Dr. Raymond Lai

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Dr. Raymond Lai is currently appointed as Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.


Using ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALK+ALCL) as the primary experimental model, my laboratory has been studying how oncogenic tyrosine kinases such as NPM-ALK mediates and promotes oncogenesis for the past 2 decades. One of the major focuses is related to the interactions between NPM-ALK and the STAT pathway, especially that of STAT1/STAT3. Since 2010, our NPM-ALK research has led us to a highly important embryonic stem cell protein, Sox2. Using a Sox2 transcription activity reporter, we discovered a highly novel intra-tumoral heterogeneity, in which a small subset of stem-like cells can be identified and purified. Most recently, we are studying how these stem-like cells create chemoresistance via directly altering autophagy, a subject that had won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology. I am currently recruiting students or post-doctoral fellows to further explore how cancer stem-like cells utilize autophagy to promote cell survival and chemoresistance, and how NPM-ALK/STAT pathway play roles in this context. 

Research Keywords

autophagy, cancer cell plasticity, Cancer stemness, carcinoma, chemoresistance, Intra-tumoral heterogeneity, lymphoma, Myc, NPM-ALK, Pathology, Sox2, STAT signaling, tyrosine kinase inhibitors