My research focuses on defining the molecular basis of regulation of oncogenic signalling transduction, ribosome synthesis and function in cancer cells. I am currently leading the preclinical studies of targeting ribosome biogenesis in blood cancers and ovarian cancer, using my expertise in cell biology, protein biochemistry, cell signalling and cell metabolism and the use of animal models to investigate the efficacy and mechanisms of targeted therapy in cancer.

Following completion of my PhD in molecular medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 2011, I joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. In 2013, I moved to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and in early 2023 joined SVI’s DNA Damage & Cancer Therapy.

Key achievements

2010   Merck Young Investigator Award (New Zealand)

2009   University of Auckland (New Zealand); Postgraduate Research Leadership Award, Liggins Institute

Selected publications

Zhu, H., Chan, K. T., Huang, X., Cerra, C., Blake, S., Trigos, A. S., Anderson, D., Creek, D. J., De Souza, D. P., Wang, X., Fu, C., Jana, M., Sanij, E., Pearson, R. B.*, & Kang, J.* (2022, Jun 27). Cystathionine-β-synthase is essential for AKT-induced senescence and suppresses the development of gastric cancers with PI3K/AKT activation. Elife, 11. (*co-coresponding author)

Kang, J., Brajanovski, N., Chan, K. T., Xuan, J., Pearson, R. B., & Sanij, E. (2021). Ribosomal proteins and human diseases: molecular mechanisms and targeted therapy. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, 6(1), 323.

Kusnadi, E. P., Trigos, A. S., Cullinane, C., Goode, D. L., Larsson, O., Devlin, J. R., Chan, K. T., De Souza, D. P., McConville, M. J., McArthur, G. A., Thomas, G., Sanij, E., Poortinga, G., Hannan, R. D., Hannan, K. M.*, Kang, J.*, & Pearson, R. B*. (2020). Reprogrammed mRNA translation drives resistance to therapeutic targeting of ribosome biogenesis. The EMBO Journal, 39(21), e105111.

Sanij, E., Hannan, K. M., Xuan, J., Yan, S., Ahern, J. E., Trigos, A. S., Brajanovski, N., Son, J., Chan, K. T., Kondrashova, O., Lieschke, E., Wakefield, M. J., Frank, D., Ellis, S., Cullinane, C., Kang, J., Poortinga, G., Nag, P., Deans, A. J., Khanna, K. K., Mileshkin, L., McArthur, G. A., Soong, J., Berns, E., Hannan, R. D., Scott, C. L., Sheppard, K. E., & Pearson, R. B. (2020, May 26). CX-5461 activates the DNA damage response and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Nat Commun, 11(1), 2641. (*Co-coresponding author)

Ge, C., Huang, H., Huang, F., Yang, T., Zhang, T., Wu, H., Zhou, H., Chen, Q., Shi, Y., Sun, Y., Liu, L., Wang, X., Pearson, R. B.*, Cao, Y.*, Kang, J.*, & Fu, C*. (2019, Sep 24). Neurokinin-1 receptor is an effective target for treating leukemia by inducing oxidative stress through mitochondrial calcium overload. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 116(39), 19635-19645. (*Co-coresponding author)

Kang, J., Kusnadi, E. P., Ogden, A. J., Hicks, R. J., Bammert, L., Kutay, U., Hung, S., Sanij, E., Hannan, R. D., Hannan, K. M., & Pearson, R. B. (2016, Aug 2). Amino acid-dependent signaling via S6K1 and MYC is essential for regulation of rDNA transcription. Oncotarget, 7(31), 48887-48904.