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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. 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


2. 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


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


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)


7. 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 Jimeno, Dennis R. Roop, and Wang XJ (2013). Epithelial stem cell mutations that promote squamous cell carcinoma metastasis. J Clin Invest, ePub, Sept. 1.