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Kiran Mahajan, PhD

Academic Rank: Assistant Member

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    • Tumor Biology
    • Genitourinary Oncology
    • Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program

Education & Training


  • Indian Institute of Science, PhD
  • LIneberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Chapel Hill, Fellow

 Dr. Mahajan received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. She completed her postdoctoral training at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. From 2004-2007, she held the position of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at UNC and at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Mahajan has been a Research Scientist at Moffitt, and was promoted to faculty as an Assistant Member in 2015. The overall goals of Dr. Karin Mahajan’s research laboratory are to characterize new targets and to develop new therapies for the treatment of metastatic prostate and breast cancers. Specifically, her research will focus on novel epigenetic alterations/genome instability targets in chemo- and radio-resistance of castration-resistant prostate cancer and endocrine-resistant breast cancers using validated cell line and animal models. The role of novel histone modifications in genome instability of cancer stem cells will also be an area of investigation.


  • Mahajan NP, Coppola D, Kim J, Lawrence HR, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan K. Blockade of ACK1/TNK2 To Squelch the Survival of Prostate Cancer Stem-like Cells. Sci Rep. 2018 Jan;8(1):1954. Pubmedid: 29386546. Pmcid: PMC5792546.
  • Mahajan K, Malla P, Lawrence HR, Chen Z, Kumar-Sinha C, Malik R, Shukla S, Kim J, Coppola D, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan NP. ACK1/TNK2 Regulates Histone H4 Tyr88-phosphorylation and AR Gene Expression in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Cancer Cell. 2017 Jun;31(6):790-803.e8. Pubmedid: 28609657. Pmcid: PMC5512571.
  • Mahajan NP, Malla P, Bhagwat S, Sharma V, Sarnaik A, Kim J, Pilon-Thomas S, Weber J, Mahajan K. WEE1 epigenetically modulates 5-hmC levels by pY37-H2B dependent regulation of IDH2 gene expression. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec;8(63):106352-106368. Pubmedid: 29290954. Pmcid: PMC5739739.
  • Paranjape AN, Soundararajan R, Werden SJ, Joseph R, Taube JH, Liu H, Rodriguez-Canales J, Sphyris N, Wistuba I, Miura N, Dhillon J, Mahajan N, Mahajan K, Chang JT, Ittmann M, Maity SN, Logothetis C, Tang DG, Mani SA. Inhibition of FOXC2 restores epithelial phenotype and drug sensitivity in prostate cancer cells with stem-cell properties. Oncogene. 2016 Nov;35(46):5963-5976. Pubmedid: 26804168. Pmcid: PMC5116559.
  • Mahajan K. hPso4/hPrp19: a critical component of DNA repair and DNA damage checkpoint complexes. Oncogene. 2016 May;35(18):2279-2286. Pubmedid: 26364595.
  • Lawrence HR, Mahajan K, Luo Y, Zhang D, Tindall N, Huseyin M, Gevariya H, Kazi S, Ozcan S, Mahajan N, Lawrence NJ. Development of novel ACK1/TNK2 inhibitors using a fragment-based approach. J Med Chem. 2015 Mar;58(6):2746-2763. Pubmedid: 25699576. Pmcid: PMC4605435.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. Cross talk of tyrosine kinases with the DNA damage signaling pathways. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Dec;43(22):10588-10601. Pubmedid: 26546517. Pmcid: PMC4678820.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. ACK1/TNK2 tyrosine kinase: molecular signaling and evolving role in cancers. Oncogene. 2015 Aug;34(32):4162-4167. Pubmedid: 25347744. Pmcid: PMC4411206.
  • Mahajan K, Lawrence HR, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan NP. ACK1 tyrosine kinase interacts with histone demethylase KDM3A to regulate the mammary tumor oncogene HOXA1. J Biol Chem. 2014 Oct;289(41):28179-28191. Pubmedid: 25148682. Pmcid: PMC4192474.
  • Mahajan KN, Mahajan NP. AKT goes cycling. Cancer Control. 2014 Jul;21(3):239-241. Pubmedid: 24955708. Pmcid: PMC4181845.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. ACK1 tyrosine kinase: targeted inhibition to block cancer cell proliferation. Cancer Lett. 2013 Sep;338(2):185-192. Pubmedid: 23597703. Pmcid: PMC3750075.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. WEE1 tyrosine kinase, a novel epigenetic modifier. Trends Genet. 2013 Jul;29(7):394-402. Pubmedid: 23537585. Pmcid: PMC3700603.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. PI3K-independent AKT activation in cancers: a treasure trove for novel therapeutics. J Cell Physiol. 2012 Sep;227(9):3178-3184. Pubmedid: 22307544. Pmcid: PMC3358464.
  • Mahajan K, Fang B, Koomen JM, Mahajan NP. H2B Tyr37 phosphorylation suppresses expression of replication-dependent core histone genes. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2012 Sep;19(9):930-937. Pubmedid: 22885324. Pmcid: PMC4533924.
  • Mahajan K, Coppola D, Rawal B, Chen YA, Lawrence HR, Engelman RW, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan NP. Ack1-mediated androgen receptor phosphorylation modulates radiation resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun;287(26):22112-22122. Pubmedid: 22566699. Pmcid: PMC3381169.
  • Mahajan K, Coppola D, Chen YA, Zhu W, Lawrence HR, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan NP. Ack1 tyrosine kinase activation correlates with pancreatic cancer progression. Am J Pathol. 2012 Apr;180(4):1386-1393. Pubmedid: 22322295. Pmcid: PMC3349895.
  • Mahajan K, Challa S, Coppola D, Lawrence H, Luo Y, Gevariya H, Zhu W, Chen YA, Lawrence NJ, Mahajan NP. Effect of Ack1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor on ligand-independent androgen receptor activity. Prostate. 2010 Sep;70(12):1274-1285. Pubmedid: 20623637. Pmcid: PMC3953126.
  • Mahajan K, Coppola D, Challa S, Fang B, Chen YA, Zhu W, Lopez AS, Koomen J, Engelman RW, Rivera C, Muraoka-Cook RS, Cheng JQ, Schönbrunn E, Sebti SM, Earp HS, Mahajan NP. Ack1 mediated AKT/PKB tyrosine 176 phosphorylation regulates its activation. PLoS One. 2010 Mar;5(3):e9646. Pubmedid: 20333297. Pmcid: PMC2841635.
  • Mahajan K, Mahajan NP. Shepherding AKT and androgen receptor by Ack1 tyrosine kinase. J Cell Physiol. 2010 Aug;224(2):327-333. Pubmedid: 20432460. Pmcid: PMC3953130.
  • Mahajan KN, Mitchell BS. Role of human Pso4 in mammalian DNA repair and association with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep;100(19):10746-10751. Pubmedid: 12960389. Pmcid: PMC196874.
  • Mahajan KN, Nick McElhinny SA, Mitchell BS, Ramsden DA. Association of DNA polymerase mu (pol mu) with Ku and ligase IV: role for pol mu in end-joining double-strand break repair. Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;22(14):5194-5202. Pubmedid: 12077346. Pmcid: PMC139779.