Minjung Kim, PhD

Minjung Kim, PhD

Academic Rank: Assistant Member



    • Molecular Oncology
    • Cutaneous Oncology
    • Cancer Biology and Evolution Program
    • Melanoma Research Center of Excellence

Education & Training

    • Korea University, MS - Genetic Engineering
    • University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, PhD - Molecular Biology

My research goal is to understand molecular events driving melanoma metastasis and to generate melanoma models based on human pathophysiology recapitulating human melanoma progression. Our previous research has led to the identification of a novel melanoma metastasis gene, NEDD9, of p130CAS family of adaptor proteins. NEDD9 provides an entry point to achieve my research goal, since it is upregulated up to 50 percent of human metastatic melanomas, and its expression increased the metastatic potential of primary melanocytes. I am currently studying the following: 1) tumor biological functions of NEDD9 in melanoma progression in a genetically engineered mouse model (GEM), 2) molecular mechanisms of how NEDD9 functions to drive metastasis, 3) identification of drug-able targets to inhibit NEDD9-mediated metastasis, and 4) Functional genomic analysis for identification of additional genes for melanoma progression. Ultimately, we seek to translate our basic discoveries to develop molecularly targeted therapy to inhibit melanoma progression.  


  • Tu YN, Tong WL, Samy MD, Yavorski JM, Kim M, Blanck G. Assessing microenvironment immunogenicity using tumor specimen exomes: Co-detection of TcR-α/β V(D)J recombinations correlates with PD-1 expression. Int J Cancer. 2017 Jun;140(11):2568-2576. Pubmedid: 28256716.
  • Sung H, Kanchi KL, Wang X, Hill KS, Messina JL, Lee JH, Kim Y, Dees ND, Ding L, Teer JK, Yang S, Sarnaik AA, Sondak VK, Mulé JJ, Wilson RK, Weber JS, Kim M. Inactivation of RASA1 promotes melanoma tumorigenesis via R-Ras activation. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr;7(17):23885-23896. Pubmedid: 26993606. Pmcid: PMC5029671.
  • Ding L, Kim M, Kanchi KL, Dees ND, Lu C, Griffith M, Fenstermacher D, Sung H, Miller CA, Goetz B, Wendl MC, Griffith O, Cornelius LA, Linette GP, McMichael JF, Sondak VK, Fields RC, Ley TJ, Mulé JJ, Wilson RK, Weber JS. Clonal architectures and driver mutations in metastatic melanomas. PLoS One. 2014 Nov;9(11):e111153. Pubmedid: 25393105. Pmcid: PMC4230926.
  • Sun J, Lu F, He H, Shen J, Messina J, Mathew R, Wang D, Sarnaik AA, Chang WC, Kim M, Cheng H, Yang S. STIM1- and Orai1-mediated Ca(2+) oscillation orchestrates invadopodium formation and melanoma invasion. J Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;207(4):535-548. Pubmedid: 25404747. Pmcid: PMC4242838.
  • Marom N, Kim M, Chelikowsky JR. Structure selection based on high vertical electron affinity for TiO2 clusters. Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Mar;108(10):106801. Pubmedid: 22463437.
  • Kim M, Soontornniyomkij V, Ji B, Zhou X. System-wide immunohistochemical analysis of protein co-localization. PLoS One. 2012 Jun;7(2):e32043. Pubmedid: 22363794. Pmcid: PMC3283725.
  • Sun J, He H, Xiong Y, Lu S, Shen J, Cheng A, Chang WC, Hou MF, Lancaster JM, Kim M, Yang S. Fascin protein is critical for transforming growth factor β protein-induced invasion and filopodia formation in spindle-shaped tumor cells. J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov;286(45):38865-38875. Pubmedid: 21914811. Pmcid: PMC3234711.
  • Scott KL, Nogueira C, Heffernan TP, van Doorn R, Dhakal S, Hanna JA, Min C, Jaskelioff M, Xiao Y, Wu CJ, Cameron LA, Perry SR, Zeid R, Feinberg T, Kim M, Vande Woude G, Granter SR, Bosenberg M, Chu GC, DePinho RA, Rimm DL, Chin L. Proinvasion metastasis drivers in early-stage melanoma are oncogenes. Cancer Cell. 2011 Jul;20(1):92-103. Pubmedid: 21741599. Pmcid: PMC3176328.
  • Kim M. Cooperative interactions of PTEN deficiency and RAS activation in melanoma metastasis. Small GTPases. 2010 Nov;1(3):161-164. Pubmedid: 21686270. Pmcid: PMC3116600.
  • Nogueira C, Kim KH, Sung H, Paraiso KH, Dannenberg JH, Bosenberg M, Chin L, Kim M. Cooperative interactions of PTEN deficiency and RAS activation in melanoma metastasis. Oncogene. 2010 Nov;29(47):6222-6232. Pubmedid: 20711233. Pmcid: PMC2989338.
  • Kim M, Gans JD, Nogueira C, Wang A, Paik JH, Feng B, Brennan C, Hahn WC, Cordon-Cardo C, Wagner SN, Flotte TJ, Duncan LM, Granter SR, Chin L. Comparative oncogenomics identifies NEDD9 as a melanoma metastasis gene. Cell. 2006 Jun;125(7):1269-1281. Pubmedid: 16814714.
  • Tang Y, Kim M, Carrasco D, Kung AL, Chin L, Weissleder R. In vivo assessment of RAS-dependent maintenance of tumor angiogenesis by real-time magnetic resonance imaging. Cancer Res. 2005 Sep;65(18):8324-8330. Pubmedid: 16166309.
  • Bardeesy N, Kim M, Xu J, Kim RS, Shen Q, Bosenberg MW, Wong WH, Chin L. Role of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in RAS-driven melanoma. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 May;25(10):4176-4188. Pubmedid: 15870287. Pmcid: PMC1087708.
  • Blelloch RH, Hochedlinger K, Yamada Y, Brennan C, Kim M, Mintz B, Chin L, Jaenisch R. Nuclear cloning of embryonal carcinoma cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep;101(39):13985-13990. Pubmedid: 15306687. Pmcid: PMC521109.
  • Brennan C, Zhang Y, Leo C, Feng B, Cauwels C, Aguirre AJ, Kim M, Protopopov A, Chin L. High-resolution global profiling of genomic alterations with long oligonucleotide microarray. Cancer Res. 2004 Jul;64(14):4744-4748. Pubmedid: 15256441.
  • Gao H, Ouyang X, Banach-Petrosky W, Borowsky AD, Lin Y, Kim M, Lee H, Shih WJ, Cardiff RD, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C. A critical role for p27kip1 gene dosage in a mouse model of prostate carcinogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Dec;101(49):17204-17209. Pubmedid: 15569926. Pmcid: PMC535400.
  • Hochedlinger K, Blelloch R, Brennan C, Yamada Y, Kim M, Chin L, Jaenisch R. Reprogramming of a melanoma genome by nuclear transplantation. Gene Dev. 2004 Aug;18(15):1875-1885. Pubmedid: 15289459. Pmcid: PMC517407.
  • Kim MJ, Cardiff RD, Desai N, Banach-Petrosky WA, Parsons R, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C. Cooperativity of Nkx3.1 and Pten loss of function in a mouse model of prostate carcinogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Mar;99(5):2884-2889. Pubmedid: 11854455. Pmcid: PMC122442.
  • Kim MJ, Bhatia-Gaur R, Banach-Petrosky WA, Desai N, Wang Y, Hayward SW, Cunha GR, Cardiff RD, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C. Nkx3.1 mutant mice recapitulate early stages of prostate carcinogenesis. Cancer Res. 2002 Jun;62(11):2999-3004. Pubmedid: 12036903.
  • Park JH, Walls JE, Galvez JJ, Kim M, Abate-Shen C, Shen MM, Cardiff RD. Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in genetically engineered mice. Am J Pathol. 2002 Aug;161(2):727-735. Pubmedid: 12163397. Pmcid: PMC1850748.
  • Bhatia-Gaur R, Donjacour AA, Sciavolino PJ, Kim M, Desai N, Young P, Norton CR, Gridley T, Cardiff RD, Cunha GR, Abate-Shen C, Shen MM. Roles for Nkx3.1 in prostate development and cancer. Genes Dev. 1999 Apr;13(8):966-977. Pubmedid: 10215624. Pmcid: PMC316645.