Contact Information
PhD Department of Genetics, University of Melbourne, Australia (2003 – 2008)
(1st Class Hons)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne, Australia (2002)
BSc Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne, Australia. Majors in Genetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2001)
Diploma Biotechnology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore (1997 – 2000)
2013 – Present Senior Instructor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau
2008 – 2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, USA
Research Interests
Many fungi are opportunistic pathogens that infect immune-compromised individuals like patients with immune diseases (e.g. HIV) and patients whose immune system is suppressed by drugs during bone marrow or organ transplant therapies and cancer treatments. As the number of these patients increases, fungal pathogens pose increasing threats to human health.Treatment of fungal diseases has always been a major clinical challenge. Fungi and humans are both eukaryotic organisms and share many conserved molecular mechanisms. As such, drugs that can kill fungi often inevitably also have adverse effect(s) on the human hosts. Furthermore, fungal pathogens may develop resistance to existing anti-fungal drugs. These factors lead to an unacceptably high mortality rate for fungal infections despite the advances of modern medicine. Therefore, there is an urgent need for development of new effective anti-fungal therapeutics.The ability of any pathogen to cause disease relies on its ability to adapt to and grow within the host environment. The proper and timely delivery of organelles and biological molecules to specific destinations within a cell is essential for cell growth and survival, and hence cellular transportation must play an important role during fungal pathogenesis. Cellular transportation has been a subject of intensive research, but many big questions still remain in the field. For example, how the transportation process is regulated and coordinated and how it contributes to fungal pathogenesis are not yet understood.My research uses a multi-disciplinary approach to study how molecules are transported within a cell and study the role of cellular transportation during fungal infection. This will provide important clues in identifying novel anti-fungal targets and development of effective therapies for fungal infections.
Representative Publications
  1. Kai, M., Lei, J. H., Valecha, M. V., Zhang, A., Xu, J., Wang, L., Lyu, X., Chen, S., Miao, Z., Zhang, X., Su, S., Shao, F., Rajendran, B. K., Bao, J., Zeng, J., Sun, H., Chen, P., Tan, K., Chen, Q., Wong, K. H., Xu, X., and Deng, C. (2020) NOTCH1 Activation Compensates BRCA1 Deficiency and Promotes Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Formation. Nat Commun 11 (1), 3256
  2. Tan, K., and Wong, K. H. (2019) RNA Polymerase II ChIP-Seq-a Powerful and Highly Affordable Method for Studying Fungal Genomics and Physiology. Biophysical Reviews 11, 79-82
  3. Qin, L. G., Li, A., Tan, K., Guo, S. h., Chen, Y. Y., Wang, F., and Wong, K. H. (2019) Universal Plasmids to Facilitate Gene Deletion and Gene Tagging in Filamentous Fungi. Fungal Genet Biol 125, 28-35
  4. Choi, G. C. G., Zhou, P., Yuen, C. T. L., Chan, B. K. C., Xu, F., Bao, S., Chu, H. Y., Thean, D., Tan, K., Wong, K. H., Zheng, Z. L., and Wong, A. S. L. (2019) Combinatorial Mutagenesis En Masse Optimizes the Genome Editing Activities of SpCas9. Nat Methods 16, 722-730
  5. Zhang, B. Y., Lyu, J. F., Liu, Y. F., Wu, C. J., Yang, E. J., Pardeshi, L., Tan, K., Wong, K. H., Chen, Q., Xu, X. l., Deng, C. X., and Shim, J. S. (2018) BRCA1 Deficiency Sensitizes Breast Cancer Cells to Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal Domain (BET) Inhibition. Oncogene 37, 6341-6356
  6. Veri, A., Miao, Z. Q., Shapiro, R., Tebbji, F., O’Meara, T., Kim, S. H., Colazo, J., Tan, K., Vyas, V., Whiteway, M., Robbins, N., Wong, K. H., and Cowen, L. (2018) Tuning Hsf1 Levels Drives Distinct Fungal Morphogenetic Programs with Depletion Impairing Hsp90 Function and Overexpression Expanding the Target Space. Plos Genet 14, e1007270
  7. Liu, Y., Yang, E. J., Zhang, B. Y., Miao, Z. Q., Wu, C. J., Lyu, J. F., Tan, K., Poon, T. C. W., and Shim, J. S. (2018) PTEN Deficiency Confers Colorectal Cancer Cell Resistance to Dual Inhibitors of FLT3 and Aurora kinase A. Cancer Lett 436, 28-37
  8. Xie, J. L., Qin, L. G., Miao, Z. Q., Grys, B., Diaz, J. D. L. C., Ting, K., Krieger, J., Tong, J. F., Tan, K., Leach, M., Ketela, T., Moran, M., Krysan, D., Boone, C., Andrews, B., Selmecki, A., Wong, K. H., Robbins, N., and Cowen, L. (2017) The Candida Albicans Transcription Factor Cas5 Couples Stress Responses, Drug Resistance and Cell Cycle Regulation. Nat Commun 8, 499
  9. Leach, M. D., Farrer, R. A., Tan, K., Miao, Z., Walker, L. A., Cuomo, C. A., Wheeler, R. T., Brown, A. J., Wong, K. H., and Cowen, L. E. (2016) Hsf1 and Hsp90 Orchestrate Temperature-Dependent Global Transcriptional Remodelling and Chromatin Architecture in Candida Albicans. Nat Commun 7, 11704
  10. Tan, K., Roberts, A. J., Chonofsky, M., Egan, M. J., and Reck-Peterson, S. L. (2014) A Microscopy-Based Screen Employing Multiplex Genome Sequencing Identifies Cargo-Specific Requirements for Dynein Velocity. Mol Biol Cell 25, 669-678
  11. Downes, D. J., Chonofsky, M., Tan, K., Pfannenstiel, B. T., Reck-Peterson, S. L., and Todd, R. B. (2014) Characterization of the Mutagenic Spectrum of 4-Nitroquinoline 1-Oxide (4-NQO) in Aspergillus Nidulans by Whole Genome Sequencing. G3 (Bethesda) 4, 2483-2492
  12. Egan, M. J., Tan, K., and Reck-Peterson, S. L. (2012) Lis1 Is an Initiation Factor for Dynein-Driven Organelle Transport. J Cell Biol 197, 971-982
  13. Zhang, J., Tan, K., Wu, X., Chen, G., Sun, J., Reck-Peterson, S. L., Hammer, J. A., 3rd, and Xiang, X. (2011) Aspergillus myosin-V Supports Polarized Growth in the Absence of Microtubule-Based Transport. PLoS One 6, e28575
  14. Pal, B., Chan, N. C., Helfenbaum, L., Tan, K., Tansey, W. P., and Gething, M. J. (2007) SCFCdc4-Mediated Degradation of the Hac1p Transcription Factor Regulates the Unfolded Protein Response in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Mol Biol Cell 18, 426-440
  15. Oon, C. J., Chen, W. N., Goh, K. T., Mesenas, S., Ng, H. S., Chiang, G., Tan, C., Koh, S., Teng, S. W., Toh, I., Moh, M. C., Goo, K. S., Tan, K., Leong, A. L., and Tan, G. S. (2002) Molecular Characterization of Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigen Mutants in Singapore Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Hepatitis B Virus Carriers Negative for HBsAg but Positive for anti-HBs and anti-HBc. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 17 Suppl, S491-496
Full publications list
2003 – 2006 International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS)
The Australian Government
2003 – 2006 Melbourne International Research Scholarships (MIRS)
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2005 Melbourne Abroad Postgraduate Traveling Scholarships
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2002 Dean’s Honour List – B.Sc.(Hons) Level
The Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia
*Excellence in academic achievement
2002 Melbourne Undergraduate Coursework Scholarship
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2001 Melbourne International Scholarship
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2000 Silver medalist of Singapore Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore
Professional Activities
Member of The Genetics Society of America
Conference Presentations

  1. Kaeling Tan, KoonHo Wong. the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference, “Genome-wide transcriptional regulation and chromatin dynamics in response to nitrogen availability in Aspergillus nidulans.” 2015.
  2. Kaeling Tan. EMBL Conference: Frontiers in Fungal Systems Biology, “A microscopy-based screen employing multiplex genome sequencing identifies cargo-specific requirements for dynein velocity.” 2015.
  3. Kaeling Tan. 12th International Aspergillus Meeting, “Genome-wide transcriptional regulation and chromatin dynamics in response to nitrogen availability in Aspergillus nidulans.” 2015.