• All
  • 2019
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Obesity

HKBU research suggests potential of artemisinin derivative in treating human obesity

A Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) research suggested that artesunate, a derivative from Qinghaosu (artemisinin) which is a natural product from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua, can effectively reduce body weight and improve metabolic profiles such as insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels in obese mice and macaques, without inducing side effects of nausea and malaise. This is the first time that artesunate is demonstrated to be able to treat obesity in a non-human primate, suggesting its therapeutic potential as a drug for treating human obesity.

New discovery unveils therapeutic target for COVID-19

In the past few years, the development of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs topped the task list of the scientists as a result of the global outbreak of this pandemic. Two major challenges when it comes to developing COVID-19 drugs are how to enhance treatment results for patients with weak immune systems, and how to maintain the drugs’ effectiveness across different viral strains. Understanding the cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 virus is vital to curb the spread of the virus, and it will also aid the search for new COVID-19 treatments.

HKBU-led research unveils cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 and therapeutic target for COVID-19

A study led by scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has identified a protease called MT1-MMP that is a major host factor behind the infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the human body, which leads to the infection of COVID-19 and multi-organ failure. By applying a humanised antibody called 3A2 that can inhibit the activity of MT1-MMP, the viral load of infected mice was reduced by almost 90%. The research team also demonstrated that the protease is a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19.

Research led by SCM identifies new regulatory mechanism for insulin resistance and therapeutic target for age-related diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (T2D), which has currently become a global epidemic, is a chronic metabolic disorder estimated to be affecting 370 million adults worldwide. In healthy people, the pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels after food consumption. In people with T2D, the insulin-sensitive tissues, such as those in the liver and muscles, do not respond to insulin; this condition is known as insulin resistance. As a consequence, sugar stays in the bloodstream for a longer time, leading to a series of T2D-associated health issues including loss of limbs, blindness and even death.

HKBU discovers mechanisms underlying early life stress and irritable bowel syndrome

Researchers from the School of Chinese Medicine have found that the abnormal rise of a soluble protein called Nerve Growth Factor is a key factor linking early life stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome. The study, which is the first to demonstrate the link between traumatic psychological events occurring in childhood and lifelong health repercussions, could lead to the development of new treatments for gastrointestinal diseases.