostics focusing on dry eye disease which includes the setup of animal models and drug testing. In this project, we aim to establish various methods for tears collection and animal models for Dry eye disease for potential drug testing platforms, as well as the identification of proteins within tears for diagnosis. I am responsible for the setup of a viable disease model, as well as choosing the materials for tears collection. Also, specific protocols of sample preparation and loading on the MS also have to be optimized further with data analysis for potential disease-specific targets.
2. How is your research changing lives for the better?
I hope to ease the pains of patients who have dry eye symptoms which are on the rise and further helping patients with other ocular complications.
3. What do you wish to achieve in your research at CEVR?
I wish to identify potential dry eye-specific targets which can be used to provide novel drug solutions for dry eye patients. Moreover, I wish to fully utilize my experience to enhance the overall workflow with shorter diagnostic and analysis time while learning other various techniques further strengthen my skills. I hope to ease the pains of patients who have dry eye symptoms which are on the rise and further helping patients with other ocular complications.
4. Tell us about a breakthrough moment in your research.
Multidiscipline backgrounds working together in a team allowed various research ideas to come into place, for providing solutions and tackling ocular problems from multiple angles. For the breakthrough moment in our research, the newly installed mass spectrometer in CEVR allowed the identification of proteins in much smaller amounts which greatly benefited our research, especially in patients with insufficient tears production.
5. Are there any challenges? How has CEVR supported your research endeavors?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is optimizing the methods for sample collection (which includes materials of use), but CEVR has supported tremendously with materials and training support to several of the equipment for us to use.
6. What’s the biggest misconception about being a research student in science?
Don’t let small failures stop you from going forward, every result you make is another step paving for the foundation of knowledge.
7. What would surprise people about working in science?
Ideas and breakthroughs often come from places that you don’t really expect.
8. What does it take to be a researcher in sciences?
Don’t be afraid to ask why to everything that you observe.