University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lily Jan, PhD

Lily Jan, PhD

Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry, UCSF
Jack and De Loris Lange Endowed Chair of Physiology and Biophysics, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships


Research Summary

In collaboration with our UCSF colleagues including Sabine Mueller, Marc Shuman, Bill Weiss and David Rowitch, our recent study revealed that EAG2 is upregulated in multiple subgroups of medulloblastoma (MB) and the activity of this potassium channel is crucial for MB growth and metastasis, MB cell proliferation (Huang et al., 2012, Genes & Development 26, 1780-1796) and migration (Huang et al., 2015, Nature Neuroscience 18, 1236-1246). Taken together with our previous collaborative studies of KCNK9 that is upregulated in breast cancer (Mu et al., 2003, Cancer Cell 3, 297-302; Pei et al., 2003 PNAS 100, 7803-7807) and our on-going study of the involvement of another ion channel in pancreatic cancer, these studies support the notion that different types of cancer may upregulate different potassium channels and/or other ion channels in order to undergo rapid proliferation, extensive migration and invasion.


National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, B.Sc., 06/1968, Physics
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, M.Sc., 06/1970, Physics
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, Ph.D., 06/1974, Biophysics & Physics
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, Postdoc, 06/1977, Neuroscience
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Postdoc, 06/1979, Neuroscience

Professional Experience

  • 1979–1983
    Assistant Professor of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1983–1985
    Associate Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1985–present
    Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1977-1982
    Established Investigator of the American Heart Association
  • 1977-1979
    Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
  • 1983-1986
    Klingenstein Fellowship Award
  • 1988
    W. Alden Spencer Award and Lecture, Columbia University
  • 1988-2001
    NINDS Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
  • 1995
    Faculty Lecturer at University of California, San Francisco
  • 1996-present
    Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1998–present
    Member, Academia Sinica
  • 1998
    Harvey Lecture
  • 1999
    Stephen W. Kuffler Lecture, Harvard Medical School
  • 2004
    K.S. Cole Award, Biophysical Society
  • 2004
    NIH Margaret Pittman Lecture
  • 2006
    Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology
  • 2006
    NIMH MERIT Award
  • 2006
    Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA) Presidential Award
  • 2007-present
    Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2007
    Outstanding Mentorship Award form the Postdoctoral Scholar’s Association of UCSF
  • 2009
    Ralph W. Gerard Prize, Society for Neuroscience
  • 2010
    Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience
  • 2010
    Grass Lecture at Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
  • 2011
    Wiley Prize in Biomedical Research
  • 2012
    Gruber Prize in Neuroscience

Selected Publications

  • Huang X, He, Y, Dubuc, AM, Hashizume R, Zhang W, Reimand J, Yang H, Wang TA, Stehbens SJ, Younger S, Barshow S, Cooper MK, Peacock J, Ramaswamy V, Garzia L, Wu X, Remke M, Forester CM, Kim CC, Weiss WA, James CD, Shuman MA, Bader GD, Mueller S, Taylor MD, Jan YN, Jan LYl (2015). EAG 2 potassium channel with evolutionarily conserved function as a brain tumor target. Nature Neuroscience 18:1236-1246. PMID: 26258683.
  • Headland SE, Jones HR, Norling LV, Kim A, Souza PR, Corsiero E, Gil CD, Nerviani A, Dell’Accio F, Pitzalis C, Oliani SM, Jan LY, Perretti M. Neutrophil-derived microvesicles enter cartilage and protect the joint in inflammatory arthritis. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Nov 25; 7(315):315ra190.
  • Peters CJ, Yu H, Tien J, Jan YN, Li M, Jan LY (2015). Four basic residues critical for the ion selectivity and pore blocker sensitivity of TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channels. PNAS USA 112:3547-3552. PMID: 25733897.
  • Feenstra B, Pasternak B, Geller F, Carstensen L, Wang T, Huang F, Eitson JL, Hollegaard MV, Svanström H, Vestergaard M, Hougaard DM, Schoggins JW, Jan LY, Melbye M, Hviid A. (2014) Common variants associated with general and MMR vaccine-related febrile seizures. Nature Genetics 46:1274-1282. PMID: 25344690.
  • Tien J, Peters CJ, Wong X M, Cheng T, Jan YN, Jan LY, Yang H. (2014). A comprehensive search for calcium binding sites critical for TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel activity. eLife 3:e02772. PMID: 24980701.
  • Wong XM, Younger S, Peters CJ, Jan YN, and Jan LY. (2013). Subdued, a TMEM16 family Ca2+-activated Cl- channel in Drosophila melanogaster with an unexpected role in host defense. eLife 2:e00862. PMCID: PMC3814000.
  • Huang F, Wang X, Ostertag EM, Nuwal T, Huang B, Jan YN, Basbaum AI, Jan LY. (2013) TMEM16C facilitates Na+-activated K+ currents in rat sensory neurons and regulates pain processing. Nat Neurosci. 16:1284-1290. PMCID: PMC4034143.
  • Yang H, Kim A, David T, Palmer D, Jin T, Tien J, Huang F, Cheng T, Coughlin SR, Jan YN, Jan LY. (2012) TMEM16F forms a Ca2+-activated cation channel required for lipid scrambling in platelets during blood coagulation. Cell 151:111-122. PMCID: PMC3582364.
  • Huang X, Dubuc AM, Hashizume R, Berg J, He Y, Wang J, Chiang C, Cooper MK, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Barnes MJ, Tihan T, Chen J, Hackett CS, Weiss WA, James CD, Rowitch DH, Shuman MA, Jan YN, Jan LY. (2012) Voltage-gated potassium channel EAG2 controls mitotic entry and tumor growth in medulloblastoma via regulating cell volume dynamics. Genes & Development 26:1780-1796. PMCID: PMC3426758.
  • Yang SB, Tien AC, Boddupalli G, Xu AW, Jan YN, Jan LY. (2012) Rapamycin ameliorates age-dependent obesity associated with increased mTOR signaling in hypothalamic POMC neurons. Neuron 75:425-436. PMCID: PMC3467009.
  • Ge WP, Miyawaki A, Gage FH, Jan YN, Jan LY. (2012) Local generation of glia is a major astrocyte source in postnatal cortex. Nature 484:376-380. PMCID: PMC3777276.