Jingwu Xie, PhD

Jingwu Xie, PhD

Jonathan and Jennifer Simmons Professor
Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research

Phone: 317-944-8784
Email: jinxie@iu.edu
1044 W. Walnut St. R4 327
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Areas of Interest

Signal transduction of the hedgehog pathway and its role in the development of cancer (basal cell carcinoma, pediatric rhabdomyosarcomas and pancreatic cancer).


Dr. Xie is currently an academic editor for PLoS ONE, a JBC editorial board member, and a member of the American Association for Cancer Research. He received the Overseas-Scholar Award in 2003-2005 by The National Science Foundation of the People's Republic of China and he was awarded the Jonathan and Jennifer Simmons Professorship in 2009.   Prior to Indiana University, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, and Associate Specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, California, where he also did his postdoctoral fellowship.   The primary focus of Dr. Xie and his laboratory is to investigate signal transduction of the hedgehog pathway and its role in the development of cancers.  Ultimately, his goal is to find ways to inhibit this pathway with small molecules in relevant human cancers.


1980-1984 B.Sc., Shandong Normal University
1985-1988 M.Sc., Peking University
1990-1994 Ph.D., University of Dundee

Honors & Awards

  • 1990-1994 Cancer Research Campaign Studentship (UK) (Award)
  • 1993 Journal of Cell Science Traveling Fellowship (Award
  • 1994-1995 Neutrogena Dermatologics Research Fellowship from Dermatology Foundation on "Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome: Identification of Rearrangements in Genomic DNA" (Award)
  • 2001 Nominee for Searle Scholar application from UTMB
  • 2001 Nominee for Pew Scholar application from UTMB
  • 08/07/2001 Galveston Daily News front page on breakthrough of skin cancer research
  • 2003 Nominee for Damon Runyon Scholar award from UTMB
  • 06/18/2004 UTMB Press Release “Department of Defense awards UTMB Researchers $1.1 Million to Combat Prostate Cancer”
  • 10/15/2004 UTMB Press Release “Plant-derived compound may treat and prevent the most common human cancer”
  • 03/01/2006 UTMB Press Release “Hedgehog' find could lead to new liver cancer tests and treatments”
  • 09/15/07 UTMB Press Release “UTMB faculty member receives $1.3 million grant for hedgehog signaling and cancer research”
  • 2003-2005 Overseas-Scholar Award, The National Science Foundation of P.R. China (Award)
  • 2007 Associate Editor, International Journal of Cancer Research
  • 2007 Associate Editor, Asian Journal of Cell Biology
  • 2009 Editorial board member, Int. Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 2009 2009 AACR Annual Meeting Section Chairperson of the Basic Science/Clinical Interface: Pathways to Progress session entitled "Hedgehog Signaling Antagonists”
  • 2011 Editorial board member, Journal of Biological Chemistry (2011-2016)
  • 2011 Academic editor, PLoS ONE
  • 2011 Editor, Hedgehog signaling activation in human cancer and its clinical implications, ISBN 978-1-4419-8434-0, 2011, Springer Press


Research & Grants

Dr. Xie's laboratory focuses on signal transduction of the hedgehog pathway and its role in the development of cancer, including the most common cancer basal cell carcinoma, pediatric rhabdomyosarcomas and pancreatic cancer.

The hedgehog pathway was initially discovered by Nobel Laureates Drs. Wieschaus and Nusslein-Volhard in Drosophila. It is a master regulator for cell differentiation, tissue polarity and cell stemness. Dr. Xie has contributed significantly to the initial link between aberrant hedgehog signaling and human cancer. While >30% of human cancer is associated with abnormal hedgehog signaling, the molecular mechanism of the signal transduction is poorly understood.

To understand how activation of the hedgehog pathway contributes to cancer, they are using the activating form of smoothened or the downstream Gli molecules as "biological probes" for functional dissecting molecular components that collaborate to regulate the signaling pathway. Furthermore, they are studying crosstalks between hedgehog signaling and other pathways in carcinogenesis. More importantly, mouse models of cancer, including preclinical cancer models, are being used to identify better ways to treat cancer. 

Collaborators include Drs. Ji-Xin Cheng (Purdue University), Mark Kaplan, Yunlong Liu, Merv Yoder and Sofi Shahda. Research in Dr. Xie’s laboratory is support by National Cancer Institute, The Wells Center for Pediatric Research, and Riley Children Foundation

Title: Regulation of immune surveillance by hedgehog signaling in tumor microenvironment.
Sponsor: NIH R01
Role: Principal Investigator

Title: Phase Ib Study of Neo/adjuvant Vismodegib (GDC-0449), a Hedgehog Pathway Signaling Inhibitor in Combination with Radiotherapy and with or without Gemcitabine for Patients with Resectable Pancreatic Cancer.
Sponsor: IU Simon Cancer Center – Signature Center Pilot Project
Role: Co-Principal Investigator



Fan Q, Gu D, Liu H, Yang L, Zhang X, Yoder MC, Kaplan MH, Xie J. Defective TGF-? Signaling in Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Prevents Hedgehog-Induced Skin Tumors. Cancer Research 74(2):471-83, 2014. PMID: 24282281

Gu D, Liu H, Su GH, Zhang X, Chin-Sinex H, Hanenberg H, Mendonca MS, Shannon HE, Chiorean EG, Xie J. Combining hedgehog signaling inhibition with focal irradiation on reduction of pancreatic cancer metastasis. Mol. Cancer Ther. 12(6):1038-48, 2013.

Gu D, Fan Q, Zhang X and Xie J. A role for transcription factor STAT3 signaling in oncogene Smoothened-driven carcinogenesis. J. Biol. Chem., 2012 287(47): 38356-66 (epub Sept. 19, 2012).

Yang, L., Xie, G., Fan Q. and Xie, J (2010) Activation of the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway in Human Cancer and the Clinical Implications. Oncogene 29(4):469-81.

Huang S*, He J*, Zhang X*, Bian X, Yang L, Xie G, Zhang K, Tang W, Stelter AA, Wang Q, Zhang HW, Xie J. Activation of the hedgehog pathway in human hepatocellular carcinomas. Carcinogenesis 27(7):1334-40 (Epub ahead of print on Feb. 25, 2006), 2006.

Ma, X.L*, Chen, K*, Huang S.H*, Sheng, T., Zhang, X., Evers, B.M., Adegygoga, P., Zhang H.W. and Xie J (2005). Frequent activation of the hedgehog pathway in advanced gastric adenocarcinomas. Carcinogenesis 26(10):1698-1705. Epub 2005 May 19

Sheng, T*, Li C-X*, Zhang X*, Chi S., He N., Chen, K., McCormick, F., Gatalica, Z. and Xie, J. Activation of the hedgehog pathway in advanced prostate cancer. Molecular Cancer 3: 29, 2004

Xie J, Aszterbaum M, Zhang X, Bonifas MB, Zachary C, Epstein EH Jr. and McCormick, F, The role of PDGFRa in basal cell carcinoma proliferation. Proceeding of National Academy of Science USA 98: 9255-9, 2001.

Xie, J., Murone M., Gu, Q., Zhang, C., Luoh, S-M, Goddard, A., Rosenthal, A., Epstein, E.H. Jr. and de Sauvage, F. J., Activating smoothened mutations in sporadic basal cell carcinomas. Nature 391: 90-92, 1998.

Johnson, R.L., Rothman, A.L., Xie, J., Goodrich, L.V., Bare, J.W., Bonifas, J.M., Quinn, A., Myers, R.M., Cox, D.R., Epstein, E.H. Jr. and Scott, M.P., Human homolog of patched, a candidate gene for the basal cell nevus syndrome. Science 272: 1668-1671, 1996.