Career Summary: Dr. Xu is a member of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at USC. She is Assistant Professor in the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, where she heads a research laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital / University of Cincinnati. She did postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco from 2007 to 2013. Her research focuses on the basic mechanisms of signal transduction and their impact on cancer cell transdifferentiation.
Year STOP CANCER Award was received: 2017 STOP CANCER Research Career Development Award
Description of research performed: Dr. Xu’s research on signal transduction seeks to understand how protein methylation of signal mediators and transcription factors controls cancer cell transdifferentiation and invasion. Dr. Xu’s research team further explores strategies to use insights gained from signaling regulation to manipulate cancer cell fate and identify novel targets for molecular therapy.
Results of research: Dr. Xu’s research team has identified roles of protein methylation in multiple aspects of protein activity and determined the impact of protein methylation in cancer cell transdifferentiation. Her laboratory has demonstrated in proof of principle data that we can manipulate cancer cell transdifferentiation using strategies that target specific protein methylation pathways.