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Xiao-Jing Wang, MD, PhD

Professor and Director of the Head, Neck, and Skin Cancer Research Program


  • MD; Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China (1984)
  • MD; Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (1990-1991)

Postdoctoral Education:

  • PhD, Neuroscience; Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China (1989)

 Teaching Roles:​

  • Mentor for MD/PhD students, PhD students and Clinical Fellows
  • Graduate faculty in MSTP, BSP, Cancer Biology, MolBio, Pharmacology
  • Course lectures in Cancer Biology, Pharmacology, Craniofacial Biology​

Research Activities:

  • Molecular mechanisms of cancer: 1) Identification of biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy for human head and neck​ cancer; 2) the properties of cancer stem cells, transcriptional machinery, microRNA functions; 3) Experimental therapeutics of head and neck cancer with different genetic alterations; 4)tumor microenvironment including the role of inflammation, fibroblast activation and angiogenesis in cancer.
  • Normal stem cell fate determination during embryonic skin development.
  • Molecular​ mechanisms and therapeutic interventions for impaired wound healing.
  • Mechanisms of inflammatory skin diseases, particularly psoriasis and fibrosis.

Recent Publications:

  • Li AG, Wang D, Feng X, Wang XJ. Latent TGFb1 overexpression in keratinocytes results in a severe psoriasis-like skin disorder. EMBO J, 23:1770-81. (2004)
  • Han G, Lu SL, Li AG, He W, Corless CL, Kulesz-Martin M, Wang XJ. Distinct mechanisms of TGFb1- mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis during skin carcinogenesis. J Clin Invest, 115: 1714-1723 (2005)
  • Lu SL, Herrington H, Reh D, Weber S, Bornstein S, Wang D, Li AG, Tang CF, Siddiqui Y, Nord J, Andersen P, Corless CL, Wang XJ. Loss of transforming growth factor-b type II receptor promotes metastatic head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma. Genes Dev, 20:1331-1342. (2006)
  • Han GW, Li AG, Liang YY, Owens P, He W, Lu S, Yoshimatsu Y, Wang D, ten Dijke P, Lin X, Wang XJ. Smad7-induced b-catenin degradation alters epidermal appendage development. Dev Cell, 11, 301-312. (2006)
  • Hoot K, Light​hall J, Han G, Lu SL, Li AG, Ju W, Kulesz-Martin M, Bottinger E, Wang XJ. Keratinocyte-Specific Smad2 ablation results in increased epithelial-mesenchymal transition during skin cancer formation and progression. J Clin Invest, 118:2722-32. (2008)
  • Owens P, Bazzi H, Engelking E, Han G, Christiano AM, Wang, XJ. Smad4-dependent desmoglein-4 expression contributes to hair follicle integrity. Dev Biol, 322(1):156-66 (2008)
  • Hoot K, Lighthall J, Han G, Lu SL, Li AG, Ju W, Kulesz-Martin M, Bottinger E, Wang XJ (2008). Keratinocyte-Specific Smad2 ablation results in increased epithelial-mesenchymal transition during skin cancer formation and progression. J Clin Invest, 118:2722-32. PMID: 18618014 PMCID: PMC2447925
  • Bornstein S., White R., Malkoski SP, Oka M, Han G, Cleaver T, Reh D, Anderson P, Gross N, Olson S, Deng C, Lu S, Wang XJ (2009). Smad4 Loss in Mice Causes Spontaneous Head and Neck Cancer with Increased Genomic Instability and Inflammation. J Clin Invest, 119:3408-19. PMCID: PMC2769185
  • Hoot KE, Oka M, Han G, Bottinger E, Zhang Q, and Wang XJ (2010). HGF Upregulation Contributes to Angiogenesis in Mice with Keratinocyte-Specific Smad2 Deletion. J Clin Invest, 120:3606-16.
  • Han G, Li F, Ten Dijke P, Wang XJ (2011). Temporal smad7 transgene induction in mouse epidermis accelerates skin wound healing. Am J Pathol. 179:1768-79;
  • Wang XJ (2012). Loss of transforming growth factor type II receptor increases aggressive tumor behavior and reduces survival in lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res, 18:2173-83. PMID: 22399565 PMCID: PMC3328594
  • Han G, Bian L, Li F, Cotrim A, Wang D, Lu JB, Deng Y, Bird G, Sowers A, Mitchell J, Gutkind JS, Zhao R, Raben D, ten Dijke P, Refaeli Y, Zhang QH, and Wang XJ (2013). Preventive and therapeutic effects of Smad7 on radiation-induced oral mucositis. Nat Med, 19: 421-428 (highlighted by Nat Med Podcast, April, 2013)
  • Ruth A. White, Jill M. Neiman, Anand Reddi, Gangwen Han, Stanca Birlea, Doyel Mitra, Laikuan Dionne, Pam Fernandez, Kazutoshi Murao, Li Bian, Stephen B. Keysar, Nathaniel B. Goldstein, Ningjing Song, Sophia Bornstein, Zheyi Han, Xian Lu, Joshua Wisell, Fulun Li, John Song, Shi-Long Lu, Antonio J Z​imeno, Dennis R. Roop, and Wang XJ (2013). Epithelial stem cell mutations that promote squamous cell carcinoma metastasis J Clin Invest. 123(10):4390-404, PMID: 23999427​

Office Location:

 Research Complex One - North

 Room 5128



 Office Phone:


(303) 724-3001

Mailing Address:

 University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 12800 East 19th Avenue

 Mailstop 8104

 Aurora, CO 80045​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​