Biography and research overview
Dr Yuen-Li Chung is a senior staff scientist in the Cancer Research UK Cancer Imaging Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London. She specialises in using magnetic resonance (MR)-based techniques to study cancer metabolism and its response following targeted therapies. She collaborates with many research teams both internal and external to the ICR.
Dr Chung develops non-invasive imaging biomarkers in preclinical tumour models using metabolomic techniques such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), hyperpolarised 13C-MRS (DNP 13 C-MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
She uses imaging to assess tumour response and identify the emergence of resistant disease following treatment with novel anticancer agents. Complementary methodologies such as histology, biochemical assays and western blots are used to support the imaging findings. The information she generates is also useful in elucidating the mechanism of drug action, and her findings are translatable to the clinic.
Dr Chung exploits dynamic metabolomic methodologies to examine metabolic fluxes and follow metabolic pathways in cancer cells subject to cellular stress or undergoing apoptosis and autophagy in response to treatment.
She also applies these techniques to investigate the role of certain signalling pathways, gene products or proteins in regulating cellular metabolism in cancer, investigating how cancer metabolism is altered in response to perturbation of key drivers.
The information gained from these studies provides insights into the important factors that promote cancer cell growth, maintain cellular homeostasis and prolong cell survival.