Sunil Hwang, PhD

Sunil Hwang, PhD

Director, Proteomics Laboratory for Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Core Facility
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Prior Positions and Experience

2007  Research Scientist, Yale University
2003-2007  Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Connecticut Health Center
2002-2003  Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School



PhD: 2002, Kyungpook National University (Daegu, Korea)
MS: 1996, Kyungpook National University (Daegu, Korea)
BS: 1994, Kyungpook National University (Daegu, Korea)

Protein Biomarker Discovery of Human Disease

Proteomics requires three components: Biology, Mass Spectrometry, and Bioinformatics. To be successful in this field, efforts have to be devoted to all three areas and novel biomedical factors must be found.

In a disease state, not only is protein expression changed, but changes also occur in the post-translational modification of these proteins. These changes are equally of interest and are concurrently investigated. Specifically, identifying the phosphorylation, glycosylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation of proteins are among current interests of Dr. Hwang and his group. They believe that this knowledge will help to elucidate the signaling pathways inherent to disease states. Furthermore, they are trying to understand clinical questions within the aspect of systems biology to elucidate the molecular phenomena of selected diseases, especially cancer, which may be caused by alterations of the expression level, post-translational modification, subcellular localization, protein-protein interaction, etc.

Since the proteomic data are voluminous, bioinformatics tools must be utilized to identify the molecules of interest. Future plans include the utilization of bioinformatics tools to enable identification of specific molecules of interest. This aspect is essential due to the complexity and volume of data generated using proteomic strategies. One objective of critical necessity is to establish a database management system (DBMS), which can store the experimental data and identify the target molecules systematically.

Recent Publications

Navarro V, Bonkovsky HL, Hwang SI, Vega M, Barnhart H, Serrano J (2013) Catechins in Dietary Supplements and Heptotoxicity, Digestive Diseases & Sciences. [PMID: 23625293]

Larion S, Caballes FR, Hwang SI, Lee JG, Rossman WE, Parsons J, Steuerwald N, Li T, Maddukuri V, Groseclose G, Finkielstein CV, Bonkovsky HL (2013) Circadian rhythms in acute intermittent porphyria - a pilot study. Eur J Clin Invest. [PMID: 23650938]

Watts JA, Lee YY , Gellar MA, Fulkerson MK, Hwang SI, Kline JA (2012) Proteomics of microparticles after experimental pulmonary embolism. Thromb Res, 130, 122-128. [PMID: 22014850]

McKinney KQ, Lee JG, Sindram D, Russo MW, Han DK, Bonkovsky HL, and Hwang SI.  (2012) Identification of differentially expressed proteins from primary vs. metastatic pancreatic cancer cells using subcellular proteomics.  Cancer Genomics & Proteomics vol 9(5):257-63, [PMID: 22990105]

McKinney KQ, Lee YY, Choi HS, Groseclose G, Iannitti DA, Martinie JB, Russo MW, Lundgren DH, Han DK, Bonkovsky HL, and Hwang SI. (2011) Discovery of putative pancreatic cancer biomarkers using subcellular proteomics, J Proteomics 74 (1), 79-88, [PMID: 20807598]

Han MH, Hwang SI, Roy DB, Lundgren DH, Price JV, Ousman SS, Fernald GH, Gerlitz B, Robinson WH, Baranzini SE, Grinnell BW, Raine CS, Sobel RA, Han DK, Steinman L.  Proteomic analysis of active multiple sclerosis lesions reveals therapeutic targets. Nature 2008; 451:1076-1081 [PMID: 18278032]

Hwang SI, Thumar J, Lundgren DH, Rezaul K, Mayya V, Wu L, Eng J, Wright ME, Han DK. Direct cancer tissue proteomics: a method to identify candidate cancer biomarkers from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded archival tissues. Oncogene 2007; 26: 65-76. [PMID: 16799640]

Hwang SI, Lundgren DH, Mayya V, Rezaul K, Cowan AE, Eng JK, Han DK. Systematic characterization of nuclear proteome during apoptosis: a quantitative proteomic study by differential extraction and stable isotope labeling. Mol Cell Proteomics 2006; 5:1131-1145. [PMID: 16540461]

Current, Recent and Pending Grant Support

Ongoing Research Support

  • Sunil Hwang (Co-I), 7/1/2013 – 6/30/2014
    • National Institutes of Health, Drug $141,481
    • Title: Role of Anabolic Steroids in DILI in the USA
    • This ancillary study will determine anabolic steroids content in HDS causally linked to hepatotoxicity.
    • Role: Co-I

Completed Research Support

  • Sunil Hwang (PI), 10/01/2007 – 12/31/2010
    • Atrium Health
    • Title: Proteomics laboratory for clinical and transitional research
    • The objective of the proposed research is to develop proteomics research for clinical and translational study
  • Sunil Hwang (PI), 1/1/2009– 12/31/2009 (CMC 08-026)
    • Atrium Health
    • Title: Sub-cellular Protein Localization and Abundance Index within the Human Hepatocyte: Effects of Infection with Hepatitis C Virus
    • The objective of the proposed research is to establish a reproducible subcellular fractionation protocol and multi-dimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) for comprehensive protein sequencing of hepatocytic proteins.
  • Sunil Hwang (Co-PI), 1/1/2009– 12/31/2009 (CMC-UNCC 08-002)
    • Title: Reconstruction of the gene regulatory network of Staphylococcus Aureus USA300
    • The objective of the proposed research is is to elucidate the entire gene transcription regulatory network in Staphylococcus aureus USA300 (USA300) using an integrated approach of computational prediction and experimental investigation.
  • Sunil Hwang (Co-I), 4/1/2010 – 2/28/2011 (NIH: 3 U01 DK083027-02S2 subaward)
    • National Institutes of Health, RC1 supplement
    • Title: Catechins in Herbal Dietary Supplement-Induced Liver Injury

This ancillary study will determine catechin content in HDS causally linked to hepatotoxicity.

For more information

CALL 704-355-9330