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Junfang Ji, PhD, MMed

Junfang Ji, PhD, MMed
  • Assistant Professor
    Cancer Biology
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center


  • MMed (Medicine), Medical College of Zhengzhou University
  • PhD (Cell Biology), Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College

Research Focus

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent cancer types with obvious sex differences in incidence and mortality. It is the second most deadly and fifth most abundant cancer in men worldwide. In women, HCC incidence is two to six times lower than men among various ethnic groups. Moreover, female HCC patients tend to have a longer survival than males. The molecular underpinnings of the increased susceptibility and decreased survival of males with HCC are not well understood. To our knowledge, no widespread efforts are being undertaken to eliminate HCC sex-disparities. Dr. Ji's lab focuses on investigating the underlying mechanisms of sex-differences on hepatic carcinogenesis with the mission of largely reducing the liver cancer incidence and mortality rate.

Selected Publications

  • Ji J, Yamashita T, Budhu A, Forgues M, Jia H, Li C, Deng C, Wauthier E, Reid LM, Ye Q, Qin LX, Yang W, Wang HY, Tang ZY, Croce C, Wang XW. (2009). Identification of microRNA-181 by genome-wide screening as a critical player in EpCAM-positive hepatic cancer stem cells. Hepatology, 50: 472-480. PMCID: PMC2721019.
  • Ji J, Shi J, Budhu A, Yu Z, Forgues M, Roessler S, Ambs S, Chen Y, Meltzer PS, Croce CM, Qin LX, Man K, Lo CM, Lee J, Ng IO, Fan J, Tang ZY, Sun HC, Wang XW. (2009). MicroRNA expression, survival, and response to interferon in men and women with liver cancer. New Eng J Med, 361: 1437-1447. PMCID: PMC2786938.
  • Ji J, Zhao L, Budhu, A, Forgues M, Jia HL, Qin LX, Ye QH, Yu J, Shi X, Tang ZY, Wang XW. (2010). Let-7g targets collagen type I alpha2 and inhibits cell migration in hepatocellular carcinoma. J Hepatol, 52: 690-697. PMCID: PMC2862772.
  • Ji J, Yamashita T, Wang XW.(2011). Wnt/beta-catenin signaling activates microRNA-181 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cell and Biosci, 1. PMCID: PMC3116242.
  • Ji J, Yu L, Yu, Z, Forgues M, Uenishi K, Kubo S, Zhou J, Fan J, Tang ZY, Fu S, Zhu H, Jin JG, Sun HC, Wang XW.(2013). Development of a miR-26 Companion Diagnostic Test for Adjuvant Interferon-alpha Therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Int J Biol Sci, 9: 303-312. (co-corresponding author). PMCID: PMC3619096.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • 5R01CA096841-08 and -08S1 (parent grant and diversity supplement):
    "Regulation of Tumor Promotion by RASGRP1"
    (08/02/02 – 04/30/16) (Multiple PI applications)
  • 5R03CA165128-02:
    "Ras activation pathways in UVR-induced epidermal transformation "
    (12/01/11 – 11/30/13) (Multiple PI applications)