Jian Xu received his PhD in molecular biology from UCLA while working in the laboratory of Stephen Smale, PhD. Dr. Xu’s doctoral work focused on epigenetic regulation of stem cell pluripotency. He was then selected as a Helen Hay Whitney-HHMI postdoctoral fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital, working in the laboratory of Stuart Orkin, MD. Here, Dr. Xu focused on understanding the developmental control of fetal-to-adult hemoglobin switching. Dr. Xu’s studies with Dr. Orkin were instrumental in identifying the zinc finger protein, BCL11A, as a molecular target for gene therapy for patients with inherited hemoglobin disorders.
Dr. Xu served as an instructor in pediatric hematology-oncology at Harvard Medical School before opening his own lab in the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern in 2014. In 2023, Dr. Xu joined the Department of Pathology and Center of Excellence for Leukemia Studies (CELS) at St. Jude where he investigates the regulatory processes controlling stem cell development and blood cancers. He also oversees the Advanced Technology and Genomics (ATG) Core.
Dr. Xu is the recipient of an American Society of Hematology (ASH) merit award (2009, 2010), an NIH career development award (2011), and was chosen as a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar (2014). He also received an ASH Scholar Award (2015) and a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar Award (2019).