Laboratory medicine: Confirming diagnoses and supporting treatments – quickly, efficiently and correctly.

Professor Y. M. Dennis Lo

Award Winner for Biochemical Analytics

This year's „Biochemical Analytics“ award goes to Professor Dennis Lo from Hong Kong, a highly acclaimed researcher in the field of molecular genetics and genetic laboratory diagnostics.

Dennis Lo was born in Hong Kong in 1963. His father was a medical doctor and his mother a music teacher. He studied medicine in Cambridge and Oxford and received his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford. He then lectured Clinical Biochemistry and became a Consultant Chemical Pathologist at Oxford. In 1997 he returned to Hong Kong and discovered the presence of foetal DNA in maternal blood plasma in the same year.

Professor Dennis Lo is Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has a professorship in Medicine and is a Research Dean at the Faculty of Medicine.

The discovery of tumour DNA in blood plasma inspired him to look for foetal DNA in maternal blood. In 1997 he described his success to be like: „finding your car’s engine somewhere other than under the bonnet.“ As already stated, he published his discovery of foetal DNA in maternal blood plasma in 1997. Using sequencing-based techniques, he subsequently succeeded in determining the sex of the foetus and detecting Down Syndrome at an early stage. Ultimately, he and his research group were able to produce a genome-wide genetic mapping of the foetal genome from maternal blood. He is currently working on the topics of liquid biopsy and screening for various types of tumours.

Dennis Lo has already received several top-class prizes, he is among the top 0.1% of scientific authors in his field of research and he has been accepted into renowned academies (Royal Society, American Academy of Sciences, Hong Kong Academy of Sciences).

Recent publications by Professor Dennis Lo deal with the detection of circular RNA as biomarkers in urine and the importance of hepatic cell-free nucleic acids in blood plasma.