University of Southern California
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Michael Kahn, Ph.D.

Photograph of Michael Kahn

Michael Kahn, Ph.D., is the first Provost’s Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Southern California with a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the Keck School of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy. He is Co-Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program.

Dr. Kahn received his B.A. in Chemistry at Columbia University, New York, New York in 1978. He received his doctorate in Chemistry from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut in 1983 and completed postdoctoral training in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1984. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University with Professor Gilbert Stork.

Prior to joining USC, Dr. Kahn was the scientific director at the Institute for Chemical Genomics and a Professor at the University of Washington. He was the scientific founder of Molecumetics, a drug discovery company that developed small molecule mimics of large proteins. Dr. Kahn’s lab has emerged as a leader in the study of chemical genomics, which uses small molecules to dissect complex signaling pathways.

Dr. Kahn’s lab has been working in the area of Wnt signaling for the past 12 years. Recently, his lab’s efforts have focused on Wnt signaling in development, cancer, and cancer stem cells. For the past eight years, his lab has been particularly involved in the role of Wnt signaling in ES cells and the maintenance of pluripotency versus the initiation of differentiation. He has published over 123 papers and more than 20 U.S. patent applications.