Professor Lap-Chee Tsui FRS
Lap-Chee Tsui is a Hong Kong–Canadian geneticist who discovered the gene responsible for the heritable disorder, cystic fibrosis (CF). CF affects one in every 2,500 babies born in the United Kingdom. This life-threatening disease causes mucus produced by the body to be excessively thick, and particularly affects the lungs and digestive system. In a milestone for human genetics, Lap-Chee identified the CF disease gene, paving the way for new treatment strategies.
The gene, called CFTR, encodes a channel that helps to ‘water down’ mucus by enabling the transit of chloride ions into and out of cells. Although current CF treatments only control symptoms, thanks to insight from Lap-Chee’s research, treatments are becoming available to tackle the underlying physiology of the disorder by restoring the CFTR channel’s function.
Besides working on CF, Lap-Chee has studied human chromosome 7, contributing to the Human Genome Project and studies of other disease genes located on this chromosome. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2014.
President, Victor and William Fung Foundation
Director, Qiushi Academy for Advanced Studies, Zhejiang University
Interests and expertise