Dr. Xu received his Ph.D. from Tsinghua University in China, and completed his postdoctoral training in both Princeton University and UTHealth Science Center at Houston. He has dedicated his research efforts to elucidating the signaling pathways that are related to neurological diseases. He has identified and characterized many important regulators for mTOR, JNK, SRC, and Wnt signaling pathways by utilizing a variety of model organisms, such as budding yeast, fruit fly, zebrafish and mice, as well as mammalian cell culture. As first/co-first author, he has published many papers in multiple prestigious journals including Nature Cell Biology, Developmental Cell, EMBO Journal, Autophagy, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Experimental Neurology.
Recently, his major research interest is to identify the signaling pathways responsible for intracranial aneurysm (IA) pathogenesis. IA is a localized dilation of an arterial blood vessel in the brain. The rupture of IA causes subarachnoid hemorrhage, the most fatal form of stroke, affecting around 30,000 people in the United States annually. Unfortunately, there are no drugs available to treat IA due to lack of knowledge about the signaling mechanisms that contribute to IA disease. Dr. Xu currently holds an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Neurosurgery at UT McGovern Medical School and focuses on dissecting the signaling pathways involved in IA disease.