Jian Xu, PhD

  • Recruited to: The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Recruited from: Harvard Medical School
  • Award: First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member

Dr. Jian Xu received his PhD from UCLA, where he studied epigenetic regulation of stem cell pluripotency. He was subsequently awarded a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellowship and joined Dr. Stuart Orkin’s laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2012, he became an instructor in pediatric hematology-oncology in Harvard Medical School. With Dr. Orkin, he made important discoveries towards understanding the clinically relevant fetal-to-adult developmental globin switch, and the functional genomics of blood stem cell development.

In 2014, Dr. Xu received a first-time investigator award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and joined the faculty of UT Southwestern. His laboratory at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute (CRI) at UT Southwestern will focus on childhood leukemia with the long-term goal of understanding stem cell development and how misregulation can cause cancer.

“CRI seeks to understand the biological basis of disease, and I have dedicated all my work to this,” Dr. Xu said. “Development of new drugs and new treatments has little chance if scientists don’t first have a full understanding of disease. CRI is a leader in research because the people here know that the basic science must be understood first.”