Suwon Kim

Suwon Kim Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Cancer and Cell Biology Division

Breast Cancer Genetics Lab

Suwon Kim Ph.D.

Dr. Kim is an Associate Professor in the Cancer Cell Biology Division at TGen. She was jointly recruited to Phoenix by TGen and University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. She teaches the 1st and 2nd year medical students the topics in Cancer and Oncology at the College of Medicine. Her research laboratory is located in the Cancer and Cell Biology Division at TGen.

Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the characterization of genes involved in the emergence of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the single most common cancer in women. Although early detection followed by resection of tumors and tamoxifen treatment for estrogen receptor positive tumor patients have improved the cure frequency, the survival rate sharply declines for patients who have recurring tumors within 5 years of initial treatment. By deciphering oncogenes and tumor suppressors involved in the genesis and progression of breast cancer, better therapies can be developed that target specific molecular lesions associated with individual tumors.

Dr. Kim has identified several novel candidate tumor suppressor genes that can antagonize a tumor’s behavior in tissue culture. One of her main projects is to characterize one of the genes that she identified named ING4. She has shown that ING4 is diminished in 34% human breast cancer correlated with advanced stage metastatic tumors and faster disease recurrence. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of the ING4 tumor suppressor function, she utilizes cell and animal models of breast cancer as well as state-of-the-art technology including whole-genome sequencing, single-cell RNAseq, and ChIPseq.

One of her long-term goals is to develop better therapies against cancer, targeting specific pathways involving tumor suppressors to deliver individualized precision medicine. 

Dr. Kim obtained her undergraduate degree from University of California Berkeley and her PhD from Yale University School of Medicine. She developed her research program as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. J. Michael Bishop at University of California San Francisco. Dr. Kim joined TGen and University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix in 2007.



Tumor suppressor ING4 inhibits estrogen receptor activity in breast cancer cellsKeenen MM and Kim S. (2016) Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press) 8:211-221. 

New and emerging factors in tumorigenesis: an overviewKim S. (2015) Cancer Manag Res. 7:225-39. 

Transient Induction of ING4 by Myc Drives Prostate Epithelial Cell Differentiation and Its Disruption Drives Prostate TumorigenesisBerger PL, Frank SB, Schulz VV, Nollet EA, Edick MJ, Holly B, Chang TT, Hostetter G, Kim S, Miranti CK. (2014) Cancer Res. 74(12):3357-68. 

Attenuation of NF-kappa B by the ING4 tumor suppressor in breast cancer. Byron SA, Min E, Thal TS, Tapia C, Hostetter G, Watanabe A, Azorsa D, Little TH, and Kim S.  (2012) PLoS One 7(10):e46823. 

Deletion of the ING4 tumor suppressor gene is prevalent in HER2-positive breast cancerTapia C, Zlobec I, Schneider S, Kilic E, Guth U, Bubendorf L, and Kim S. (2011) Human Pathology 42(7): 983-90. PMID: 21315418

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