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Department of Surgery »  Faculty »  Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery »  Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.
Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.

Zhidong Xu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery

Contact Information

2340 Sutter Street N-261, Box 1724
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94143-1724
(415) 514-0592 Phone
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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
  • Thoracic Oncology Program
  • Thoracic Oncology Laboratory
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Hypermethylation
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Molecularly targeted therapies
  • Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • WIF-1
  • Wnt pathway

Dr. Zhidong Xu is a molecular biologist and senior scientist in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory. 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.  

Most recent publications from a total of 59
  1. Hsu PC, Miao J, Wang YC, Zhang WQ, Yang YL, Wang CW, Yang CT, Huang Z, You J, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. Inhibition of yes-associated protein down-regulates PD-L1 (CD274) expression in human malignant pleural mesothelioma. J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Mar 24. View in PubMed
  2. Hsu PC, Miao J, Huang Z, Yang YL, Xu Z, You J, Dai Y, Yeh CC, Chan G, Liu S, Urisman A, Yang CT, Jablons DM, You L. Inhibition of yes-associated protein suppresses brain metastasis of human lung adenocarcinoma in a murine model. J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Mar 24. View in PubMed
  3. Miao J, Hsu PC, Yang YL, Xu Z, Dai Y, Wang Y, Chan G, Huang Z, Hu B, Li H, Jablons DM, You L. YAP regulates PD-L1 expression in human NSCLC cells. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec 29; 8(70):114576-114587. View in PubMed
  4. Dai Y, Liu S, Zhang WQ, Yang YL, Hang P, Wang H, Cheng L, Hsu PC, Wang YC, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. YAP1 regulates ABCG2 and cancer cell side population in human lung cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2017 Jan 17; 8(3):4096-4109. View in PubMed
  5. Hsu PC, You B, Yang YL, Zhang WQ, Wang YC, Xu Z, Dai Y, Liu S, Yang CT, Li H, Hu B, Jablons DM, You L. YAP promotes erlotinib resistance in human non-small cell lung cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Aug 09; 7(32):51922-51933. View in PubMed
  6. Yang YL, Ni J, Hsu PC, Mao JH, Hsieh D, Xu A, Chan G, Au A, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. Cul4A overexpression associated with Gli1 expression in malignant pleural mesothelioma. J Cell Mol Med. 2015 Oct; 19(10):2385-96. View in PubMed
  7. You B, Yang YL, Xu Z, Dai Y, Liu S, Mao JH, Tetsu O, Li H, Jablons DM, You L. Inhibition of ERK1/2 down-regulates the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway in human NSCLC cells. Oncotarget. 2015 Feb 28; 6(6):4357-68. View in PubMed
  8. Yang YL, Hung MS, Wang Y, Ni J, Mao JH, Hsieh D, Au A, Kumar A, Quigley D, Fang LT, Yeh CC, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. Lung tumourigenesis in a conditional Cul4A transgenic mouse model. J Pathol. 2014 Jun; 233(2):113-23. View in PubMed
  9. Hung MS, Xu Z, Chen Y, Smith E, Mao JH, Hsieh D, Lin YC, Yang CT, Jablons DM, You L. Hematein, a casein kinase II inhibitor, inhibits lung cancer tumor growth in a murine xenograft model. Int J Oncol. 2013 Nov; 43(5):1517-22. View in PubMed
  10. Liu S, Hsieh D, Yang YL, Xu Z, Peto C, Jablons DM, You L. Coumestrol from the national cancer Institute's natural product library is a novel inhibitor of protein kinase CK2. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 Jul 11; 14:36. View in PubMed
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