Xiao-Ming Xu Lab

The research lab of Xiao-Ming Xu, PhD is studying the mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and hopes to develop novel repair strategies to promote neural reorganization and functional recovery in experimental models of these injuries. The lab’s long-term goal is to translate promising treatments from animal models to humans, including veterans.

Active Research

To advance promising treatments from the lab to humans, the Xu Lab is conducting two lines of research, applying cutting-edge and multidisciplinary approaches, including novel injury models, cellular and molecular biology, in vivo imaging, optogenetics, electrophysiology, behavioral, and histology/immunohistochemistry approaches.

The first line of research is on neuroprotection. The Xu Lab was among the first to report apoptosis following acute spinal cord injury and to report phospholipase A2 as a key mediator of secondary spinal cord injury.

The second line of research is on axonal regeneration. The Xu Lab was among the first to transplant Schwann cells (SCs) into injured spinal cords to promote axonal regeneration and recovery of function. In addition to SCs, the lab team also transplants other glial cells, including oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived immature astrocytes in their ability to support neural circuitry reorganization and recovery of function.

These cell-based strategies are combined with other efficacious treatments on boosting intrinsic and extrinsic regenerative capacities. We are particularly interested in promoting regeneration and/or reorganization of long descending supraspinal axons such as those from the corticospinal tract (CST), the rubrospinal (RST) and the descending propriospinal tract (dPST).

2017 Publications

A full list of Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu’s publication history is available on PubMed and Google Scholar.

Chen C, Zhang YP, Sun Y, Xiong W, Shields L, Shields CB, Jin X, and Xu X-M* (2017) An in vivo Duo-color Method for imaging Vascular Dynamics Following Contusive Spinal Cord Injury. J. Vis. Exp.  (accepted)

Lin XJ, Zhao T, Xiong W, Wen S, Jin X, Xu X-M* (2017) Imaging neural activity in the primary somatosensory cortex using Thy1-GCaMP6s transgenic mice. J. Vis. Exp. (accepted)

Al-Ali H, Ding Y, Slepak T, Wu W, Sun Y, Martinez Y, Xu X-M*, Lemmon V*, Bixby J* (2017) The mTOR substrate S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) is a negative regulator of axon regeneration and a potential drug target for Central Nervous System. J. Neurosci. 37:7079-7095. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0931-17.2017

Wu W, Xiong W, Zhang YP, Chen L, Fang J, Shields CB,Xu X-M*, Jin X* (2017) Increased threshold of short-latency motor evoked potentials in transgenic mice expressing Channelrhodopsin-2.  Plus ONE (accepted).

Lee HJ, Zhang D, Jiang Y, Wu XB, Shih P-Y, Liao C-S, Bungart B, Xu X-M, Drenan R, Bartlett E, Cheng J-X (2017) Label-free vibrational spectroscopic imaging of neuronal membrane potential. J. Physical Chem. Ltr. 8:1932-1936

Wu XB, Zhang YP, Qu W, Shields LBE, Shields CB, and Xu X-M* (2017) A Tissue Displacement Based Contusive Spinal Cord Injury Model in Mice. J. Vis. Exp. (124) e54988, doi:10.3791/54988.

Faculty Research Team

Xiao-Ming Xu, PhD

Xiao-Ming Xu, PhD

Mari Hulman George Professor of Neuroscience Research
Lingxiao Deng, MD, PhD

Lingxiao Deng, MD, PhD

Research Associate in Neurological Surgery
Naikui Liu, MD, PhD,  MD, PhD,  MSC

Naikui Liu, MD, PhD, MD, PhD, MSC

Assistant Research Professor of Neurological Surgery
Xiangbing Wu, PhD

Xiangbing Wu, PhD

Research Associate in Neurological Surgery

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members in the Xu Lab include Dr. Hanqi Han (Postdoctoral Fellow), Dr. Heqiao Dai (Research Technician), Chen Chen (graduate student), and Jeff Recchia-Rife (Lab Manager). Visiting scholars include Dr. Wenzhe Xu, Dr. Xiaolong Du, and Dr. Yuehong Zhuang.