Professor Wing Hang LEUNG (梁永恆)

MBBS(HK), PhD(Johns Hopkins)

Head of Department
Clinical Professor

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

School for Clinical Medicine

The University of Hong Kong



Paediatric Oncology/ Transplant and Cell Therapy



American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award
Phi Beta Kappa – Johns Hopkins University

Elected and inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation







(852) 2255-4485
(852) 2855-1523
Department of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Room 117, 1/F, New Clinical Building,

Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road,
Hong Kong


Research ID

ORCid :



h-index: 54


Research areas

Prof Leung’s research work focuses on the followings:


(a) KIR genetics:

• biology of KIR polymorphism

• clinical implications in transplantation

(b) Basic NK cell biology:

• biological determinants of antileukemia effect

• molecular mechanisms for regulation of NKG2D ligand expression through RXRγ, ATM, PRL-3 and HSP60

• transcription factors that regulate NK development including TOX2 and T-bet

(c) Development of novel cell therapy:

• allogeneic NK cells

• memory T cells

• virus-specific T cells

• Chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells and NK cells (CAR-T and CAR-NK)

(d) Outcome research in childhood cancer


Selected publications


(a) KIR genetics

  1. Leung W, Iyengar R, Triplett B, Turner V, Behm FG, Holladay MS, Houston J, Handgretinger R.Comparison of killer Ig-like receptor genotyping and phenotyping for selection of allogeneic blood stem cell donors. J Immunol 174(10):6540-6545, 2005.
  2. Bari R, Bell T, Vong QP, Chan WK, Dasgupta N, Holladay M, Rooney B, Leung W. Significant functional heterogeneity among KIR2DL1 alleles and a pivotal role of arginine245. Blood 114(25):5182-5190, 2009.
  3. Bari R, Rujkijyanont P, Sullivan E, Kang G, Turner V, Gan K, and Leung W. The effect of donor KIR2DL1 allelic polymorphism on the outcome of pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. J Clin Oncol, 31(30):3782-90, 2013.
  4. Chan WK, Rujkijyanont P, Neale G, Yang J, Bari R, Das Gupta N, Holladay M, Rooney B, Leung W. Multiplex and genome-wide analyses reveal distinctive properties of KIR+ and CD56+ T cells in human blood. J Immunol. 191(4):1625-36, 2013.


(b) Basic NK cell biology

  1. Leung W, Iyengar R, Turner V, Lang P, Bader P, Conn P, Niethamer D, Handgretinger R. Determinants of antileukemia effects of allogeneic NK cells. J Immunol 172:644-650, 2004.
  2. Leung WH, Vong QP, Lin W, Janke L, Chen T, Leung W. Modulation of NKG2D ligand expression and metastasis in tumors by spironolactone via RXRγ activation. J Exp Med. 210:2675-2692, 2013.
  3. Vong QP, Leung WH, Houston J, Li Y, Rooney B, Holladay M, Oostendorp RA, Leung W. TOX2 regulates human natural killer cell development by controlling T-BET expression. Blood. 124(26):3905-13, 2014.
  4. Leung WH, Vong QP, Lin W, Bouck D, Wendt S, Sullivan E, Li Y, Bari R, Chen T, Leung W. PRL-3 mediates the protein maturation of ULBP by regulating the tyrosine phosphorylation of HSP60. J Immunol. 194(6):2930-41, 2015


(c)  Development of novel cell therapy

  1. Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Ribeiro RC, Pounds S, Rooney B, Bell T, Pui CH, Leung W. NKAML: A pilot study of haploidentical natural killer cell transplantation in childhood acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol 28(6):955-9, 2010
  2. Rujkijyanont P, Chan WK, Eldridge PW, Lockey T, Holladay M, Rooney B, Davidoff AM, Leung W. Ex Vivo activation of CD56+ immune cells that eradicate neuroblastoma. Cancer Res.73(8): 2608-18, 2013
  3. Chan WK, Suwannasaen D, Throm RE, Li Y, Eldridge PW, Houston J, Gray JT, Pui CH, Leung W. Chimeric antigen receptor-redirected CD45RA-negative T cells have potent antileukemia and pathogen memory response without graft-versus-host activity. Leukemia. 29(2):387-95, 2015
  4. Bari R, Granzin M, Tsang KS, Roy A, Krueger W, Orentas R, Pfeifer R, Moeker N, Verhoeyen E, Dropulic B, Leung W. A Distinct Subset of Highly Proliferative and Lentiviral Vector (LV)-Transducible NK Cells Define a Readily Engineered Subset for Adoptive Cellular Therapy. Front Immunol. 10:2001, 2019. [PMCID: PMC6713925].


(d)  Outcome research in childhood cancer

  1. Leung W, Hudson MM, Strickland DK, Phipps S, Srivastava DK, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Sandlund JT, Kun LE, Bowman LC, Shearer P, Evans WE, Pui CH. Late effects of treatment in survivors of childhood acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol 18:3273-3279, 2000.
  2. Leung W, Rose SR, Zhou Y, Hancock ML, Burstein S, Schriock EA, Lustig R, Danish RK, Evans WE, Hudson MM, Pui CH. Outcomes of growth hormone replacement therapy in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Oncol 20(13):2959-2964, 2002
  3. Pui CH, Cheng C, Leung W, Rai SN, Rivera GK, Sandlund JT, Relling MV, Kun LE, Evans WE, Hudson MM. Extended follow-up of long-term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. N Engl J Med. 349(7):640-9, 2003
  4. Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Dahl G, Ribeiro RC, Bowman WP, Taub J, Pounds S, Razzouk BI, Lacayo NJ, Cao X, Meshinchi S, Degar B, Airewele G, Raimondi SC, Onciu M, Coustan-Smith E, Downing JR, Leung W, Pui CH, Campana D. Minimal residual disease-directed therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia: results of the AML02 multicentre trial. Lancet Oncol. 11(6):543-52, 2010
  5. Leung W, Yang J, Campana D, Pei D, Gan K, Rubnitz JE, Sandlund JT, Ribeiro RC, Srinivasan A, Hartford C, Triplett BM, Dallas M, Pillai A, Pui C-H. High success rate of hematopoietic cell transplantation regardless of donor source in children with very-high-risk leukemia. Blood 118(2):223-230, 2011.
  6. Leung W, Pui CH, Coustan-Smith E, Yang J, Pei D, Gan K, Srinivasan A, Hartford C, Triplett BM, Dallas M, Pillai A, Shook D, Rubnitz JE, Sandlund JT, Jeha S, Inaba H, Ribeiro RC, Handgretinger R, Laver JH, Campana D. Detectable minimal residual disease before hematopoietic cell transplantation is prognostic but does not preclude cure for children with very-high-risk leukemia. Blood 120(2):468-472, 2012. 

Full publication list





>30 Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows



Clinical Service


Hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy