Departments & Divisions
CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
Dr. Kexin Xu's research seeks to understand the fundamental roles of the epigenome in control of the context-specific transcriptional programs and how this control contributes to normal development or cancer progression. Specifically, she focus on the following topics:
1) The interaction between tissue-specific transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in transcriptional control
2) The crosstalk among distinct types of epigenetic modifications in shaping the physical structure of genome
3) The response of epigenetic tags to the external and internal stimuli
4) The development of new chemical probes targeting the master epigenetic enzymes in cancer pathogenesis
Her work is highly interdisciplinary and covers the fields of epigenomics, functional genomics, genome editing, biochemistry, bioinformatics and drug discovery.
Findings from our studies will not only provide critical insights into the mechanisms of the epigenetic aberrations driving the pathogenesis of human cancers, but also lay solid foundations for the design of novel therapeutic targets or approaches.
Breast Cancer, Genitourinary Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Phase I
Cancer Development and Progression Program
Funding Agency NCI Title NIH Pathway to Independence (R00) Award Status Active Period 5/2015 - 5/2018 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail The long-term goal of this proposed research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of EZH2 novel oncogenic functions in prostate cancer cells in the crosstalk with new interacting proteins identified from our proteomic analysis, such as β-catenin.
Funding Agency CPRIT Title CPRIT Award for the Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure Track Faculty Member Status Active Period 3/2015 - 3/2019 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail The goal of this study is to assess the efficacy of the small-molecule inhibitors of EZH2 in castration-resistant prostate cancer, and to develop a preclinical platform using cancer cell lines, animal models, and patient samples for the clinical translation of EZH2 as a therapeutic target in CRPC.