Prof. Xu-Dong Zhao, Principle Investigator, Lab of Tumor Stem Cell. Dr. Xudong Zhao has been working in the field of cancer and stem cell related research. He made the important discovery that a recently discovered gene, namely HUWE1, binds and promotes the degradation of N-Myc. He generated Huwe1 conditional knockout embryonic stem cells and used them to study neural differentiation. He also studied the role of Id genes in the maintenance of neural and glioblastoma stem cell by generating Id1-Id2-Id3 triple knockout mice and found Id genes enable the attachment of stem cell to niche by inhibiting Rap1Gap expression. 13 papers have been published in Nat Cell Biol, Dev Cell, J Clin Invest, PNAS, etc.
Research Fields and Progress in 2013
Our research focuses on molecular mechanisms of cancer development and anti-cancer drug screening by utilizing cancer stem cell and animal models. The main projects include the establishment of animal model of cancer via genetic-engineering and the screening of cancer stem cell-specific markers and anti-cancer stem cell compounds. We are also working on the generation of transgenic tree shrews.
In 2013, we established the tree shrew glioblastoma model and mouse lung cancer model by the lentiviral expression of oncogenes and the silence of tumor suppressor genes. We did compounds screening by using GBM stem cells and found that the suspension culture or adherent culture may have significant effects on the screening results. Suspension culture affects cell adherence or even kills cells, therefore it is not suitable for compound screening.