Wai Kit (Calvin) Chan

Understanding how the mammalian brain develops.

Dr Wai Kit (Calvin) Chan 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hugh Robson Building

15 George Square

Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

 Work: +44 (0) 131 651 7112

 Email: waikit.chan@ed.ac.uk

 Web: Mason Research Group

Personal profile

  • 2017 – present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Mason Lab, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2016 – 2017: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pratt Lab, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2012 – 2016: PhD in Integrative Physiology (Developmental Neurobiology), University of Edinburgh.
  • 2011 – 2012: MSc. By Research Biomedical Science, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2007 – 2010: BSc. (Hons) 1st Class, Genetics & Molecular Biology, University of Malaya, Malaysia.


I am interested in understanding the fundamental rules of embryonic human neurodevelopment and underlying mechanisms that cause pathological symptoms when neurodevelopment goes wrong.

Currently, I am using cerebral organoids as a model system to identify and understand the mechanisms underlying the pathological features in brains of PAX6 haploinsufficiency patients. To achieve this, we employ an interdisciplinary approach:

  • We use single cell RNA sequencing, bioinformatics, cellular and molecular assays to study whether dysregulated development of specific cell types contribute to the pathophysiology of PAX6 haploinsufficiency patients.
  • We assay neuronal connectivity via axonal tracing and synaptome mapping in ‘assembloid’ models of PAX6 haploinsufficiency.
  • We test for functional circuitry using population level and/or intracellular electrophysiological recordings in the ‘assembloid’ models above.


 Prof Neil Carragher (Edinburgh)

 Prof Stefano Stifani (McGill)

 Dr. Srinjan Basu (Cambridge)

 Dr. Richard Mort (Lancaster)


Chan, W. K., Marshall, H., Munro, V., Negro, N., Suchdev, S., Brown, M., Price, D. J., Mason, J. M. Loss of PAX6 in human cerebral organoids causes large increase in interneuron production. bioRxiv 2023.07.31.551262; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.07.31.551262

Manuel, M., Tan, K. B., Kozic, K., Molinek, M., Marcos S. T., Abd Razak, M. F., Dobolyi, D., Dobie, Ross., Henderson B., Henderson N., Chan, W. K., Daw, M., Mason, J., Price, D. Pax6 limits the competence of developing cerebral cortical cells. PLoS Biology. Sept 2022. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001563

Chan, W. K., Fetit, R, Griffits, R., Marshall, H., Mason, J. O., Price, D. J. Using organoids to study human brain development and evolution. Dev Neurobiol. 2021 Jul;81(5):608-622. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22819.

Chan, W. K., Griffiths, R., Price, D. J., Mason, J. O. Cerebral organoids as tools to identify the developmental roots of autism. Mol Autism. 2020 Jul 13;11(1):58. doi: 10.1186/s13229-020-00360-3.

Chan, W. K., Price, D. J., Pratt, T. Fgf8 Morphogen Gradients are Differentially Regulated by Heparan Sulphotransferases Hs2st and Hs6st1 in The Developing Brain. Biol Open. 2017 Dec 15;6(12):1933-1942

Chan, W. K., Howe, K., Clegg, J. M., Guimond, S. E., Price, D. J., Turnbull, J. E., & Pratt, T. 2-O Heparan Sulfate Sulfation by Hs2st Is Required for Erk/Mapk Signalling Activation at the Mid-Gestational Mouse Telencephalic Midline. PLoS One, 10(6), e0130147. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130147