Contact Information
Address(Office)E12-4026Kaeling Tan
Phone(Office)8822 4987
(Lab)8822 4131
Fax8822 2314
Ph.D.Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Australia (2003-2008)
(1st Class Hons)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Melbourne, Australia (2002)
B.Sc.Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia.Majors in Genetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2001)
DiplomaBiotechnology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore (1997-2000)
2013-presentSenior Instructor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau
2008-2013Postdoctoral 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. Leach MD, Farrer RA, Tan K, Miao Z, Walker LA, Cuomo CA, Wheeler RT, Brown AJP, Wong KH and Cowen LE. Global Analysis of Temperature-Dependent Control of Gene Expression, Chromatin Architecture and Virulence via Hsf1. Nat Commun. 2016 May 26;7:11704.
  2. Downes DJ, Chonofsky M, Tan K, Pfannenstiel BT, Reck-Peterson SL and Todd RB. Characterization of the mutagenic spectrum of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO) in Aspergillus nidulans by whole genome sequencing. G3 (Bethesda). 2014 Oct 27;4(12):2483-92.
  3. Tan K, Roberts AJ, Chonofsky M , Egan MJ, Reck-Peterson SL. A Microscopy-based Screen Employing Multiplex Genome Sequencing Identifies Cargo-Specific Requirements for Dynein Velocity. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Mar;25(5):669-78.
  4. Egan MJ, Tan K, Reck-Peterson SL. Lis1 is an initiation factor for dynein-driven organelle transport. J Cell Biol. 2012 Jun. 25;197(7):971-82.This article has been featured by Mitch Leslie, 2012 J Cell Biol. 25;197(7):852.
  5. Zhang J, Tan K, Wu X, Chen G, Sun J, Reck-Peterson SL, Hammer JA III, Xiang X. Aspergillus myosin-V supports polarized growth in the absence of microtubule-based transport. PLoS One. 2011 Dec. 6(12):e28575.
  6. Pal B, Chan NC, Helfenbaum L, Tan K, Tansey WP, Gething MJ.SCFcdc4-mediated Degradation of the Hac1p Transcription Factor Regulates the Unfolded Protein Response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Feb. 18(2):426-40.
  7. Oon CJ, Chen WN, Goh KT, Mesenas S, Ng HS, Chiang G, Tan C, Koh S, Teng SW, Toh I, Moh MC, Goo KS, Tan K, Leong AL, Tan GS. 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. 2002 Dec. 17 Suppl:S491-6.
2003-2006International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS)
The Australian Government
2003-2006Melbourne International Research Scholarships (MIRS)
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2005Melbourne Abroad Postgraduate Traveling Scholarships
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2002Dean’s Honour List – B.Sc.(Hons) Level
The Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia
*Excellence in academic achievement
2002Melbourne Undergraduate Coursework Scholarship
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2001Melbourne International Scholarship
The University of Melbourne, Australia
2000Silver 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.