Dr. Ghee Tan

(808) 932-7145


(808) 932-8117

Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy Building, room 241

Ghee Tan received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Pharmacy from the National University of Singapore, and her Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where her studies focused on the biochemistry and natural product inhibitors of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase. After postdoctoral training in cell and molecular biology, and a 2 year appointment as research scientist in the HIV vaccine development arena at the Public Health Research Institute of New York/New York University, she returned to UIC as a research faculty. The next decade was devoted to natural products drug discovery research in the context of the major tropical diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) and cancer. She participated in the quest for new anticancer agents through the UIC-based National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group (NCDDG), and served as Program Director (PD) for the drug discovery arm of the 10-year UIC-based International Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups (ICBG) consortium that explored the biodiversity of Vietnam and Laos as sources of lead molecules for potential drug development.

These multiple PD/PI, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded endeavors resulted in funding totaling more than $5,000,000 for Ghee Tan, and enabled the publication of numerous research articles on biologically active natural products. Ghee Tan has authored review articles including book chapters on natural products relevant to HIV, malaria and cancer. Over the years, she has also mentored 9 doctoral students towards their Ph.D. degrees and supervised postdoctoral, predoctoral and undergraduate students at both the national and international levels. She is a foundational Faculty member of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo, where she seeks to establish a multidisciplinary drug discovery program that addresses cancer and the major diseases that impact global health.


  • Ph.D. - University of Illinois at Chicago
  • B. Sc., Pharmacy - National University of Singapore


  • Tuition Grant (1983 – 1987), National University of Singapore
  • Kilmer Prize (1990), American Pharmaceutical Association and American Society for Pharmacognosy
  • Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (1990 – 1998)
  • Honor and Scientific Research Society, Sigma Xi (1992 – 1998)
  • NRSA AIDS training grant (1996 – 1998), Center for AIDS Research, New York University University of Hawai’i Research Council Faculty Travel Award (2011)
  • Teacher Recognition Award (2012), Graduate Women in Science (GWIS, http://gwis.org/)


  • 1R25 GM113747-01A1, Students of Hawaii Advanced Research Program (SHARP)/Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) (07/01/16 - 06/30/21)

Recent Publications

  • M. Pieroni, S. Girmay, D.-Q. Sun, R. Sahu, B.L. Tekwani, and G.T. Tan (2012) Synthesis and structure–activity relationships of unique lansine analogs as antileishmanial agents. Chem.Med.Chem., 7, 1895-1900. DOI:10.1002/cmdc.201200346; PMID:22987791; PMCID: PMC3565020.
  • W.H. Pan, K.L. Liu, Y.F. Guan, G.T. Tan, N.V. Hung, N.M. Cuong, D.D. Soejarto, J.M. Pezzuto, H.H.S. Fong, and H.J. Zhang (2014) Bioactive compounds from Vitex leptobotrys. J. Nat. Prod., 77(3): 663–667. DOI:10.1021/np400779v; PMID:24404757; PMCID: PMC4068261.
  • Y. Wu, S. Girmay, V.M. da Silva, B. Perry, X.-W. Hu, and G.T. Tan (2015) The role of endophytic fungi in the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia Linn. (Noni). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM), vol. 2015, 8 pages, DOI:10.1155/2015/393960; PMID: 26783408; PMCID: PMC4689921.
  • Y. Guan, D. Wang, G.T. Tan, N.V. Hung, N.M. Cuong, J.M. Pezzuto, H.H.S. Fong, D.D. Soejarto and H. Zhang (2016) Litsea species as potential antiviral plant sources. Am. J. Chinese Med. 44(2):1–16. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X16500166; PMID: 27080941.
  • N. Fatima, T. Sripisut, U.J. Youn, S. Ahmed, I. Ul-Haq, U. Muñoz-Acuña, C.J. Simmons, M.A. Qazi, M. Jadoon, G.T. Tan, E.J. de Blanco, and L.C. Chang. (2017) Bioactive constituents from an endophytic fungus, Penicillium polonicum NFW9, associated with Taxus fauna. Med. Chem. Feb 16. DOI: 10.2174/1573406413666170216145121; PMID: 28215169.
  • L.S. Tsutsumi, G.T. Tan and D.-Q. Sun (2017) Solid-phase synthesis of cyclic hexapeptides wollamides A, B and desotamide B. Tetrahedron Lett. 58 (27): 2675-2680. DOI10.1016/j.tetlet.2017.05.084. PMID: 29129945; PMCID: PMC5678967.
  • L.S. Tsutsumi, J.M. Elmore, U.T. Dang, M.J. Wallace, R. Marreddy, R.B. Lee, G.T. Tan, J.G. Hurdle, R.E. Lee, D. Sun. (2017) Solid-Phase Synthesis and Antibacterial Activity of Cyclohexapeptide Wollamide B Analogs. ACS Comb Sci. 2018 Mar 12;20(3):172-185. DOI: 10.1021/acscombsci.7b00189. PMID: 29431987.