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Thoracic Oncology Lab »  Alumni »  Principal Investigators »  Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.
Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.

Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.

  • Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator
  • Thoracic Oncology Laboratory  (1997-2018)
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  • 1978-82, Shanghai Fisheries University, Shanghai, China, B.A., Aquaculture
  • 1984-86, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, M.S. , Biology/Cytogenetics
  • 1986-92, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Ph.D., Molecular Mutagenesis
  • 1998-2001 , UCSF, Assistant Researcher III, Molecular Biologist
  • 1993-1998, UCSF, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Gene Therapy Core Center, Postgraduate Researcher Molecular Biologist
  • 1986-1992, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, Research Assistant
  • 1984-1986, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University, Research Assistant
  • 1982-1984, Department of Aquaculture, Shanghai Fisheries University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China, Assistant Instructor
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Hypermethylation
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Molecularly targeted therapies
  • Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • WIF-1
  • Wnt pathway

Dr. Zhidong Xu was a senior scientist and principal investigator in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory from 1997-2018. Dr. Xu graduated Shanghai Fisheries University in China in 1982 with an undergraduate degree in marine aquaculture and received a masters in biology/cytogenetics in 1986 from Western Illinois University. In 1992, he received a Ph.D. in Molecular Mutagenesis from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Xu then became a post-doctoral Fellow at the Human Genome Mapping Center at UCSF, and later in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. In 1998, Dr. Xu was recruited to the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory by Dr. David Jablons and In 2001 joined the UCSF faculty.

Dr. Xu has played an important role in the expansion of the lab. Between 1999-'2001.  Dr. Xu's research on full-length cDNA cloning technology was supported by an NIH R21 grant. He is also co-PI on an NIH R01 grant, The Wnt Pathway in Malignant Mesothelioma, research that will elucidate the molecular mechanisms of malignant mesothelioma.Dr. Xu's research is focused on the molecular biology of non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma, including  the development of novel targeted therapeutics based on recombinant DNA technology. A summary of his overall research includes:

  • Using microarray technology for the identification of novel genes and therapeutic targets.
  • Methylation in lung carcinogenesis and as a marker in the detecting early lung cancers.
  • Elucidation of novel molecular mechanisms in the Wnt Signaling Pathway. 
  • Oncolytic viral gene therapy.
  • Development of anti-Wnt ligand monoclonal antibodies for lung cancer therapeutics
  • Development of recombinant human proteins targeting Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (WIF-1).
  • Differential gene expression profiling.

Dr. Xu has also played a critical role in forging international ties with the medical establishment in China, the goal to improve treatment lung cancer patients worldwide. Dr. Xu also helped draft the "Beijing Declaration on Lung Cancer, A Campaign for Treatment, Research and Prevention", at the 2nd North South Lung Cancer Summit in Beijing, China. He has also authored numerous peer-reviewed papers in his fields of research.  


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