Kennedy Krieger Institute
United States of America
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Dr. Xia received her doctoral degree in biology from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany in 1998. She had her post-doctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO and Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT before she came to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2002. She became a faculty member at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2006. RESEARCH SUMMARY: Dr. Xia’s research focuses on the cellular and molecular biology of primary brain tumor malignancy. Over the past several years, Dr. Xia has studied the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell death and cytotoxicity. She developed anti-tumor strategies to synergistically induce cancer cell death by combining death receptor ligands and other chemotherapeutic drugs. Dr. Xia’s research has recently been expanded to the regulation of glioblastoma stem-like cells. She is interested in the mechanisms and molecular pathways involved in maintenance of glioblastoma stem cells. She has studied the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors, retinoic acid, the transcriptional repressor KLF9 and hepatocyte growth factor in self-renewal and differentiation of glioblastoma stem-like cells. Currently, Dr. Xia is interested in the function of the tyrosine receptor kinase EphB2 in glioblastoma stem cells. Dr. Xia and her colleague found that EphB2 has both tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing effects in glioblastoma stem cells in vitro and in vivo. They are now identifying signaling pathways that mediate the dual-functions of EphB2 in glioblastoma stem cells.