“Don’t let small failures stop you from going forward, every result you make is another step paving for the foundation of knowledge.” Dr. Jimmy Cheung
Jimmy has a bioengineering background focused on biomaterials and nanoparticle drug delivery systems from the University of Manchester, UK. 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.
He is focusing on Tear Fluid Biomarkers research project under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Lam.
1. What is your focus of 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 am involved in tear biomarker diagnostics focusing on dry eye disease which includes the setup of experimental protocols and drug testing. In this project, we aim to establish various methods for tear collection and potential testing platforms for dry eye disease drugs, 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 tear collection. Also, specific protocols for sample preparation and loading on the mass spectrometry system in CEVR 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 pain of patients who have dry eye symptoms which are on the rise and further help 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 to further strengthen my skills.
4. Tell us about a breakthrough moment in your research.
Multidisciplinary teams allow for new ideas that can tackle 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 tear 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, but CEVR has provided tremendous support with materials and training.
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.