Kian Kani, PhD

Assistant Professor of Research Medicine

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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.


  • Ellis Island Honor Society: Medals of Honor, 2023
  • University of Chicago: Outstanding Educator, 2022
  • European Molecular Biology Organization: Oral Presentation Award, 2009
  • Human Proteome Organization: Outstanding Poster Award, 2008
  • Department of Biological Chemistry, UCLA: David Sigman Award, 2003
  • University of Hartford: Summa Cum Laude, 1996
  • University of Hartford: Gengras Academic Scholarship, 1994
  • Thomas Cook Rewards and Recognition Award, 1992


  • CCR2-targeted micelles for anti-cancer peptide delivery and immune stimulation J Control Release. 2021 01 10; 329:614-623. . View in PubMed
  • Loss of ER retention motif of AGR2 can impact mTORC signaling and promote cancer metastasis Oncogene. 2019 04; 38(16):3003-3018. . View in PubMed
  • Identification, characterization and application of a new peptide against anterior gradient homolog 2 (AGR2) Oncotarget. 2018 Jun 08; 9(44):27363-27379. . View in PubMed
  • A blood biomarker for monitoring response to anti-EGFR therapy Cancer Biomark. 2018; 22(2):333-344. . View in PubMed
  • Assessment of Resistance to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors by an Interrogation of Signal Transduction Pathways by Antibody Arrays J Vis Exp. 2018 09 19; (139). . View in PubMed
  • Protein Mimetic and Anticancer Properties of Monocyte-Targeting Peptide Amphiphile Micelles ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2017 Dec 11; 3(12):3273-3282. . View in PubMed
  • JUN-Mediated Downregulation of EGFR Signaling Is Associated with Resistance to Gefitinib in EGFR-mutant NSCLC Cell Lines Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 08; 16(8):1645-1657. . View in PubMed
  • Androgen receptor in cancer-associated fibroblasts influences stemness in cancer cells Endocr Relat Cancer. 2017 04; 24(4):157-170. . View in PubMed
  • Quantitative Proteomics Using SILAC Methods Mol Biol. 2017; 1550:171-184. . View in PubMed
  • Simulation of the Protein-Shedding Kinetics of a Fully Vascularized Tumor Cancer Inform. 2015; 14:163-75. . View in PubMed
  • 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
  • A cross-platform toolkit for mass spectrometry and proteomics Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Oct; 30(10):918-20. . View in PubMed
  • 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
  • Quantitative proteomic profiling identifies protein correlates to EGFR kinase inhibition Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 May; 11(5):1071-81. . View in PubMed
  • Imaging patterns of hepatic steatosis on multidetector CT: pearls and pitfalls Clin Radiol. 2012 Apr; 67(4):366-71. . View in PubMed
  • Investigation of acquired resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies in lung cancer using cDNA microarrays Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 795:233-53. . View in PubMed
  • 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
  • Model-based discovery of circulating biomarkers Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 728:87-107. . View in PubMed
  • Precursor-ion mass re-estimation improves peptide identification on hybrid instruments J Proteome Res. 2008 Sep; 7(9):4031-9. . View in PubMed
  • The N-terminal domains of neuregulin 1 confer signal attenuation J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 15; 281(37):27306-16. . View in PubMed
  • The extracellular domains of ErbB3 retain high ligand binding affinity at endosome pH and in the locked conformation Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 06; 44(48):15842-57. . View in PubMed
  • Oligomers of ERBB3 have two distinct interfaces that differ in their sensitivity to disruption by heregulin J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 04; 280(9):8238-47. . View in PubMed

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