Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences


02:00 PM


03:30 PM


IB 1008


Event details

Date & Time

Time: 14:00-15:30pm (CST), March 31st

Location: IB 1008(Preferred)

Zoom ID: 939 0428 9376

Passcode: dku 


Prof. Xin-Hua Feng

National Distinguished Professor, Qiushi Chair Professor and Director, Life Sciences Institute, Zhejiang University


To (TGF-)β or not to (TGF-)β: That’s the question in cancer


Loss of the antiproliferative response is a hallmark in human cancers. Tumor cells have developed a number of strategies to escape from antigrowth control. One major mechanism to resist the cytostatic effect of antigrowth factor such as TGF-b is through inactivating mutations/deletions in the TGF-b signaling pathway, which frequently occur in gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer. For example, tumor suppressor Smad4/DPC4, the central transducer of TGF-b signaling, is deleted in more than half of pancreatic cancer patients. However, deletion or mutations in the Smad4 gene are rare in other types of cancers. We have taken multidisciplinary approaches to study how the tumor suppressor function is regulated in normal and cancer cells. We found that TGF-b signaling is fined by multiple oncoproteins. For instance, hyperactivation of many oncoproteins can cause TGF-b resistance. Our novel studies gain conceptual insights into the oncoprotein-tumor suppressor interplay in tumorigenesis and provide guidance to logical therapeutic designs in cancer prevention, diagnostics and treatment.



1983                    B.S. (Biology), Wuhan University

1986                    M.S. (Genetics), Institute of Genetics and Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Currently Institute of Genetics & Developmental Biology, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)

1992                    Ph.D. (Botany), University of Maryland, College Park

Research and Professional Held in Chronological:

1993-1997         Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, San Francisco

1997-1999         Research Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco          

1999-2003         Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine                               

2003-2007         Associate Professor (Tenured), Baylor College of Medicine; Investigator, Duncan Cancer Center                             

2007-2020         Professor (Tenured), Baylor College of Medicine

2010-present     Qiushi Chair Professor and Director, Life Sciences Institute, Zhejiang University 

Research interests

Dr. Feng is one of the early researchers in TGF-b signaling research. He identified specific signaling determinant on the receptor, discovered key signal transducers Smad proteins and signal terminator phosphatase PPM1A. Current research of Feng lab is aimed at elucidating the underlying mechanisms and interplays among protein modifications, signaling pathways and gene transcription as well as understanding their roles in cell proliferation, tissue differentiation and pathogenesis of human diseases.  Current research projects focus on the following four areas: (1) TGF-b/BMP signaling network and regulation; (2) Mechanism underlying how cancer escapes from TGF-b anti-growth control and programmed cell death; (3) ncRNA and RNA-binding proteins in cancer development and metastasis; (4) Mechanism of stem cell renewal and differentiation. Our ultimate goal is to design better therapeutics in prevention and treatment of human diseases.