Dr. Sinnie Ng obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2011 under the joint supervision of Prof. Tomoshige Kino (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A.) and Prof. Stephen Tsui (School of Biomedical Science, CUHK). After graduation, she pursued post-doctoral training in Dr. George Pavlakis's lab at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), U.S.A., to study the use of interleukin-15 (IL-15) in cancer immunotherapy.
Cancer immunotherapy is a new trend of cancer treatment, by using immunomodulators to improve the patients' immunity against cancer. IL-15 is an important cytokine that plays essential roles in generation, development and maintenance of memory CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells. Dr. Ng is a member of Dr. Pavlakis's research team in investigating the use of heterodimeric IL-15 (hetIL-15), the natural form of the cytokine, to treat cancer. With more than 8 years of effort, hetIL-15 was approved by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in April 2015 to be used in Phase I clinical trial for treating adult metastatic cancer patients in NCI.
Dr. Ng has recently been awarded the 2015 NCI's Director Innovation Award. This early career award aims at supporting investigators in the development of highly innovative approaches and technologies to solve significant cancer-related problems.