Contact Information
Research Team
Name Position Office Phone Email
Changkun YANGPhD student (Lab Representative)N22-2003+853 8822 2908
Xiaoyan WANGUM Macao Post-doctoral FellowN22-2003+853 8822 2908xiaoyanwang@um.edu.mo
Weiming ZHENGPost-doctoral FellowN22-2003+853 8822 2908weimingzheng@um.edu.mo
Ke LUPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908kelu@um.edu.mo
Yu LIUPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908yuliu@um.edu.mo
Dejin ZHENGResearch AssistantN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Borong HUANGPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Siyi FUPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Haibo PENGPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Ye YIPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Sen YEPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Guihui QINPhD studentsN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Changkun YANGPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Peidong HOUPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
Weiya HEPhD StudentN22-2003+853 8822 2908
PhD University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
MS Central South University (formerly Xiangya Medical University), Changsha, China
BM South China University (formerly Hengyang Medical College), Hengyang, China
2020-present Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau
2018-present Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau
2014-2020 Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau
2006-2014 Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA
1999-2006 Senior Scientist, WiCell Research Institute, Madison, WI, USA
1994-1996 Research Fellow, NCI-FCRDC, NIH, Frederick, MD, USA
1992-1994 Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Aids & Immunology Research Institute, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Research Interests
We are interested in stem cell biology and application. We first discovered the key factors to sustain self-renewal and prolonged culture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) without the need for animal feeder cells (Nat. Biotechnol. 2002; Nat. Methods 2005; Cell Stem Cell 2008) and revealed recurrent copy number variations in human induced pluripotent stem cells (Nat. Biotechnol. 2011). We treated mouse/monkey models of multiple sclerosis, colitis (Stem Cell Reports 2014; Stem Cells 2016), osteoarthritis (Theranostics, 2019a), and skin wound (Theranostics, 2019b) with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) differentiated from hESCs via trophoblasts (T-MSCTM – patented) and observed superior efficacy. We also found T-MSCs enhance human fat engraftment in nude mice (Biomaterials, 2021). The U.S. FDA has approved EMSCs as an Investigational New Drug (IND) for clinical trials on multiple sclerosis. In addition, we found that stem cells in spheroids can be stored under ambient conditions for a prolonged time without need for the costly and inconvenient cryopreservation (Biomaterials 2017). Our current research interests include

  1. Exploring novel therapeutic applications of T-MSCs;
  2. Addressing the fate, immunogenicity, and biosafety of T-MSCs;
  3. Studying the origin, development, and heterogeneity of MSCs.
Representative Publications(from more than 80)
  1. Borkar R.P., Wang X., Zheng D., Miao Z., Zhang Z., Li E., Wu Y., and Xu R.-H. Human ESC-derived MSCs enhance fat engraftment by promoting adipocyte reaggregation, secreting CCL2 and mobilizing macrophages. Biomaterials 272:120756, 2021.
  2. Wang, X., Jiang, B., Sun, H., Zheng, D., Zhang, Z., Yan, L., Li, E., Wu, Y., and Xu, R.-H. Noninvasive application of mesenchymal stem cell spheres derived from hESC accelerates wound healing in a CXCL12-CXCR4 axis-dependent manner. Theranostics 9(21):6112-28, 2019.
  3. Jiang, B., Fu, X., Yan, L., Li, S., Zhao, D., Wang, X., Duan, Y., Yan, Y., Li, E., Wu, K., Inglis, B.M., Ji, W., Xu, R.-H.*, and Si, W. Transplantation of human ESC-derived mesenchymal stem cell spheroids ameliorates spontaneous osteoarthritis in rhesus macaques. Theranostics 9(22):6587-​600, 2019.*Co-corresponding author
  4. Jiang, B., Yan, L., Wang, X., Li, E., Murphy, K., Vaccaro, K., Li, Y., and Xu, R.-H. Mesenchymal stem cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells, an unlimited and quality-controllable source, for therapeutic applications. Stem Cells Dec. 18, 2018.
  5. Jiang, B., Yan, L., Miao, Z., Li, E., Wong, K.H., and Xu, R.-H.Spheroidal formation preserves human stem cells for prolonged time under ambient conditions for facile storage and transportation. Biomaterials 133:275-86, 2017.
  6. Zheng, D., Wang, X., and Xu, R.-H. One stone for multiple birds: generating universally compatible human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells. 34(9):2269-75, Sept. 2016.
  7. Wang, X., Lazorchak, A.S., Song, L., Li, E., Jiang, B., Zhang, Z., and Xu, R.-H.Immune modulatory mesenchymal stem cells derived from human embryonic stem cells through a trophoblast-like stage. Stem Cells 34(2):380-91, 2016.
  8. Wang, X., Kimbrel, E.A., Ijichi, K. Paul, D., Lazorchak, A.S., Chu, J., Kouris, N.A., Yavanian, G., Lu, S.-J., Pachter, J.S., Crocker, S.J., Lanza, R., and Xu, R.-H.Human ES cell-derived MSC outperform bone marrow MSC in the treatment of an EAE model of multiple sclerosis. Stem Cell Reports 3(1):115-30, 2014.
  9. Wang, J., Park, J.W., Drissi, H., Wang, X., and Xu, R.-H.Epigenetic regulation of miR-302 by JMJD1C inhibits neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. J. Biol. Chem. 289(4):2384-95, 2014.
  10. Martins-Taylor, K. Schroeder, D.I., LaSalle, J.M., Lalande, M., and Xu, R.-H.Role of DNMT3B in the regulation of early neural and neural crest specifiers. Epigenetics 7(1):71-82, 2012.
  11. Martins-Taylor, K. and Xu, R.-H.Genomic stability of human induced pluripotent stem cells (invited review). Stem Cells 30(1):22-7, 2012.
  12. Luong, M.X., Auerbach, J., Crook, J.M., Daheron, , Hei, D., Lomax, J., Loring, J.F., Ludwig, T., Rooke, H.M., Schlaeger, T.M., Smith, K.P., Stacey, G., Xu, R.-H., and Zeng, F. A call for standardized naming and reporting of human ES and iPS cell lines.Cell Stem Cell 8(4):357-9, 2011.
  13. Martins-Taylor, K., Nisler, B.S., Taapken, S.M., Compton, T., Crandall, L., Montgomery, K.D., Lalande, M., and Xu, R.-H.Recurrent copy number variations in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Nat. Biotechnol. 29(6):488-91, 2011.
  14. Wang, X., Lin, G., Martins-Taylor, K., Zeng, H., and Xu, R.-H.Inhibition of caspase-mediated anoikis is critical for bFGF-sustained culture of human pluripotent stem cells. J. Biol. Chem. 284(49):34054-64, 2009.
  15. Li, Y., Zeng, H., Xu, R.-H., Liu, B., and Li, Z. Vaccination with human pluripotent stem cells generates a broad spectrum of immunological and clinical response against colon cancer. Stem Cells 27(12):3103-11, 2009.
  16. Zeng, H., Park, J.W., Guo, M., Lin, G., Crandall, L., Compton, T., Wang, X., Li, X.-J., Chen, F.-P., and Xu, R.-H.Lack of ABCG2 expression and side population properties in human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells 27(10):2435-45, 2009.
  17. Xu, R.-H., Sampsell-Barron, T.L., Gu, F., Root, S., Peck, R.M., Pan, G., Yu, J., Antosiewicz-Bourget, J., Tian, S., Stewart, and Thomson, J.A. NANOGis a direct target of TGF-beta/Activin mediated SMAD signaling in human ES cells. Cell Stem Cell 3(2):196-206, 2008.
  18. Xu, R.-H., Peck, R.M., Li, D.S., Feng, X., Ludwig, T., and Thomson, J.A. Basic FGF and suppression of BMP signaling sustain undifferentiated proliferation of human ES cells. Nat. Methods 2(3):185-190, 2005.
  19. Xu, R.-H., Chen, X., Li, D.S., Li, R., Addicks, G.C., Glennon, C., Zwaka, T.P., and Thomson, J.A. BMP4 initiates human embryonic stem cell differentiation to trophoblast.  Nat. Biotechnol. 20(12):1261-4, 2002.
  20. Xu, R.-H., Dong, Z., Maeno, M., Kim, J., Suzuki, A., Ueno, N., Sredni, B., Colburn, N.H., and Kung, H.-f.: Involvement of Ras/Raf/AP-1 in BMP-4 signaling during Xenopusembryonic development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93:834-838, 1996.
Full Publications List
Research Grants
  • Macau Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) #095-2017-A2 (2018-2021)
  • Macau FDCT #0112-2018-A3 (2019-2022)
  • Macau FDCT-NSFC joint grant #0008-2019-AFJ (2019-2022)
  • University of Macau Multiyear Research Grant (MYRG) #2017-00124-FHS (2018-2020)
  • University of Macau Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) Internal Grant 2017-02 (2017-2020)
  • University of Macau FHS Internal Grant 2018-03 (2018-2021)
  1. Xu, R.-H. and Thomson, J.A. Method for generating primate trophoblasts. US patent # US7390657 B2.
  2. Xu, R.-H. and Thomson, J.A. Feeder-independent extended culture of embryonic stem cells. US patent # US7,514,260 B2.
  3. Wang, X. and Xu, R.-H. Trophoblast-derived mesenchymal stem cells (T-MSCs) produced from human embryonic stem cells, methods and uses thereof. US9,725,698, WO2014/011881, EP2872619 A2.
  4. Wang, X. and Xu, R.-H. Mesenchymal-like stem cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, methods and uses thereof. US9745551 B2, PCT/US13/48291, US 2019/0167733 A1.
  5. Xu, R.-H., Jiang, B., Yan, L.: Method and matrix for transporting stem cells under ambient conditions. Application #201710230345.X. CN1073069336A. Granted on 6 Jan. 2021.
  6. Xu, R.-H., Yang, J., Zheng, D., Park, J.W.: Method for generating corneal epithelial cells and corneal scaffold and their applications. Application #201810441589.7. CN 11048094 B. Granted on 13 Apr. 2021.
  1. 2019. Best Teacher Award (Excellence in Research), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau
  2. 2018. Excellent Team Prize, the Grand Final of HKUST One Million Dollar International Entrepreneurship Competition, Guangzhou, China
  3. 2018. Finalist, “Fosun Protechting” Global Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, Lisbon, Portugal
  4. 2018. First place, Bank of China Trophy One Million Dollar Macau Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, Macau, China
  5. 2009. International Research Award of Royan Institute, Iran
  6. 2007. Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE): Award of Merit for UConn Stem Cell Core. New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  7. 2007. Connecticut State Register and Manual (Annual State Bluebook): Honoree of 2007 awarded by the Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz in the State Capitol, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
  8. 1997. NIH NCI-FCRDC: Outstanding Science Achievement Award, Frederick, MD, USA
News Coverage
2019. UM Today: “UM achieves breakthrough in developing a non-invasive method to treat skin wounds with stem cell spheres”.
2019. TVB show, “Scoop東張西望”: “UM development – fostering technology and business starters”.
2017. UM researchers develop new technology for stem cell storage (澳大幹細胞研究新突破 無需冷藏可保存7天以上)
UM Today
2014. Reuters: ImStem Biotechnology, Inc. makes progress on multiple sclerosis treatment with embryonic stem cells.
2014. UM academic achieves new breakthrough in stem cell research for multiple sclerosis (科研又一突破 澳大學者幹細胞研究有望治療多發性硬化症)
Macau Governmental Portal
UM Today
2013. UConn Today: Health Center Researchers Awarded State Stem Cell Funds. http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/06/uconn-health-center-researchers-awarded-state-stem-cell-funds/
2013. UConn Today: New Stem Cell Company Opens Lab at UConn Health Center. http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/02/new-stem-cell-company-opens-lab-at-uconn-health-center/
2011. Health Center Today: Researchers Study Genomic Stability of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
2010. UConn Today: Four UConn Stem Cell Lines Approved for Use in Federally Funded Research.
2007. Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE): Award of Merit for UConn Stem Cell Core. New Haven, Connecticut on Dec. 4.
2007. Connecticut State Register and Manual (Annual State Bluebook): Honoree of 2007 an annual ceremony hosted by the Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz in the State Capitol, Hartford, Connecticut on Oct. 3.
2005. Science: Getting the Mice out of ES Cell Cultures.
2005. USA Today: Cell Researchers make gains in removing mouse molecules. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/genetics/2005-02-18-broken-stems_x.htm
1997. NIH NCI-FCRDC: Outstanding Science Achievement Award, Frederick, MD, U.S.A.
Professional Activities
  • President of Macau Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Member of International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Member of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Member of Chinese Society for Cell Biology
  • Council of Chinese Society for Cell Therapy
  • Council of Chinese Society for Stem Cell ​Research
  • Council of GD-HK-Macau Greater Bay Alliance for Stem Cell Research
  • Council of GD-HK-Macau Greater Bay Alliance for Stem Cell and Precision Medicine Innovation & Industrialization
  • Vice Chair of GD-HK-Macau Greater Bay Alliance for Translational Medicine
Review Services

  • Strategic Trailblazing Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Thousands Talents (Youth) Program, China
  • Women’s Health Research, Yale University
  • National Natural Science Foundation, China
  • Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute
  • New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM) Program
  • Maryland State Stem Cell Research Fund
  • Changjiang Scholar Program, China
Editorial Board Member

  • American Journal of Stem Cells
  • Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry (2011-2017)
  • Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
  • International Journal of Biological Sciences (Executive editor)
Current Staff
Angela Enqin LI, Laboratory Manager
Jung Woo PARK, Senior Instructor

Changkun YANG, Research Assistant
Grace Guihui QIN, Research Assistant
Dejin ZHENG, PhD student
Roma BORKAR, PhD student
Borong HUANG, PhD student
Siyi FU, Macau Talent Program PhD student
Haibo PENG, PhD student
Ye YI, PhD student
Sen YE, PhD student
Philip Naderev Panuringan LAGNITON, FYP student
Cleas Junjie HAO, FYP student​