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Dr. Zhidong Xu is a molecular biologist and senior scientist in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory. Dr. Xu graduated Shanghai Fisheries University in China in 1982 with an undergraduate degree in marine aquaculture and received a masters in biology/cytogenetics in 1986 from Western Illinois University. In 1992, he received a Ph.D. in Molecular Mutagenesis from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Xu then became a post-doctoral Fellow at the Human Genome Mapping Center at UCSF, and later in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. In 1998, Dr. Xu was recruited to the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory by Dr. David Jablons and In 2001 joined the UCSF faculty.
Dr. Xu has played an important role in the expansion of the lab. Between 1999-'2001. Dr. Xu's research on full-length cDNA cloning technology was supported by an NIH R21 grant. He is also co-PI on an NIH R01 grant, The Wnt Pathway in Malignant Mesothelioma, research that will elucidate the molecular mechanisms of malignant mesothelioma.Dr. Xu's research is focused on the molecular biology of non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma, including the development of novel targeted therapeutics based on recombinant DNA technology. A summary of his overall research includes:
Dr. Xu has also played a critical role in forging international ties with the medical establishment in China, the goal to improve treatment lung cancer patients worldwide. Dr. Xu also helped draft the "Beijing Declaration on Lung Cancer, A Campaign for Treatment, Research and Prevention", at the 2nd North South Lung Cancer Summit in Beijing, China. He has also authored numerous peer-reviewed papers in his fields of research.
In the two largest clinical studies ever conducted on the molecular genetics of lung cancer, an international team, led by UCSF thoracic surgeons David M. Jablons, M.D. and Michael Mann, M.D., demonstrated that a 14-gene prognostic molecular assay better predicted the likelihood of death in early-stage lung cancer patients versus conventional staging guidelines. Johannes Kratz, M.D., a former surgical resident in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, helped spearhead the development of the assay and was lead author of a paper published in The Lancet discussing the results. John Minna, M.D.", Max L. Thomas Distinguished Chair in Molecular Pulmonary Oncology at UT Southwestern lauded the results, stating that the assay was "head and shoulders" above the rest and ready for "prime time" clinical use.
Zhidong Xu, Ph.D., a senior scientist in the Thoracic Oncology Lab and Assistant Adjunct Professor of Surgery, spoke at the 14th European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, Spain. In his talk, Novel agents targeting the Wnt pathway in lung cancer, Dr. Xu discussed how predictive markers could be used in conjunction with targeted therapies in lung cancer.