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Il-Jin Kim, Ph.D.

Il-Jin Kim, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Director of Applied Genomics,
Thoracic Oncology Laboratory
Principal Investigator, Kim Lab

Contact Information

Thoracic Oncology Laboratory
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
2340 Sutter St, Room N225
San Francisco, CA 94143-1724
(415) 476-9096 
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  • 1994-99, College of Veterinary Medicine , Seoul National University, Korea, B.S., D.V.M. (Magna Cum Laude)
  • 1999-01, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea, M.S. Tumor Biology
  • 2001-03, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea, Ph.D. Tumor Biology
  • 2003-04, Postdoctoral Researcher, Seoul National University, Korea, Cancer Center
  • 2005-06, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Seoul National University, Korea, Cancer Center
  • 2007-2008  Post Doctoral Fellow, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Thoracic Oncology Laboratory
  • Thoracic Oncology Program
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UCSF Department of Surgery
  • Development of high-throughput assays for prognosis and predictive analysis in lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Development of multi-dimensional assays for early detection of lung cancer
  • Drug development, specifically novel targeted agents for treatment of thoracic malignancies
  • Identification of novel fusion genes in lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Interplay of mutation (genetic) and methylation (epigenetic) analysis in lung carcinogenesis
  • Utilization of system genetics to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic molecular targets

Dr. Il-Jin Kim is a Principal Investigator and Director of Applied Genomics in the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Lab and Director of the Kim Lab.  His work focuses on the identification of novel diagnostic and therapeutic markers in lung cancer and mesothelioma.  Dr. Kim investigates human cancers using state-of-the-art technologies including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and system genetics, Dr. Kim has developed several innovative microarrays (RET, beta-catenin, K-ras, and BRAF) and pioneered new methods of high-throughput mutation screening for which he holds numerous patents. 

Dr. Kim graduated the College of Veterinary Medicine , Seoul National University with a B.S. and D.V.M., and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Tumor Biology from the College of Medicine at Seoul National University. In 2008, Dr. Kim came to UCSF as a post-doctoral fellow and joined the UCSF faculty as an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Il-Jin Kim served as a group leader of the Korean Hereditary Tumor Registry from 2003-2006, an organization of which he has been a member since 1999. As group leader, he led a project that screened approximately 1,000 patients from 400 families, looking at 12 inherited cancer syndromes. He has three times received awards for development of genetic assays by the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research).

His research and paper for the 'Prediction of response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy in colorectal cancer patients' was named the best publication of 2007 by the journal "Dis Colon Rectum", the award given at the 2008 ASCRS (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) Annual Meeting. He is now a principal Investigator in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory at UCSF.




  • Asclepios Award, The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, 2017
  • Mesothelioma Research Grant Award, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 2013-2014
  • Uniting Against Lung Cancer Research Grant Award, Uniting Against Lung Cancer, 2012-2014
  • Impact Paper of the Year Award, The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, 2008
  • AACR ITO-EN Scholar-In-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2006
  • AACR ITO-EN Scholar-In-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2005
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Award, Korean Cancer Association, 2005
  • Best Research Award, National Cancer Center, Korea, 2005
  • Best Research Award, Korea Cancer Research Foundation, 2004
  • Outstanding Science and Technology Publication Award,, Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies, 2004
  • National Cancer Center Travel Award to AACR annual meeting, National Cancer Center, Korea, 2004
  • BK21 (Brain Korea 21) Postdoctoral Fellowship, BK21, Korea, 2003-2004
  • AACR ITO-EN Scholar-In-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2003
  • Best Research Award, Korea Cancer Research Foundation, 2003
  • Best Research Award, Korea Cancer Research Foundation, 2002
  • Graduation with Honors (Magna Cum Laude), Seoul National University, Korea, 1999
  • Presidential Honors Student, Seoul National University, Korea, 1997
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Dr. Il-Jin Kim has focused his career on three important cancer-related areas:

  1. Cancer genetics and genomics
  2. Early detection
  3. Cancer prevention. Dr. Kim has published approximately 55 papers in these areas. He has also been granted three patents for mutation detection methods. Projects included in these areas include: genetic screening in hereditary (familial) cancers to distinguishing carriers from non-carriers, development of new genetic screening methods for cancer prevention, and genome-wide gene expression microarray analysis.

Building on the work of  "Lung Cancer System Genetics" Project, a 5-year research collaboration with the Thoracic Oncology Lab funded by The  Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, the Kim Lab employs  sophisticated system genetics/genomics approaches in lung and other human cancers to develop predictive and prognostic molecular markers for diagnostic and  therapeutic application. 

The Kim lab studies genome-wide gene expression, DNA copy number, mutation, fusions, and any other genetic changes in lung cancer. His lab has identified several novel molecular targets in normal and matched adenocarcinoma tissue, and is now working on functional and biological validation of these markers. This research is being used to develop novel therapeutic drugs and diagnostic assays for lung adenocarcinoma.

  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Mesothelioma Research Grant Award, 2013-14
Most recent publications from a total of 76
  1. Leprieur EG, Tolani B, Li H, Leguay F, Hoang NT, Acevedo LA, Jin JQ, Tseng HH, Yue D, Kim IJ, Wislez M, Wang C, Jablons DM, He B. Membrane-bound full-length Sonic Hedgehog identifies cancer stem cells in human non-small cell lung cancer. Oncotarget. 2017 Nov 28; 8(61):103744-103757. View in PubMed
  2. Mendez P, Fang LT, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. Systematic comparison of two whole-genome amplification methods for targeted next-generation sequencing using frozen and FFPE normal and cancer tissues. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 22; 7(1):4055. View in PubMed
  3. Yoon JH, Kim TW, Mendez P, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. Mobile Genome Express (MGE): A comprehensive automatic genetic analyses pipeline with a mobile device. PLoS One. 2017; 12(4):e0174696. View in PubMed
  4. Kang HC, Kim JI, Chang HK, Woodard G, Choi YS, Ku JL, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. FAIM2, as a novel diagnostic maker and a potential therapeutic target for small-cell lung cancer and atypical carcinoid. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 28; 6:34022. View in PubMed
  5. Dang J, Mendez P, Lee S, Kim JW, Yoon JH, Kim TW, Sailey CJ, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. Development of a robust DNA quality and quantity assessment qPCR assay for targeted next-generation sequencing library preparation. Int J Oncol. 2016 Oct; 49(4):1755-65. View in PubMed
  6. Mendez P, Dang J, Kim JW, Lee S, Yoon JH, Kim T, Sailey CJ, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. Comprehensive evaluation and validation of targeted next-generation sequencing performance in two clinical laboratories. Int J Oncol. 2016 Jul; 49(1):235-42. View in PubMed
  7. Kang HC, Kim HK, Lee S, Mendez P, Kim JW, Woodard G, Yoon JH, Jen KY, Fang LT, Jones K, Jablons DM, Kim IJ. Whole exome and targeted deep sequencing identify genome-wide allelic loss and frequent SETDB1 mutations in malignant pleural mesotheliomas. Oncotarget. 2016 Feb 16; 7(7):8321-31. View in PubMed
  8. Agostini M, Janssen KP, Kim IJ, D'Angelo E, Pizzini S, Zangrando A, Zanon C, Pastrello C, Maretto I, Digito M, Bedin C, Jurisica I, Rizzolio F, Giordano A, Bortoluzzi S, Nitti D, Pucciarelli S. An integrative approach for the identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in rectal cancer. Oncotarget. 2015 Oct 20; 6(32):32561-74. View in PubMed
  9. Letteboer TG, Benzinou M, Merrick CB, Quigley DA, Zhau K, Kim IJ, To MD, Jablons DM, van Amstel JK, Westermann CJ, Giraud S, Dupuis-Girod S, Lesca G, Berg JH, Balmain A, Akhurst RJ. Genetic variation in the functional ENG allele inherited from the non-affected parent associates with presence of pulmonary arteriovenous malformation in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia 1 (HHT1) and may influence expression of PTPN14. Front Genet. 2015; 6:67. View in PubMed
  10. Zhang S, Yang YL, Wang Y, You B, Dai Y, Chan G, Hsieh D, Kim IJ, Fang LT, Au A, Stoppler HJ, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. CK2a, over-expressed in human malignant pleural mesothelioma, regulates the Hedgehog signaling pathway in mesothelioma cells. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Nov 25; 33:93. View in PubMed
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