Dennis Lo

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Dennis Lo
Traditional Chinese盧煜明
Simplified Chinese卢煜明

Yuk-ming Dennis Lo FRS (born c. 1963) is a Hong Kong scientist. He is a professor of chemical pathology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.[1] He is the director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences.[2] Lo is a fellow of the Royal Society.[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Lo was born in Hong Kong. His father was a medical doctor and his mother taught music. In 1983, at the age of 20, he attended Cambridge University and completed a pre-clinical degree before attending Oxford for clinical training.[4] He later finished his PhD at Oxford. Lo has stated that he does not practice a religion but in his heart of hearts would have "to invoke something religious to explain everything right to the beginning."[5]


After learning about a new method to detect small amounts of DNA called polymerase chain reaction from another researcher, Lo read a research paper describing the detection of tumor DNA in blood plasma. Lo wondered if it would be possible to detect fetal DNA in blood from a pregnant mother.[5] In 1989, he published results that suggested fetal DNA did exist but only in low quantities.[5] However, in 1997, Lo was successful in detecting fetal DNA in the plasma of a pregnant mother by using the male chromosome as a marker.[1][5] He called the discovery like "finding your car's engine somewhere other than under the bonnet." This discovery has enabled a safer way for prenatal diagnosis of abnormalities in fetal development.[1] In 2011, he developed a sequencing-based technology to determine the gender of the fetus earlier than an ultrasound.[1][5] Lo was able to adapt this technology to use RNA, instead of DNA, to detect down-syndrome in unborn fetuses where previous methods could cause a miscarriage.[6]


  • State Natural Science Award from the State Council of China, 2005[7]
  • International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2006[7]
  • Abbott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Molecular Dianosticas[7]
  • US National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Distinguished Scientist Award, 2006[7]
  • Sigi Zeiring Award from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, 2009[7]
  • Fellow of the Royal Society, 2011[7]
  • Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, 2013[7]
  • King Faisal Award 2014
  • Future Science Prize, 2016[8]
  • Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate (in recognition of the high number of citations that rank Lo in the top 0.1% of his field world wide), 2016


  1. ^ a b c d "Yuk-Ming Dennis lo, MD: AACC-NACB Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research". American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Professor Yuk Ming Dennis Lo FRS". The Royal Society.
  3. ^ "Encounters with Alumni from Greater China". Oxford University. August 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  4. ^ Misia Landau (April 2012). "Inspiring Minds: Yuk-Ming Dennis Lo". 56 (4). Clinical Chemistry: 784–786. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2011.179069. Retrieved 6 September 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e ZoÎ Corbyn (31 August 2013). "Dennis Lo: 'Should parents be told about a disease their child might get?'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  6. ^ Andrew Pollack (October 6, 2008). "Blood Tests Ease Search for Down Syndrome". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Academic Profiles: Dennis Lo, Professor". The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  8. ^ Siu, Phila (2016-09-20). "Hong Kong professor bags first-ever Chinese version of Nobel Prize". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2019-09-13.

External links[edit]