Headshot photo of Jungsun Kim, Ph.D.

Jungsun Kim, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
  • Member, CEDAR, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
  • Member (Cancer Biology Research Program), OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
  • Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine
  • Molecular and Medical Genetics Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Jungsun Kim’s long-standing interest is a reversible regulatory mechanism underlying cancer development and progression, with an ultimate goal to apply the findings in early cancer therapy. To this end, she demonstrated a proof-principle of a PDAC reprogramming model that provides a human cell model for unprecedented experimental access to different stages of human pancreatic cancer. Using this system, she uncovered a regulatory network and a secreted or released protein that can discriminate early resectable stage I pancreatic cancer patients as well as all stages of PDAC from healthy controls.  Following these studies, Dr. Kim’s research will focus on the following areas; “Reprogramming and Programming of Cancer” (1) The role of reprogramming factors in cancer and the oncogene-induced barriers in reprogramming (2) The regulatory networks in pluripotency transiently suppress cancer phenotypes (3) The regulatory network during the transition from precursors to invasive pancreatic cancer. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Hanyang University in South Korea under the mentorship of Dr. IL-Yup Chung, and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Zaret.

Positions Available: The PMCB students are welcome to rotate in the Kim group. Please email to kimjungs@ohsu.edu. We are seeking highly motivated and talented postdoctoral fellows to join our team. Please e-mail a brief description of the research interest and a copy of the CV.

Relevant Publications

Kim J*, Ekstrom T, Yang W, Donahue G, Grygoryev D, Ngo T, Muschler JL, Morgan T, Zaret KS. Longitudinal analysis of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma development reveals transient gene expression signatures. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 Jul 30;. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-21-0483. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34330844. * Corresponding author

Kim J.Cellular reprogramming to model and study epigenetic alterations in cancer. Stem Cell Res. 2020 Dec;49:102062. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2020.102062.PMID: 33202305 (Featured in the Science Featured Series, 2021 July 19)

Kim J and Zaret KS. "Creation of iPSC lines from human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma". in the Pancreatic Cancer:  Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1882:33-53. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8879-2_4. PubMed PMID: 30378042.

Kim J, Bamlet WR, Oberg AL, Chaffee KG, Donahue G, Cao XJ, Chari S, Garcia BA, Petersen GM, Zaret KS. Combined THBS2 and CA19-9 blood based markers detect early pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Science Translational Medicine 2017 Jul 12;9 (398)

-Highlighted by Ray K. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2017.111.

- Highlighted by Talha Burki in Lancet Oncology News, 2017 July 20 Featured in the CBS News, U.S.News & World Report, MSN Canada, The Japan Times, New China News, La Razón, Correio Braziliense News, Science Daily, NCI Cancer Current, and so on.

-Selected as one of the Most Life-Changing Medical Breakthroughs of 2017 in Prevention magazine, 2017 Dec issue; The New Times magazine, 2017 Dec 25

Kim J and Zaret KS. Reprogramming of human cancer cells to pluripotency for models of cancer progression. The EMBO Journal 2015, 34: 739–747

Kim J, HoffmanJP, Alpaugh RK, Rhim AD, ReichertM, StangerBZ, FurthEE, SepulvedaAR, YuanCX, WonKJ, Donahue G, Sands J, GumbsA, and ZaretKS. An iPSC line from human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma undergoes early to invasive stages of pancreatic cancer progression. Cell Reports 2013, 3: 2088–2099

-Highlighted in the Editor’s Choice in Science, vol 341, page 319, 2013 July 26 Featured in ESC & iPSC NEWS published by Connexon Creative, 2013 June 26 Highlighted in the Inside Life Science published by NIGMS, 2014 January 8

Education and training

    • Ph.D., 2008, Hanyang University
  • Fellowship

    • Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania (2009-2017)

Memberships and associations:

  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • American Association for Cancer Research

Areas of interest

  • pancreatic development, pancreatic cancer, reprogramming, cancer epigenomics



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