Dr Jessica CF Kwok

Dr Jessica CF Kwok


A neuro-/glyco-biologist focusing on enhancing plasticity for central nervous system pathologies.
BSc in Biochemistry - University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong).
PhD in Biochemistry - University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong).
Postdoctoral scientist - University of Cambridge (UK).
Visiting scientist (2017-2022) - Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic).




  • FBS Theme Lead for Healthy Living

Research interests

The role of chondroitin sulphates and perineuronal nets in neuroplasticity.
Perineuronal net (PNN) is a pericellular matrix ensheathing the surface of sub-populations of neurones.
The key research focus of the Kwok Lab is to decipher the role of chondroitin sulphates (CSs) and extracellular matrix assembly for the treatments of a multitude of pathologies in the central nervous system (CNS), including spinal cord injury, epilepsy, ageing, memory and neurodegeneration, via plasticity enhancement.
We employ and integrate techniques from different disciplines, including molecular biology, cell biology, animal behaviour, glycoscience, neuroscience and biophysics to address our research questions.

Public engagement.
Passionate in disseminating science information and knowledge to the public. Key topics include 1) brain communication, 2) neuroplasticity, 3) extracellular matrix and 4) spinal cord injury.
Check out the latest videos and update in our Twitter
News from the Kwok group:
Awarded a Royal Society International Exchanges fund to support a collaborative visit to Prof Oohashi’s laboratory in Okayama University (Japan) by Stuart Dickens in late 2021.
Welcome Cihan Civan Civas in joining the Kwok Lab. Cihan is a PhD student supported by a PhD studentship from the Turkey Government. Cihan will study the influence of extracellular matrix on astrocyte activation.
Welcome Dr Sumitra Srimasorn in joining the Kwok Lab. Dr Srimasorn will exploit the possibility of in vivo labelling of PNNs.

Current Lab members:


  1. PDRAs: Sylvain Gigout, Lynda Djerbal, Sumitra Srimasorn
  2. PhDs (main superviser): Stuart Dickens, Janice Ng, Ashleigh Goodenough, Cihan Civan Civas
  3. PhDs (co-superviser): James Duncan, Nicole Smith, Natalie Doody, Abigail Roberts

@KwokLab   @NeuroLeeds  @UProteoglycans
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD

Student education

Undergraduate project topics:
- Projects in all of the above areas are available. Enthusiastic and committed students are encouraged to contact me via email: j.kwok@leeds.ac.uk
Postgraduate studentship areas:
- PhD position is available. Please follow this link: https://www.findaphd.com/search/projectdetails.aspx?PJID=68430
- Enthusiastic and committed students are encouraged to contact me via email: j.kwok@leeds.ac.uk
See also:

Research groups and institutes

  • Neuroscience
  • Biomechanics
  • Macromolecular Complexes
  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurotrauma and Repair

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>