Jian Xu

PIBBS Mentor

Assistant Professor
Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology
School of Dentistry

Research Topics

  • Protein Methylation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cardiac Injury Response and Regeneration
  • Craniofacial Development and Malformation
  • Cancer Biology

Research Overview

We are interested in the molecular mechanisms by which signaling networks effect cell differentiation, and how dysregulation of these networks leads to human diseases, including congenital defects, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Our work centers on the biology of protein methylation, a new regulatory mechanism that controls protein complex formation. Protein methylation occurs on the arginine or lysine motifs. We study how arginine and lysine methylation events on signal effector proteins are produced, sensed, and reversed, and investigate how these methylation marks integrate with other signaling systems to direct cell differentiation, and how dysregulation of protein methylation impacts function using cardiac and craniofacial disease models.