If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I am a lecturer of the Faculty of Life Sciences affiliated with the Microbiology research group. I graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a first class honoured degree in Zoology. I came to the United Kingdom with the award of the prestigious Croucher Foundation Scholarship (Hong Kong) by a selection committee chaired by the Nobel Laureate, Lord Todd. I declined a place in Cambridge in favour of Edinburgh.  After obtaining my Ph.D in Molecular Biology, I started my post-doct. also in Edinburgh on pioneering hepatitis C virus (HCV) research and have made major breakthrough in the discovery of a new genotype of the virus and its association with false negative blood donations and in the establishment of the current phylogenetic classification of the virus. I am a named inventor on international patents that have already led to the global marketing of an HCV testing kit by Abbott. I then moved to Cambridge and worked in both the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre and the University of Cambridge, as a post-doct. and grant holder. In the fall of 1999 I was appointed to a Lectureship in Molecular Virology at the Dept. of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), jointly with the Manchester Royal Infirmary. The following summer I was awarded the prestigious MRC Career Establishment Grant.  In 2004 I became a lecturer of The University of Manchester.  I am currently an Associate Chief Editor of the Frontiers in Virology and members of the Editorial Boards of ‘The Open Virology Journal’ and 'World Journal of Virology'.

Research interests

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) poses a major threat to human health, causing chronic hepatitis which can then progress into fibrosis, cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma.  In the UK, about 1% of the population is infected with the hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis C induced cirrhosis now comprises the commonest indication for liver transplantation-currently the only treatment for end-stage disease.  Evasion of the immune attack plays a critical role in establishing chronicity and tumor formation.  We are interested in studying how the infected cells become resistant to Fas- and Granzyme-mediated apoptosis induced by the immune cells and also how the infected cells ‘back-kill’ the immune cells by up-regulation of the Fas Ligand.

Virus infections provoke two types of responses: the interferon response and the ER stress response.  The two pathways ‘cross-talk’ and converge at the step of phosphorylation of eIF2a that is crucial for translational regulation.  We are interested in studying how the ER stress response regulates the interferon response during HCV infection and whether the ability to provoke a chronic ER stress response contributes to interferon resistance.  This will provide a novel insight into the mechanism of viral resistance to interferon and help improve the only and yet ineffective treatment for HCV.  We are also interested in studying the role of the ER stress response in the pathogenesis of HCV-associated diseases.

HCV utilises an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) element for translation, in contrast to cap-dependent translation of the majority of cellular proteins.  We are interested in studying the mechanisms of translational control under oxidative stress, as hepatitis C patients very often present elevated levels of oxidants in the blood and liver.  This may lead to a better understanding in the use of anti-oxidants in anti-HCV therapy, which is currently in clinical trials.


Hepatitis C is a clinically important disease affecting 170 million people worldwide and 1% of the UK population. It is caused by the infection of a virus called hepatitis C virus. The virus establishes a life-long chronic infection. About 80% of the infection with hepatitis C virus will develop into chronic hepatitis, of which 20-35% will progress into cirrhosis with a significant number of these leading to liver cancer. We are investigating how the virus can establish chronic infection and how the virus can cause diseases. Our results will provide valuable information in finding ways to interfere with these processes to eliminate the virus and to improved treatment.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Areas of expertise

  • QR355 Virology
  • IRES


  • hepatitis C virus
  • Dengue virus
  • IRES-dependent translation
  • vector-borne diseases
  • infectious diseases
  • human endogenous retrovirus
  • stress responses
  • virus-host interactions


Dive into the research topics where Shiu-Wan Chan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or