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Kian Kani, PhD
Assistant Professor of Research Medicine
CSC 240 Off Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 2539


Cancer has been traditionally classified based on the organ site of origin; breast cancer is different from prostate cancer which is distinct from lung cancer and so on. Over the past several years however, cancer research has introduced reclassification of tumors based on the signaling pathway(s) that causes malignant transformation. As a result, medical oncologists can prescribe drugs that specifically target the aberrant signaling pathway irrespective of the location of the tumor.

Modern cancer therapeutics have therefore become “targeted” rather than “systemic.” This has brought upon a significant paradigm shift in medical treatment decisions and spurred oncology research to identify biomarkers indicative of signaling pathway activation. The Kani research group utilizes state-of-the-art proteomic techniques in order to identify and characterize novel cancer biomarkers. Our work focuses on the androgen receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor signaling axes in prostate, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Our goal is to enhance patient outcome by empowering medical oncologist with tools and knowledge necessary for personalized medicine.


European Molecular Biology Organization: Travel Award, 2009

Department of Biological Chemistry, UCLA: David Sigman Award, 2003

Human Proteome Organization: Outstanding Poster Award, 2008

Thomas Cook Rewards and Recognition Award

University of Hartford: Summa Cum Laude, 1996

University of Hartford: Gengras Academic Scholarship, 1994


Frieboes HB, Curtis LT, Wu M, Kani K, Mallick P. Simulation of the Protein-Shedding Kinetics of a Fully Vascularized Tumor. Cancer Inform. 2015; 14:163-75. View in: PubMed

Kani K, Malihi PD, Jiang Y, Wang H, Wang Y, Ruderman DL, Agus DB, Mallick P, Gross ME. Anterior gradient 2 (AGR2): blood-based biomarker elevated in metastatic prostate cancer associated with the neuroendocrine phenotype. Prostate. 2013 Feb 15; 73(3):306-15. View in: PubMed

Chambers MC, Maclean B, Burke R, Amodei D, Ruderman DL, Neumann S, Gatto L, Fischer B, Pratt B, Egertson J, Hoff K, Kessner D, Tasman N, Shulman N, Frewen B, Baker TA, Brusniak MY, Paulse C, Creasy D, Flashner L, Kani K, Moulding C, Seymour SL, Nuwaysir LM, Lefebvre B, Kuhlmann F, Roark J, Rainer P, Detlev S, Hemenway T, Huhmer A, Langridge J, Connolly B, Chadick T, Holly K, Eckels J, Deutsch EW, Moritz RL, Katz JE, Agus DB, Maccoss M, Tabb DL, Mallick P. A cross-platform toolkit for mass spectrometry and proteomics. Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Oct 10; 30(10):918-20. View in: PubMed

Zhang Q, Park E, Kani K, Landgraf R. Functional isolation of activated and unilaterally phosphorylated heterodimers of ERBB2 and ERBB3 as scaffolds in ligand-dependent signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 14; 109(33):13237-42. View in: PubMed

Kani K, Faca VM, Hughes LD, Zhang W, Fang Q, Shahbaba B, Luethy R, Erde J, Schmidt J, Pitteri SJ, Zhang Q, Katz JE, Gross ME, Plevritis SK, McIntosh MW, Jain A, Hanash S, Agus DB, Mallick P. Quantitative Proteomic Profiling Identifies Protein Correlates to EGFR Kinase Inhibition. Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 May; 11(5):1071-81. View in: PubMed

Kani K, Sordella R, Mallick P. Investigation of acquired resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies in lung cancer using cDNA microarrays. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 795:233-53. View in: PubMed

Fang Q, Kani K, Faca VM, Zhang W, Zhang Q, Jain A, Hanash S, Agus DB, McIntosh MW, Mallick P. Impact of protein stability, cellular localization, and abundance on proteomic detection of tumor-derived proteins in plasma. PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e23090. View in: PubMed

Vogelsang MS, Kani K, Katz JE, Mallick P. Model-based discovery of circulating biomarkers. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 728:87-107. View in: PubMed

Luethy R, Kessner DE, Katz JE, Maclean B, Grothe R, Kani K, Faça V, Pitteri S, Hanash S, Agus DB, Mallick P. Precursor-ion mass re-estimation improves peptide identification on hybrid instruments. J Proteome Res. 2008 Sep; 7(9):4031-9. View in: PubMed

Warren CM, Kani K, Landgraf R. The N-terminal domains of neuregulin 1 confer signal attenuation. J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 15; 281(37):27306-16. View in: PubMed

Kani K, Park E, Landgraf R. The extracellular domains of ErbB3 retain high ligand binding affinity at endosome pH and in the locked conformation. Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 6; 44(48):15842-57. View in: PubMed

Kani K, Warren CM, Kaddis CS, Loo JA, Landgraf R. Oligomers of ERBB3 have two distinct interfaces that differ in their sensitivity to disruption by heregulin. J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 4; 280(9):8238-47. View in: PubMed

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