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Faculty Profile


Ah-Ng Tony Kong, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Glaxo Endowed Professor of Pharmaceutics
Director of Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Science

Rutgers University
Department of Pharmaceutics
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Room 228/226
Piscataway. NJ 08854

Phone: (848) 445-6369/6398
FAX: (732) 445-3134




Dr. Ah-Ng Tony Kong is Distinguished Professor, Glaxo Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutics and Director of the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is the Chair of the President's Committee on Academic Planning & Review (CAPR). He obtained his B.S. Pharmacy (First Class Standing), University of Alberta, Canada and obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics under the mentorship of Professor William J. Jusko from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He performed his first postdoctoral training with Dr. Daniel W. Nebert in molecular biology of Phase I and Phase II drug metabolizing enzymes and second postdoctoral training with Dr. Lawrence E. Semelson and Dr. Richard D. Klausner in cellular and molecular signaling of T-cell activation both at the National Institutes of Health. He was previously on the faculty of Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University and College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago prior to joining Rutgers in 2001. He has trained more than 50 Ph.D. students, postdoctors and visiting scientists. He has published more than 230 original research, review articles and book chapters in cancer prevention by dietary phytochemicals and herbal medicinal products, epigenetics/epigenomics, Nrf2-mediated anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory responses, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, PK-PD modeling, drug metabolism, pharmacogenomics, and cellular signaling. He has been continuously receiving funding from the NIH since 1993 and has continued to serve on numerous NIH panels since 1998. He is recently appointed as a Regular Member of Xenobiotic & Nutrient Disposition & Action (XNDA) NIH Study Section. He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Current Pharmacology Reports (Springer), Associate Editor of Molecular Carcinogenesis and member of Editorial Board of nine scientific journals such as Cancer Prevention Research, Scientific Reports (Nature), and Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition. He teaches Introduction to Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics to the PharmD students and Advanced Pharmacokinetics/ Pharmacodynamics and Advanced Drug Metabolism to the PhD/MS students.


Kong Lab Home Page

Founding Editor-in-Chief: Current Pharmacology Reports (Springer) 

Book Editor: “Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Cancer: Dietary Approaches for Cancer Prevention”. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. August 7, 2013

Molecular Biosiences

View Dr. Kong's publications in Pub Med[Author]                         



Professor Ah-Ng Tony Kong’s current interest integrates epigenetics/epigenomics; dietary phytochemicals/botanicals/herbal medicinal products; cancer chemoprevention; Nrf2-mediated anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory signaling; in vivo animal models;  drug targeting against biomarkers (viral-based shRNA); drug absorption of various formulations of drug products; drug metabolism (phase I, II drug metabolizing enzymes and phase III transporters); pharmacogenomics (microarray, CHiP-CHIP technology, bioinformatics); pharmacokinetics (PK)/pharmacodynamics (PD); and PK-PD modeling. The current research theme in my laboratory integrates pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenomics, drug metabolism/transport, dietary phytochemicals, cancer chemoprevention, Nrf2-mediated redox signaling and pharmacodynamic responses in 3 major foci. (1) Studies of botanical/dietary/herbal medicinal phytochemicals-mediated cellular signaling and diseases prevention such as cancer chemoprevention. Many phytochemicals have been shown to possess health beneficial effects. My laboratory is utilizing the latest molecular, cellular, genomics, epigenetics/epigenomics, and LC-MS-MS to interrogate the biological responses elicited by these health promoting phytochemicals using a combination of various mammalian cell lines coupled with different animal cancer models including TRAMP (prostate), APCmin (intestinal), DSS (colon inflammatory model) AOM-DSS (colon cancer), Nrf2-/- (skin, colon and prostate). (2) Nrf2-mediated redox signaling in anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory. Nrf2 is the key transcription factor regulating the antioxidant response element (ARE)-mediated Phase II drug metabolizing enzymes (DME) /Phase III transporters and anti-oxidative stress genes. The latest molecular, cellular and epigenetics/epigenomics technologies are utilized to study Nrf2-mediated signaling mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. (3) Pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism/transport, pharmacodynamics and personalized medicine. Many phenolic compounds/phytochemicals have poor in vivo bioavailability (systemic absorption) and may render them ineffective and/or required higher doses. We are trying to understand the absorption, metabolism and transport of xenobiotics in vivo resulting in appropriate blood and tissue levels resulting in the pharmacodynamic responses in tissues to elicit the biological effects. Differences between individuals (due to genetic polymorphism and or epigenetics) in drug metabolizing enzymes, transporters as well as target sites (receptors, enzymes or RNAs) would yield different responses between individuals to the same doses of drugs or xenobiotics in human.

Selected Publications:

Zhang C, Shu L, Kim H, Khor TO, Wu R, Li W, Kong AT. Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) suppresses prostate cancer cell invasion epigenetically through regulating microRNA-194. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Jan 28.

Guo Y, Yu S, Zhang C, Kong AN. Epigenetic regulation of Keap1-Nrf2 signaling. Free Radic Biol Med. 2015 Nov;88(Pt B):337-49.

Wu TY, Huang Y, Zhang C, Su ZY, Boyanapalli SSS, Khor TO, Wang H, Lin H, Gounder M, Kagan L, Androulakis IP, Kong ANT. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) in regulating gene expression of phase II drug metabolizing enzymes. J. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. 2015 Aug;42(4):401-8.

Su ZY, Zhang C, Lee JH, Shu L, Wu TY, Khor TO, Conney AH, Lu YP, Kong AN. Requirement and Epigenetics Reprogramming of Nrf2 in Suppression of Tumor Promoter TPA-Induced Mouse Skin Cell Transformation by Sulforaphane. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Mar;7(3):319-29.

Khor TO, Fuentes F, Shu L, Paredes-Gonzalez X, Yang AY, Liu Y, Smiraglia DJ, Yegnasubramanian S, Nelson WG, Kong AN. Epigenetic DNA Methylation of Antioxidative Stress Regulator NRF2 in Human Prostate Cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Dec;7(12):1186-97.

Wang L, Zhang C, Guo Y, Su ZY, Yang Y, Shu L, Kong AN. Blocking of JB6 Cell Transformation by Tanshinone IIA: Epigenetic Reactivation of Nrf2 Antioxidative Stress Pathway. AAPS J. 2014 Nov;16(6):1214-25.
Cheung KL, Lee JH, Shu L, Kim JH, Sacks DB, Kong AN. The Ras GTPase-activating-like Protein IQGAP1 Mediates Nrf2 Protein Activation via the Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase/Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase (ERK) Kinase (MEK)-ERK Pathway. J Biol Chem. 2013 Aug 2;288(31):22378-86.

Zhang C, Su ZY, Khor TO, Shu L, Kong AN. Sulforaphane Enhances Nrf2 Expression in Prostate Cancer TRAMP C1 Cells through Epigenetic Regulation. Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 May 1;85(9):1398-404.  Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Wang, H., Khor, T.O., Yang, Q., Huang, Y., Wu, T.Y., Saw, C.L.L., Lin, W., Ioannis P. Androulakis, I.P. and Kong, A.N.T. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Phase II Drug Metabolizing/Antioxidant Enzymes Gene Response by Anti-cancer Agent Sulforaphane in Rat Lymphocytes. Mol Pharm. 2012 Oct 1;9(10):2819-27. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Lee JH, Khor TO, Shu L, Su ZY, Fuentes F, Kong AN. Dietary Phytochemicals and Cancer Prevention: Nrf2 Signaling, Epigenetics, and Cell Death Mechanisms in Blocking Cancer Initiation and Progression. Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Feb;137(2):153-71. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Kim, J.H., Yu, S. Chen, J. D. and Kong, A.N. The nuclear cofactor RAC3/AIB1/SRC-3 enhances Nrf2 signaling by interacting with transactivation domains. Oncogene 2013 Jan 24;32(4):514-27. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.59. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Khor, T.O., Huang Y, Wu TY, Shu L, Lee J, Kong AN. Pharmacodynamics of curcumin as DNA hypomethylation agent in restoring the expression of Nrf2 via promoter CpGs demethylation. Biochem Pharmacol. 2011 Nov 1;82(9):1073-8. Epub 2011 Jul 20
Yu, S., Khor, T.O, Cheung, K.L., Li, W., Wu. T.Y., Huang, Y., Foster, B.A., Kan, Y.W., Kong, A.N.T.  Nrf2 Expression Is Regulated by Epigenetic Mechanisms in Prostate Cancer of TRAMP Mice. PLoS One 2010 Jan 5;5(1):e8579.
Li, W., Thakor, N,, Xu, E.Y., Huang, Y., Chen, C., Yu, R., Holcik, M., Kong, A.N.T. An internal ribosomal entry site mediates redox-sensitive translation of Nrf2. Nucleic Acids Research 2010 Jan 1;38(3):778-88. Epub 2009 Nov 24.
Khor, T.O., Keum, Y.-S., Lin, W., Kim, J.H., Hu, R., Shen, G., Gopalkrishnan, A., Reddy, B., Zheng, X., Conney, A., and Kong, A.-N.T.  Inhibitory Effects of Curcumin and Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) on the Growth of Human PC-3 Prostate Xenografts in Immunodeficient Mice. Cancer Res. 66(2):613-621, 2006 (Priority Report).
Li, W., Yu, S.-W., Yuan, X.-L., and Kong, A.-N.T.  Nrf2 possesses a redox-sensitive NES in the Neh5 transactivation domain. J. Biol. Chem. Sep 15;281(37):27251-63, 2006. Epub Jun 21 2006.
Yu, R., Chen, C., Mo, Y., Hebbar, V., Owour, E.D., and Kong, A.-N.T. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways induces antioxidant response element-mediated gene expression via Nrf2-dependent mechanism. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 39907-39913, December 22, 2000.
Petersen, D.D., Kong, ANT., Jorge, L.F., Nebert, D.W., and Arias, T.D.  Debrisoquine polymorphism:  Novel CYP2D6 gene BamHI RFLP in the Ngawbe Guaymi Indian of Panama.  Pharmacogenetics  1:136-142, 1991.
Kong, AN, Ludwig, E., Slaughter, R., DiStefano, P., DeMasi, J., Middleton, E. and Jusko, W.J. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic modeling of direct suppression effects of methylprednisolone on serum cortisol and blood histamine in man.  Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 46: 616-628, 1989.

Kong, AN, and Jusko, W.J. Definitions and applications of mean transit/residence time to a two-compartment mammillary plasma clearance model.  J. Pharm. Sci 43: 157-165, 1988.

Awards and Honors:

2014     Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher  – in recognition of ranking among the top 1% of researchers for most cited documents, in Pharmacology & Toxicology.
2013     Visiting Professor, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China
2012     Visiting Professor, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
2011     Guest Professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China


    Elected Member-at-Large, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2004     Fellow (Elected), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)
2003     Alumni Association Distinguished Visitor” under the Alumni Association Rotating Visiting Professorship Program, The King Edward VII College of Medicine and  The Faculties of Medicine, Universities of Malaya and Singapore
1998     Recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as Teacher of the Year 1998 at the Awards Banquet,Snowmass Village, Colorado, July 21, 1998
1998     “Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award” from the first professional year class, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
1996     “Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award” from the first professional year class, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
1994     Young Investigator Award in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), Sponsored by Burroughs Wellcome Fund