Dennis Lo

Prof. Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and the Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1997, Prof. Lo and his co-workers reported the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in the plasma of pregnant women. Since then, Prof. Lo has elucidated the fundamental biological characteristics regarding circulating fetal DNA as well as its clinical applications in noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. In 2008, Prof. Lo and his team demonstrated that next-generation sequencing of maternal plasma DNA would allow fetuses with Down syndrome to be detected robustly and noninvasively. In 2011, Prof. Lo and his team published the first large-scale validation of this technology for Down syndrome detection. This technology has since then been rapidly introduced into clinical practice in late 2011. Prof. Lo was also the first to demonstrate in 2010 that the fetal genome could be sequenced noninvasively from maternal plasma. Taken as a whole, Prof. Lo’s work has created a paradigm shift in prenatal diagnosis, making such testing safer for the fetuses and less stressful for the pregnant mothers. In recognition of his work, Prof. Lo has won numerous awards and was elected to the Royal Society in 2011.

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