Contact Information
Research Team
Jie YEPhD Student (Lab Representative)N22-2011+853 8822 2902
Qingping LANResearch AssistantN22-2011+853 8822
Xinwei WUPhD StudentN22-2011+853 8822 2902
OYUNDARI ENKHBAATARPhD StudentN22-2011+853 8822 2902
Jie KEPhD StudentN22-2011+853 8822 2902
Shuai LIUPhD StudentN22-2011+853 8822 2902


The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology



Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University, Guangzhou, China

BS in Microbiology

2020-presentAssociate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macao
2014-2020Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macao
2009 – 2014Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UCSD Stem Cell Program, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
Research Interests
Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic regulation of chromatin states strongly influences gene expression and cell fate choices, and its deregulation could therefore be a critical aspect to development and disease. My research focuses on understanding how chromatin-modifying enzymes control cell fate decisions during pancreas development, and elucidating the epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms that underlie pancreatic lesion. We utilized both mouse genetic approaches and a parallel hESC-based in vitro differentiation system which recapitulates the sequence of events observed during in vivo pancreas development, where pluripotent cells first commit to endoderm, then primitive gut tube, posterior foregut, and subsequently pancreas. Using this differentiation platform, we have begun to dissect the epigenetic events that drive pancreatic development. Additional ongoing research in my laboratory includes:

  1. Using high-throughput sequencing and genome-editing technologies to study the DNA and histone modifications in pancreatic cancer, elucidating the role of chromatin modification enzymes in mouse models, and exploring novel anti-cancer or preventive strategies by targeting key epigenetic pathways.
  2. In vitro differentiation of patient-specific iPS/hES cells as models of pancreatic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus
Representative Publications
  1. Zhao X#, Wang Y#, He J#, Huang X, Xie R*, Yu J*. LncRNA UCA1 maintains the low-tumorigenic and non-metastatic status by stabilizing E-cadherin in primary prostate cancer cells. Mol Carcinog. 2020, 59(10):1174-1187.
  2. Ye J#, Huang A#, Wang H, Zhang AMY, Huang X, Lan Q, Sato T, Goyama S, Kurokawa M, Deng C, Sander M, Schaeffer DF, Li W*, Kopp JL*, Xie R*. PRDM3 attenuates pancreatitis and pancreatic tumorigenesis by regulating inflammatory response. Cell Death & Disease. 2020, 11:187.
  3. Zhang T, Guan X, Choi U.L., Dong Q, Lam M.T., Zeng J, Xiong J, Wang X, Poon C.W., Zhang H, Zhang X, Wang H, Xie R, Zhu B, and Li G*. Phosphorylation of TET2 by AMPK is indispensable in myogenic differentiation. Epigenetics & Chromatin. 2019, 12:32.
  4. Zhang H, Wang Y, Dou J, Guo Y, He J, Li L, Liu X, Chen R, Deng R, Huang J, Xie R, Zhao X*, Yu J*. Acetylation of AGO2 promotes cancer progression by increasing oncogenic miR-19b biogenesis. Oncogene. 2019, 38(9):1410-1431.
  5. Wu X, Li G, Xie R*. Decoding the role of TET family dioxygenases in lineage specification. Epigenetics & Chromatin. 2018, 11(1):58.
  6. Li J#, Wu X#, Zhou Y#, Lee M, Guo L, Han W, Mo W, Cao WM, Sun D*, Xie R*, Huang Y*. Decoding the dynamic DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation landscapes in endodermal lineage intermediates during pancreatic differentiation of hESC. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018, 46(6):2883-2900. (*co-corresponding author)
  7. Ye J#, Yuen SM#, Murphy G, Xie R*, Kwok HF*. Anti-tumor effects of a ‘human & mouse cross-reactive’ anti-ADAM17 antibody in a pancreatic cancer model in vivo. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2017, 110:62-69. (*co-corresponding author)
  8. Niu Y, Li Q, Xie R, Liu S, Wang R, Xing P, Shi Y, Wang Y, Dong L*, Wang C*. Modulating the phenotype of host macrophages to enhance osteogenesis in MSC-laden hydrogels: Design of a glucomannan coating material. Biomaterials. 2017, 139:39-55.
  9. Shih HP#, Seymour PA#, Patel NA, Xie R, Wang A, Liu PP, Yeo GW, Magnuson MA, Sander M*. A Gene Regulatory Network Cooperatively Controlled by Pdx1 and Sox9 Governs Lineage Allocation of Foregut Progenitor Cells. Cell reports. 2015, 13(2):326-36.
  10. Wang A#, Yue F#, Li Y#Xie R, Harper T, Patel NA, Muth K, Palmer J, Qiu Y, Wang J, Lam DK, Raum JC, Stoffers DA, Ren B*, Sander M*. Epigenetic priming of enhancers predicts developmental competence of hESC-Derived endodermal lineage intermediates. Cell Stem Cell. 2015, 16(4):386-99
  11. Xie R, Carrano A, Sander M*. A systems view of epigenetic networks regulating pancreas development and β-cell function. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2015, 7(1):1-11
  12. Zhang F#, Xie R#, Lau SS, Monks TJ*. PARP-1 hyperactivation and reciprocal elevations in intracellular Ca2+ during ROS-induced non-apoptotic cell death. Toxicol. Sci. 2014, 140(1):118-34. (#co-first author)
  13. Xie R, Everett LJ, Lim HW, Patel NA, Schug J, Kroon E, Kelly OG, Wang A, D’Amour KA, Robins AJ, Won KJ, Kaestner KH, Sander M*. Dynamic chromatin remodeling mediated by Polycomb proteins orchestrates pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2013, 12(2):224-37.
  14. van der Meulen, Xie R, Kelly OG, Vale WW, Sander M, Huising MO*. Urocortin 3 marks mature human primary and embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic alpha and beta cells. PLOS One. 2012, 7(12): e52181.
  15. Morán I, Akerman I, van de Bunt M, Xie R, Benazra M, Nammo T, Arnes L, Nakić N, García-Hurtado J, Rodríguez-Seguí S, Pasquali L, Sauty-Colace C, Beucher A, Scharfmann R, van Arensbergen J, Johnson PR, Berry A, Lee C, Harkins T, Gmyr V, Pattou F, Kerr-Conte J, Piemonti L, Berney T, Hanley N, Gloyn AL, Sussel L, Langman L, Brayman KL, Sander M, McCarthy MI, Ravassard P, Ferrer J*. Human β cell transcriptome analysis uncovers lncRNAs that are tissue-specific, dynamically regulated, and abnormally expressed in type 2 diabetes. Cell Metab. 2012, 16(4):435-48.
  16. Seymour PA, Shih HP, Patel NA, Freude KK, Xie R, Lim CJ, Sander M*. A Sox9/Fgf feed-forward loop maintains pancreatic organ identity. Development. 2012, 139(18):3363-72.
  17. Monks TJ*, Xie R, Tikoo K, Lau SS. ROS-induced histone modifications and their role in cell survival and cell death. Drug Metab Rev. 2006, 38(4):755-67
  18. Xie R, Zhuang M, Ross LS, Gomez I, Oltean DI, Bravo A, Soberon M, Gill SS*. Single amino acid mutations in the cadherin receptor from Heliothis virescens affect its toxin binding ability to Cry1A toxins. J Biol Chem. 2005, 280(9):8416-25.
  19. Yu J, Xie R, Tan L, Xu W, Zeng S, Chen J, Tang M, Pang Y*. Expression of the full-length and 3′-spliced cry1Ab gene in the 135-kDa crystal protein minus derivative of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kyushuensis. Curr Microbiol. 2002, 45(2):133-8.
  20. Yu J, Xu W, Zeng S, Zhang X, Liu J, Xie R, Pang Y*. Cloning and expression of cyt2Ba7 gene from a soil-isolated Bacillus thuringiensis. Curr Microbiol. 2002, 45(5):309-14.
  21. Yu J, Zeng S, Xie R, Meng G, Pang Y*. Cloning of the molecular chaperone gene p19-p29 from Bt and construction of the Bt expression vector. Acta Microbiologica Sinica. 2002, 5:567-72.
  22. Zeng S, Yu J, Xie R, Meng G, Tan L, Pang Y*. Cloning of the molecular chaperone gene p19 from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and construction of the Bt expression vector. Journal of agricultural biotechnology. 2002, 10 (2), 184-188.
  23. Yu J, Pang Y*, Tang M, Xie R, Tan L, Zeng S, Yuan M, Liu J. Highly toxic and broad-spectrum insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis engineered by using the transposon Tn917 and protoplast fusion. Curr Microbiol. 2001, 43(2):112-9.
  24. Yu J, Meng G, Zeng S, Xie R, Tan L, Pang Y*. Cloning of the cry 3Aa promoter from Bacillus Thuringiensis and construction of the Bt non-sporulation dependent expression vector. High Technology Letters. 2001, 3:5-8.
Research Grants
2020-2023The Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao S.A.R (FDCT 0022/2019/AMJ, $1,875,000, PI). Functions of post-translational modifications of key epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory factors in malignant tumor development.
2020-2021University of Macau Multi-Year Research Grant (MYRG2019-00126-FHS, $126,000, PI). Anti-tumour effects of an ADAM17 inhibitory antibody on pancreatitis-induced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
2019-2022The Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao S.A.R (FDCT 0033/2019/A1, $2,248,000, PI). The anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Prdm3 in pancreatitis and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
2019-2020The Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao S.A.R (FDCT 0025/2019/PS, $126,724, PI). The development of a sustainable cyanobacteria system for endocrine disrupting compounds degradation.
2019-2020Faculty of Health Sciences Innovation Grant (FHSG 2019-007, $500,000, PI). Co-transplantation of engineered MSC with hESC-derived pancreatic endocrine progenitors to overcome pericapsular fibrotic overgrowth for diabetes control.
2018-2021The Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao S.A.R (FDCT 170/2017/A3, $1,385,000, PI). The roles of PRDM16 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
2018-2020National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 31701276, $240,000, PI). Dissecting the roles of TET hydroxylates in enhancer priming during endoderm lineage specification.
2017-2019University of Macau Multi-Year Research Grant (MYRG2016-00065-FHS, $1,500,000, PI). Developing multicellular pancreatic endoderm clusters for cell replacement therapies in diabetes.
2014-2017University of Macau Start-up Research Grant (SRG2014-00030-FHS, $150,000, PI). The role of PRDMs in epigenetic regulation of pancreas development.
2013-2014California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Scholar, CIRM University of California San Diego Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research & Training Grant II (TG2-01154)
2012Scholarship Award, Beta Cell Biology Consortium Investigator Retreat
2011Scholarship Award, Beta Cell Biology Consortium Investigator Retreat
2008Conference Grant, PARP 17th International Symposium on Poly(ADP-reibosyl)ation
2008Finalist and honorable mention for Carl C. Smith Mechanisms Specialty Section manuscript award, Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting
2007Drug Discovery Specialty Section Travel Award, Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting
2006Graduate Student Travel Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Professional Activities
2014-presentAmerican Association for Cancer Research
2013-presentInternational Society for Stem Cell Research
2020-presentMacau Society for Stem Cell Research