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Dennis Lo

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dennis Lo, director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, discovered in the mid-1990s that a baby’s DNA can be found in the mother’s blood. He then spent the next decade-and-a-half trying to translate his findings into clinical use, a time during which he developed a ground-breaking new method of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics that revolutionised screening tests for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions, affecting millions of pregnant women. Dennis’s current work focuses on a technique called “liquid biopsy” which helps in detecting head and neck cancer, and other cancers from a drop of blood – even before symptoms arise. His ultimate goal is to create a blood test that finds multiple types of cancer while the disease is still curable.

Up to 20 scientists and leading experts from all over the world and a wide range of disciplines are invited to share insights into their future-changing work at the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November, in front of 700 international guests. In an inspiring, information-packed 15 minutes each, speakers present the core of their breakthroughs – which walls are they helping to tear down and how will it transform our lives?

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