Griffith University

Kah Ni Tan

Name: Kah Ni Tan
Position: Research Fellow
Research Area: Cancer Drug Discovery
Qualifications: BBiotech (Hons 1), PhD

Biography: Kah Ni completed her Bachelor of Biotechology (Hons 1) with major in Drug Design and Development from The University of Queensland in 2013. She then worked as a research assistant in the School of Biomedical Sciences for six months before starting her PhD at The University of Queensland in 2014. She undertook a PhD project to investigate the potential of medium-chain triglycerides as treatment options for refractory epilepsy and ischaemic stroke in rodent models, by understanding their effects on mitochondrial function and oxidative stress. Kah Ni joined the Discovery Biology team in February 2018 as a member of the Cancer Therapeutics initiative. She has been awarded a two-year Griffith University Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate the roles of mitochondria as potential target in cancer using 2D and 3D cell culture models.

Discovery Biology


Håheim KS, Lindbäck E, Tan KN, Albrigtsen M, Urdal Helgeland IT, Lauga C, Matringe T, Kennedy EK, Andersen JH, Avery VM, Sydnes MO. Synthesis and Evaluation of the Tetracyclic Ring-System of Isocryptolepine and Regioiso-Mers for Antimalarial, Antiproliferative and Antimicrobial Activities. Molecules. 2021 May 30; 26(11): 3268.

Carrasco-Pozo C, Tan KN and Avery VM. Hemin Prevents Increased Glycolysis in Macrophages upon Activation: Protection by Microbiota-Derived Metabolites of Polyphenols. Antioxidants. 2020 Nov 11; 9(11): E1109

Tan KN, Avery VM and Carrasco-Pozo C. Metabolic Roles of Androgen Receptor and Tip60 in Androgen-Dependent Prostate Cancer. International Journal of Molecular Science. [Review] 2020 Sep 10; 21(18): E6622.

Carrasco-Pozo C, Tan KN, Rodriguez T & Avery VM. The Molecular Effects of Sulforaphane and Capsaicin on Metabolism upon Androgen and Tip60 Activation of Androgen Receptor. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2019 Oct 29; 20(21): 5384.


2021: GRIDD ECR Grant ($10,000)

2019: Griffith University Postdoctoral Fellowship (2 years)

Other: University of Queensland


Tan KN, Hood R, Warren K, Pepperall D, Carrasco-Pozo C, Manzanero S, Borges K & Spratt NJ. Heptanoate is neuroprotective in vitro but triheptanoin post-treatment did not protect against middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Neuroscience Letter. 2018, 683:207-214.

Calvert S, Barwick K, Par M, Tan KN & Borges K. A pilot study of add-on oral triheptanoin treatment for children for medically refractory epilepsy. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 2018, 22:1074-1080.

Tan KN, Simmons D, Carrasco-Pozo C* & Borges K*. Triheptanoin protects against status epilepticus-induced hippocampal mitochondrial dysfunctions, oxidative stress and neuronal degeneration. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2018, 144: 431-442.

Carrasco-Pozo C, Tan KN, Gotteland M & Borges K. Sulforaphane protects against high cholesterol-induced mitochondrial bioenergetics impairments, inflammation and oxidative stress and preserves pancreatic β-cells function. Oxidative Medicine and Celullar Longevity. 2017, 3839756.

Carrasco-Pozo C, Tan KN, Reyes-Farias M, De La Jara N, Ngo ST, Garcia-Diaz DF, Llanos P, Cires MJ & Borges K. The deleterious effect of cholesterol and protection by quercetin on mitochondrial bioenergetics of pancreatic β-cells, glycemic control and inflammation: In vitro and in vivo studies. Redox Biology. 2016, 9:229-243.

Tan KN*, Carrasco-Pozo C*, McDonald TS, Puchowicz M & Borges K. Tridecanoin is anticonvulsant, antioxidant and improves mitochondrial function. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2016, 37:2035-2048.

Tefera TW, Tan KN, McDonald TS & Borges K. Alternative fuels in epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Neurochemical Research. 2016, 46:1610-1620.

Carrasco-Pozo C*, Tan KN* & Borges K. Sulforaphane is anticonvulsant and improves mitochondrial function. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2015, 135: 932-942.

Hadera MG, Smeland OB, McDonald TS, Tan KN, Sonnewald U & Borges K. Triheptanoin partially restores levels of tricarboxylic acid intermediates in the mouse pilocarpine model of epilepsy. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2014, 129: 107-119.

McDonald T, Tan KN, Hodson M & Borges K. Alterations of hippocampal glucose metabolism by even vs. uneven medium chain triglycerides. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2014, 34: 153-160.

Shaikh MF, Tan KN & Borges K. Anticonvulsant screening of luteolin in four mouse seizure models. Neuroscience Letter. 2013, 550: 195-199.

* Denotes equal contribution

Book Chapter:

Tan KN, McDonald TS & Borges K. Metabolic dysfunctions in epilepsy and novel metabolic treatment approaches, in Watson R (ed.), Bioactive nutraceuticals and dietary supplements in neurological and brain disease, Academic Press, 2015, pp. 461-469.

Scholarship/University Awards:

2014-2017: International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), University of Queensland

2014-2017: University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship (UQCent)

2013: Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement, University of Queensland, Australia

2012: Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement, University of Queensland, Australia

2009: Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement, University of Queensland, Australia

Travel Awards:

2017: Faculty of Medicine Travel Scholarship, University of Queensland, Australia

2017: Early Career Investigator Travel Bursary

2016: Specialty Feeds Scientific Award


Tan KN, Carrasco-Pozo C & Borges K. Anaplerotic triheptanoin preserves mitochondrial function and reduces oxidative stress in pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. BRAIN & BRAIN PET in Berlin, Germany, April 2017.

Tan KN, Carrasco-Pozo C & Borges K. Triheptanoin preserves mitochondrial function and prevents oxidative stress in a mouse seizure model. 7th International Postgraduate Student Symposium in Brisbane, Australia, November 2016.

Tan KN, Carrasco-Pozo C, Puchowicz M & Borges K. Antioxidant and anticonvulsant effects of tridecanoin, the triglyceride of decanoate. Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, USA, October 2015.

Tan KN, Carrasco-Pozo C & Borges K. Sulforaphane is anticonvulsant and preserves mitochondrial functions in mouse seizure models. 5th International Postgraduate Student Symposium in Brisbane, Australia, November 2014.

Tan KN, McDonald T, Smeland OB, Sonnewald U & Borges K. Metabolic dysfunction during seizure development in mouse pilocarpine model. American Epilepsy Society in Washington DC, USA, November 2013.

Tan KN, McDonald T, Hadera M, Smeland O, Sonnewald U & Borges K. Glucose entry into the citric acid cycle is decreased in epileptic mice. Australian Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Australia, February 2013.