Judy Wong PhD


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Other Affiliations

Associate Member, UBC Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine
Affiliated Research Scientist, BC Cancer Agency

Accepting Graduate Students

Judy Wong is a professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. She obtained a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley. Dr. Wong is also chair of the Faculty's Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Group (2020 to present).

The Wong laboratory investigates mechanisms responsible for the gross structural maintenance of the genome. The lab is interested in the role of telomeres and telomerase in preventing chromosome erosion, and the cellular pathways that regulate telomere maintenance in health and diseases. A second research program studies alternate nucleic acid structures, in particular the G-quadruplexes, and their roles in genome regulation and integrity. Most cancers and premature aging syndromes share an observable loss of genome integrity. Her long-term goal is to discover genetic and pharmacological means to control cellular changes that affect stable genome maintenance.


Ajaykumar A, Caloren LC, Povshedna T, Hsieh AYY, Zakaria A, Cai R, Smith MSR, Thompson CAH, Becquart P, Uday P, Pattanshetti R, Quandt JA, Wong JMY and Cote HCF. Dolutegravir-containing HIV therapy reversibly alters mitochondrial health and morphology in cultured human fibroblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. AIDS 37(1):19-32 doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000003369 (2023). 

Yang SY, Monchaud D and Wong JMY. Global mapping of RNA G-quadruplexes (G4-RNAs) using G4RP-seq. Nat. Protocol. 17(3):870-889. doi: 10.1038/s41596-021-00671-6 (2022) 

Yang SY, Chang EY, Lim J, Kwan HH, Monchaud D, Yip S, Stirling PC and Wong JMY.  G-quadruplexes mark alternative lengthening of telomeres.  NAR Cancer 3(3):zcab031. doi: 10.1093/narcan/zcab031. eCollection 2021 Sep.doi.org/10.1093/narcan/zcab031(2021) 

Xu JL, de Oliveira DM, Trudeau MA, Chin JY, Sin D, Sandford A and Wong JMY. Mild Catalytic Defects of TERT Polymorphism rs61748181 Affect the Clinical Presentation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Sci Rep 11(1):4333. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83686-z. (2021) 

Nguyen KTTT and Wong JMY. Telomerase Biogenesis and Activities from the Perspective of Its Direct Interacting Partners. Cancers 12(6), E1679 doi: 10.3390/cancers12061679. (2020) 

Thompson CAH and Wong JMY. Non-canonical Functions of Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase: Emerging Roles and Biological Relevance. Curr.Top.Med.Chem. 20(6):498-507. doi: 10.2174/1568026620666200131125110. (2020)  

Renard I, Grandmougin M, Roux A, Yang SY, Lejault P, Pirrotta M, Wong JMY and Monchaud D. Small-molecule affinity capture of DNA/RNA quadruplexes and their identification in vitro and in vivo through the G4RP protocol. Nucleic Acids Res., 47(11):5502-5510 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz215. (2019)  

Yang SY, Lejault P, Chevrier S, Boidot R, Robertson AG, Wong JMY* and Monchaud D*. Transcriptome-wide identification of transient RNA G-quadruplexes in human cells. Nat Comm, 2018 Nov 9;9(1):4730. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07224-8. * co-senior authors  

Thompson CAH, Gu A, Yang SY, Mathew V, Fleisig HB, Wong JMY.  Transient Telomerase Inhibition with Imetelstat Impacts DNA Damage Signals and Cell-Cycle Kinetics. Mol Cancer Res, 16(8):1215-1225. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786. (2018).  

Canada Research Chairs Tier 2 Award
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar

CIHR, Molecular and Functional Genomic Characterization of G-quadruplexes in Cancer with the Alternate Lengthening of Telomere (ALT) Mechanism, 2022-27, $948,600, Judy Wong (PI),  Peter Stirling (CI)

CIHR, Identification of therapeutically relevant targets in telomerase overexpressing prostate cancers, 2021-26, $983,250, Franco Vizeacoumar and Andrew Freyward (PIs), Judy Wong (CI)

CRS, Applying Synthetic Dosage Lethality to Develop Therapeutic Strategies for Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma, 2021-23, $250,000, Franco Vizeacoumar and Andrew Freyward (PIs), Judy Wong (CI)

NSERC, Structure-Function Relationship Study of Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase's Non-Canonical Activities, 2021-26, $160,000, Judy Wong (PI)


Wong JMY. Non-canonical Activities of the Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase. Genomic Stability Research Group, BC Cancer Agency. Vancouver, BC, Canada (January 2020)

Wong JMY. G-Quadruplex: Biology and Therapeutic Applications. University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine Seminar series, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. (January 2019)

Wong JMY. Non-canonical Activities of the Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase. National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan. (February, 2017)

Contact Details

(604) 827-3314
(604) 827-3329
(604) 822-3035


Office 6614, Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

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