Dr KO Ka Shun, Joshua

  • Associate Professor, Teaching and Research Division
  • Expert in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Chemotherapy and Gastroenterology
  • jksko@hkbu.edu.hk

Dr. Ko obtained his bachelor degree at the University of Toronto, Canada with double specialists in Toxicology and Nutritional Sciences. He then continued his doctoral study at the University of Hong Kong and obtained a PhD degree in Pharmacology. Dr. Ko had lectured in the Medical School of the University of Hong Kong and been actively involved in many research projects. He had published over 100 journal papers and conference proceedings. His fields of research include pharmacology, toxicology, chemotherapy and gastroenterology. His research focuses on the signaling pathways of anti-carcinogenic agents, with special interest in the pharmacological actions of herbal terpenoids and flavonoids when treating gastrointestinal cancers, particular that of the colon, pancreas and the liver, as well as to identify the key molecular drug targets. Current new ventures include the use of microRNA technology and tumor-targeting peptide, and to study modulation of the autophagy mechanism as well as the tumor microenvironment. He also performs works related to gastroprotection and colitis diseases. He is now member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) - Gastrointestinal Section, and at present the Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Pharmacology Society. Dr. Ko is the course coordinator of Pharmacology, Toxicology, Anatomy, as well as Internal Medicine on the Digestive & Hepatobiliary and Renal Systems. He is the Chairman of the University’s Laboratory Safety Sub-committee and the School of Chinese Medicine's Laboratory Safety Committee and Lab Animal Management Committee. 

Selected Publications

  • KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2017) The ‘Yin and Yang’ of target-oriented anti-cancer phytochemicals derived from herbal medicines. In: Frontiers in Therapeutic Targets for Inflammation and Cancer in the Gastrointestinal Tract, Chapter 12. The World Scientific: Singapore. pp. 257-279.
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W. & KO, J.K.S. (2017) Angiogenesis and oxidative stress in metastatic tumor progression: pathogenesis and novel therapeutic approach of colon cancer. Current Pharmaceutical Design 23(27), 3952-3961. 
  • ZHENG, L.C., REN, T.J., CHEN, H.B., KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W.† (2016) Astragalus saponins inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in mouse macrophages. American Journal of Chinese Medicine 44(3), 579-593. [denotes co-corresponding author]
  • TSANG, S.W., AUYEUNG, K.K.W., BIAN, Z.X. & KO, J.K.S. (2016) Pathogenesis, experimental models and contemporary pharmacotherapy of irritable bowel syndrome: story about the brain-gut axis. Current Neuropharmacology 14(8), 842-856.
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., HAN, Q. & KO, J.K.S. (2016) Astragalus membranaceus: A review of its protection against inflammation and gastrointestinal cancers. American Journal of Chinese Medicine 44(1), 1-22.
  • LI, Q., CHEN, Y.M., HU, Y.G., LUO, X., KO, J.K.S. & CHEUNG, C.W. (2016) Synthesis and biological activity of some fused furo[2,3-d]pyrimidinone derivatives as analgesic and antitumor agents. Research on Chemical Intermediates 42, 939-949.
  • WANG, Y., AUYEUNG, K.K.W., ZHANG, X. & KO, J.K.S. (2014) AST modulates colon cancer development by regulating calpain-mediated glucose-regulated protein expression. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14(1), 401. 
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2014) Combined therapeutic effects of vinblastine and Astragalus saponins (AST) in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft via inhibition of tumor growth and proangiogenic factors. Nutrition and Cancer 66(4), 662-674.
  • KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2014) Identification of functional peptides from natural and synthetic products on their anticancer activities by tumor targeting. Current Medicinal Chemistry 21(21), 2346-2356.
  • KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2014) Inflammatory bowel disease: etiology, pathogenesis and current therapy. Current Pharmaceutical Design 20(7), 1082-1096.
  • TAN, Y.,* KO, J.,* LIU, X., LU, C., LI, J., XIAO, C., LI, L., NIU, X., JIANG, M., HE,  X., ZHAO, H., ZHANG, Z., BIAN, Z., YANG, Z., ZHANG, G., ZHANG, W. & LU, A. (2014) Serum metabolomics reveals betaine and phosphatidylcholine as potential biomarkers for the toxic responses of processed Aconitum Carmichaeli Debx. Molecular BioSystems 10(9), 2305-2316. [* denotes co-first author]
  • KO, J.K.S. & AUYEUNG, K.K.W. (2013) Target-oriented mechanisms of novel herbal therapeutics in the chemotherapy of gastrointestinal cancer and inflammation. Current Pharmaceutical Design 19(1), 48-66.
  • TAN, Y., LI, J., LIU, X., KO, J., HE, X., LU, C., ZHAO, H., XIAO, C., NIU, X., ZHA, Q., YU, Z., ZHANG, W. & LU, A. (2013) Deciphering the differential toxic responses of Radix aconiti lateralis praeparata in healthy and hydrocortisone-pretreated rats based on serum metabolic profiles. Journal of Proteome Research 12, 513-524.
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C., CHAN, L.Y. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Astragalus saponins downregulate hypoxia-induced VEGF induction in colon cancer cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 12(1), 160. 
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Novel anti-angiogenic effects of formononetin in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft. Oncology Reports 28(6), 2188-2194. 
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., WOO, P.K., LAW, P.C. & KO, J.K.S. (2012) Astragalus saponins modulate cell invasiveness and angiogenesis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 141(2), 635-641. 
  • KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (2011) Adaptive cytoprotection and the brain-gut axis. Digestion 83(Suppl. 1), 19-24.
  • KO, J.K.S. & LEUNG, C.C.Y. (2010) Ginger extract and polaprezinc exert gastroprotective actions by antioxidant and growth factor modulating effects in rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 25(12), 1861-1869. 
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., MOK, N.L., WONG, C.M., CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (2010) Astragalus saponins modulate mTOR and ERK signaling to promote apoptosis through the extrinsic pathway in HT-29 colon cancer cells. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 26(3), 341-349. 
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W. & KO, J.K.S. (2010) Novel herbal flavonoids promote apoptosis but differentially induce cell cycle arrest in human colon cancer cell. Investigational New Drugs 28(1), 1-13. 
  • KO, J.K.S. & LEUNG, C.C.Y. (2010) Ginger extract and polaprezinc exert gastroprotective actions by antioxidant and growth factor modulating effects in rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 25, 1861-1869.
  • AUYEUNG, K.K., CHO, C.H. & KO, J.K.S. (2009) A novel anticancer effect of Astragalus saponins: transcriptional activation of NSAID-activated gene. International Journal of Cancer 125, 1082-1091.
  • KO, J.K.S. & CHIK, C.W.S. (2009) The protective action of radix Astragalus membranaceus against hapten-induced colitis through modulation of cytokines. Cytokine 47, 85-90.
  • AUYEUNG, K.K.W., LIU, P.L., CHAN, C., WU, W.Y., LEE, S.S.T. & KO, J.K.S. (2008) Herbal isoprenols induce apoptosis in human colon cancer cells through transcriptional activation of PPAR gamma. Cancer Investigation 26, 708-717.
  • TIN, M.M.Y., CHO, C.H., CHAN, K., JAMES, A.E. & KO, J.K.S. (2007) Astragalus saponins induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft. Carcinogenesis 28(6), 1347-1355.
  • KO, J.K.S., LEUNG, W.C., HO, W.K. & CHIU, P. (2007) Herbal diterpenoids induce growth arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells with increased expression of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene. European Journal of  Pharmacology 559, 1-13.
  • KO, J.K.S., LAM, F.Y.L. & CHEUNG, A.P.L. (2005) Amelioration of experimental colitis by Astragalus membranaceus through anti-oxidation and inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis. World Journal of Gastroenterology 11 (37), 5787-5794.
  • KO, J.K.S. & CHO, C.H. (2005) The diverse actions of nicotine and different extracted fractions from tobacco smoke against hapten-induced colitis in rats. Toxicological Sciences 87 (1), 285-295.