With a special interest in regulation of gene expression in cancer development and progression, she heads a lab working on transcription factors, RNA-binding proteins and non-coding RNAs in cancer development and progression, with the goal of identifying novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

Primary Interests:

  • SON-mediated constitutive/alternative RNA splicing and cancer
  • Roles of non-coding RNAs in cancer development and progression
  • Regulation of transcription and RNA splicing in cancer stem cells
  • Identification of novel targets for cancer therapy

Dr. Ahn’s laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of abnormal gene expression in cancer. The laboratory is interested in gene transcription, RNA splicing, chromatin structure and non-coding RNAs which play roles in cancer development and progression. Current efforts of the laboratory focus on function of SON, a novel DNA-/RNA-binding proteins, in hematopoiesis, leukemia and breast cancer. Another major project in the lab is functional characterization of non-coding RNAs, including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and microRNAs, abnormally expressed in cancer and their roles in blood differentiation and breast cancer metastasis. We are also working on long-range chromatin interactions that cause cancer-related gene expression.


  • SON-mediated RNA splicing and leukemia
  • Epigenetic regulation of gene transcription in cancer
  • Non-coding RNAs in breast cancer
PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, 2003
MS, Seoul National University, South Korea, Cell and Molecular Biology, 1998
BS, Seoul National University, South Korea, Biology Education, 1996