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Wang Lab

​Dr. Xiao-Jing Wang, M.D., Ph.D., is a John S. Gates Endowed Chair of Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Director of head & neck cancer research program at UCD, Professor in Department of Pathology, and has joint appointments in the departments of Otolaryngology, Dermatology, and Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Wang’s laboratory has developed many genetically engineered mouse models of skin and head&neck cancers. These models are unique resources for evaluating the mechanisms and efficacy of the clinical trials for cancer prevention and treatments, and develop novel therapeutic interventions. Research in Wang laboratory uses both mouse models and human cancer samples for cross-species comparisons. The current activities in Wang laboratory include: 1) Identification of biomarkers for diagnosis, therapy, and treatment side effects (e.g., mucositis) for human head&neck cancer; 2) Molecular mechanisms of cancer including the properties of cancer stem cells, transcriptional machinery, microRNA functions; 3) Experimental therapeutics of head&neck cancer with different genetic alterations; 4) tumor microenvironment including the role of inflammation, fibroblast activation and angiogenesis in cancer. In addition to cancer biology, Dr. Wang’s laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of inflammatory skin diseases and normal stem cell fate determination during skin development.

For more about the Head and Neck research program, click here.​


Selected Publications:

1. 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


2. Owens P, Engelking E, Han G, Haeger SM, Wang XJ (2010). Epidermal Smad4 deletion results in aberrant wound healing. Am J Pathol. 176:122-33. PMCID: PMC2797875​


3. 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.


4. 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; 


5. Malkoski SP, Haeger SM, Cleaver TG, Rodriguez KJ, Li H, Lu SL, Feser WJ, Barón AE, Merrick D, Lighthall JG, Ijichi H, Franklin W and 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 [Available on 2013/4/15] 


6. 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) PMID: 23475202


7. White RA, Neiman JM, Reddi A, Han G, Birlea S, Mitra D, Dionne L, Fernandez P, Murao K, Bian L, Keysar SB, Goldstein NB, Song N, Bornstein S, Han Z, Lu X, Wisell J, Li F, Song J, Lu SL, Jimeno A, Roop DR, Wang XJ (2013). Epithelial stem cell mutations that promote squamous cell carcinoma metastasis. J Clin Invest. 123(10):4390-404, PMID: 23999427

8. Mitra D, Fernandez P, Bian L, Song N, Li F, Han G, Wang XJ (2013). Smad4 loss in mouse keratinocytes leads to increased susceptibility to UV carcinogenesis with reduced Ercc1-mediated DNA repair. JID, 133:2609-166. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.213. [Epub ahead of print], PMID: 23648546 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

9. Morton JJ, Bird G, Keysar SB, Astling DP, Lyons TR, Anderson RT, Glogowska MJ, Estes P, Eagles JR, Le PN, Gan G, McGettigan B, Fernandez P, Padilla-Just N, Varella-Garcia M, Song JI, Bowles DW, Schedin P, Tan AC, Roop DR, Wang XJ, Refaeli Y, Jimeno A (2016). XactMice: humanizing mouse bone marrow enables microenvironment reconstitution in a patient-derived xenograft model of head and neck cancer. Oncogene. 35:290-300. PMID: 25893296

10. Haeger SM, Thompson JJ, Kalra S, Cleaver TG, Merrick D, Wang XJ, Malkoski SP (2016). Smad4 loss promotes lung cancer formation but increases sensitivity to DNA topoisomerase inhibitors. Oncogene 35:577-86. PMID: 25893305​