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Xiaojun Tian

Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 9709

Xiaojun Tian is an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. His expertise includes systems biology, computational biology, multiscale modeling and epigenetics. His lab combines multidisciplinary modeling and quantitative experimental approaches to address fundamental biological problems. Previously, he worked as a ostdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech and focused on epithelial-mesenchymal transition and epigenetics.


Ph.D. Biophysics, Nanjing University, China 2012

Research Interests

1. Tian, X.-J.*, Zhang, H.*, Sannerud, J., and Xing, J., Achieving diverse and monoallelic olfactory receptor selection through dual-objective optimization design. PNAS, 2016. 113: E2889-98 (*co-first authors, the work solved a decades-long Nobel-Prize-winning puzzle, Reported by 24 news,, AAAS, Dailymail, Pittsburgh's National Public Radio Station, NSF)

2. Zhang, J.*, Tian, X.-J.*, Zhang, H., Teng, Y., Li, R., Bai, F., Elankumaran, S., and Xing, J., TGFβ-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition proceeds through stepwise activation of multiple feedback loops. Sci Signal, 2014. 7: ra91 (*co-first authors) (Quantitative experimental verification of the predictions from my mathematical model of EMT).

3. Zhang, H., Tian, X.-J., Mukhopadhyay, A., Kim, K. S., and Xing, J., Statistical mechanics model for the dynamics of collective epigenetic histone modification. Phys Rev Lett, 2014. 112: 068101.

4. Tian, X.-J., Zhang, H., and Xing, J., Coupled reversible and irreversible bistable switches underlying TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Biophys J, 2013. 105: 1079-89. (First mathematical model for EMT).

5. Tian, X.-J.*, Zhang, H., Zhang, J., and Xing, J.* mRNA-miRNA Reciprocal Regulation Enabled Bistable Switch Directs Cell Fate Decision. FEBS Letters, 2016. Accepted. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12379. (*Co-corresponding authors)

6. Tian, X.-J., Liu, F., Zhang, X. P., Li, J., and Wang, W., A two-step mechanism for cell fate decision by coordination of nuclear and mitochondrial p53 activities. PLoS One, 2012. 7: e38164.

7. Tian, X.-J., Zhang, X. P., Liu, F., and Wang, W., Interlinking positive and negative feedback loops creates a tunable motif in gene regulatory networks. Phys Rev E, 2009. 80: 011926.

8. Zhang, J., Tian, X.-J., and Xing, J., Signal Transduction Pathways of EMT Induced by TGFβ, SHH, and WNT and Their Crosstalks. J Clin Med, 2016. 5.

9. Zhang, Q. H., Tian, X.-J., Liu, F., and Wang, W., A switch-like dynamic mechanism for the initiation of replicative senescence. FEBS Lett, 2014. 588: 4369-74.

10. Wang, P., Song, C., Zhang, H., Wu, Z., Tian, X.-J., and Xing, J., Epigenetic state network approach for describing cell phenotypic transitions. Interface Focus, 2014. 4: 20130068.

11. Hu, Y., Ru, N., Xiao, H., Chaturbedi, A., Hoa, N. T., Tian, X.-J., Zhang, H., Ke, C., Yan, F., Nelson, J., Li, Z., Gramer, R., Yu, L., Siegel, E., Zhang, X., Jia, Z., Jadus, M. R., Limoli, C. L., Linskey, M. E., Xing, J., and Zhou, Y. H., Tumor-specific chromosome mis-segregation controls cancer plasticity by maintaining tumor heterogeneity. PLoS One, 2013. 8: e80898.

12. Xing, J., Yu, J., Zhang, H., and Tian, X.-J., Computational modeling to elucidate mechanisms of epigenetic memory, in Epigenetic Technological Applications (Elsevier, Editor: George Zheng), Elsevier (2015).

Research Activity

Xiaojun Tian, URoL: Epigenetics 1: Epigenetics Control by Noncoding RNA. NSF(08/01/2019 - 07/31/2022).

Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 331Transport Phenomena for BME
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
BME 492Honors Directed Study
AML 592Research
BME 592Research
BME 598Special Topics
BME 792Research
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 598Special Topics

Referee for: PLOS Computational Biology ∙ BMC Systems Biology ∙ Biophysical Journal ∙ Scientific Reports ∙ Journal of Molecular Cell Biology ∙ PLoS One ∙ Processes ∙ Acta Biotheoretica ∙ Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ∙ BioMed Research International ∙ International Journal of Oncology

Conference Committee Member: The 2nd International Conference on Biomedical and Biological Engineering