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Xiaojun Tian

Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 9709
Biography: 

Dr. Xiaojun Tian received his Ph. D. degree in systems biology from Nanjing University in 2012 and spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech and the University of Pittsburgh. In 2017, he joined the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University as an Assistant Professor. His research interests are in employing quantitative experiments and mathematical modeling to understand fundamental problems in synthetic biology. Currently, his lab is focusing on synthetic biology and systems biology. Over the past four years, his lab has made outstanding achievements with several publications at Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Communications, ACS synthetic biology, PLOS Computational Biology. Recently, he received the prestigious NIH Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) award.

Education: 

Ph.D. Biophysics, Nanjing University, China 2012

Research Interests: 
Publications: 
  1. Zhang, R. r,+, Goetz H+, Melendez-Alvarez, +, Li J., Ding, T., Wang, X., Tian, X.-J.*Winner-Takes-All Resource Competition Redirects Cascading Cell Fate TransitionsNature Communications12, 853, 2021.
  2. Zhang, R., Li J., Melendez-Alvarez, J., Chen, X., Sochor, P., Zhang, Q.Goetz H, Ding, T., Wang, X.*, Tian, X.-J.*, Topology-Dependent Interference of Synthetic Gene Circuit Function by Growth FeedbackNat.Chem.Biol. 16, 695-701, 2020. (*Co-corresponding authors)
  3. Goetz, H., Melendez-Alvarez,  Chen, L, Tian, X.-J. A Plausible Accelerating Function of Partial EMT States in Cancer MetastasisPLOS Computational Biology, 16(3):e1007682. 2020.
  4. Tian, X.-J.*,+, Zhou, D+, Fu, H+, Zhang, R, Wang, X, Huang, S., Liu, Y*, Xing, J.* Sequential Wnt Agonist then Antagonist Treatment Accelerates Tissue Repair and Minimizes Fibrosis, iScience. 2020. (*Co-corresponding authors)
  5. Menn, D.J., Sochor P., Goetz, H.Tian, X.-J.*, Wang X.*, Intracellular noise level determines ratio control strategy confined by speed-accuracy tradeoffACS Synthetic Biology. (2019). 8(6): 1352-1360. (*Co-corresponding authors)
  6. M. Singh*X. -J., Tian*,  V. S. Donnenberg,  A. M. Watson,  J. Zhang, L. P. Stabile, S.C. Watkins,  J. Xing and  S. Sant. Targeting temporal dynamics of microenvironmental factors halts tumor migration and alleviates effects of dynamic tumor heterogeneity, Cancer Research.(2019) pii: canres.3151.2018. (*co-first authors)
  7. J Xing*, X. -J., Tian*,  Investigating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition with integrated computational and experimental approaches. Physical Biology (2019) 16(3):031001. (*Co-corresponding authors)
  8. X. -J., Tian*,  M. V., Ferro, and H., GoetzModeling ncRNA-Mediated Circuits in Cell Fate Decision. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ) 1912 (2019): 411-426. (Corresponding authors)
  9. J Zhang*, X-J Tian*, Y-J Chen, W Wang, S Watkins, and J Xing, Pathway crosstalk enables cells to interpret TGF-β duration. npj Systems Biology and Applications, 2018. 4:18. (*co-first authors)
  10. Zhou, D., Fu, H., Xiao, L., Mo, H., Zhuo, H., Tian, X.-J, Lin, L., Xing, J., and Liu, Y. Fibroblast-Specific β-catenin Signaling Dictates the Outcome of AKI. JASN, 2018. 29.
  11. Tian, X.-J.*, Zhang, H.*, Sannerud, J., and Xing, J., Achieving diverse and monoallelic olfactory receptor selection through dual-objective optimization designPNAS, 2016. 113: E2889-98 (*co-first authors, the work solved a decades-long Nobel-Prize-winning puzzle, Reported by 24news outletsPittsburgh’s National Public Radio Station, orgUPI.com, AAASDailyMail)
  12. Tian, X.-J.*, Zhang, H., Zhang, J., and Xing, J.* mRNA-miRNA Reciprocal Regulation Enabled Bistable Switch Directs Cell Fate DecisionFEBS Lett, 2016. 590: 3443-55. (*Co-corresponding authors)
  13. Zhang, J., Tian, X.-J., and Xing, J., Signal Transduction Pathways of EMT Induced by TGFβ, SHH, and WNT and Their CrosstalksJ Clin Med, 2016. 5: 41.
  14. 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 loopsSci Signal, 2014. 7: ra91 (*co-first authors) (Quantitative experimental verification of the predictions from my mathematical model of EMT).
  15. Zhang, H., Tian, X.-J., Mukhopadhyay, A., Kim, K. S., and Xing, J., Statistical mechanics model for the dynamics of collective epigenetic histone modificationPhys Rev Lett, 112: 068101.
  16. Wang, P., Song, C., Zhang, H., Wu, Z., Tian, X.-J., and Xing, J., Epigenetic state network approach for describing cell phenotypic transitionsInterface Focus, 2014. 4: 20130068.
  17. Zhang, Q. H., Tian, X.-J., Liu, F., and Wang, W., A switch-like dynamic mechanism for the initiation of replicative senescenceFEBS Lett, 2014. 588: 4369-74.
  18. Tian, X.-J., Zhang, H., and Xing, J., Coupled reversible and irreversible bistable switches underlying TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transitionBiophys J, 105: 1079-89. (First mathematical model of EMT predicted a partial EMT state which is crucial for cancer metastasis and renal fibrosis.).
  19. 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 heterogeneityPLoS One, 2013. 8: e80898.
  20. 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 activitiesPLoS One, 2012. 7: e38164.
  21. Tian, X.-J., Zhang, X. P., Liu, F., and Wang, W., Interlinking positive and negative feedback loops creates a tunable motif in gene regulatory networksPhys Rev E, 2009. 80: 011926.
  22. 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).

Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
AML 592Research
BME 598Special Topics
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Summer 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
BDE 792Research
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 331Transport Phenomena for BME
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
AML 592Research
BDE 792Research
BME 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BDE 792Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 331Transport Phenomena for BME
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
AML 592Research
BME 598Special Topics
BDE 792Research
BME 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
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
Work History: 

2014~2017      Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2012~2014      Postdoctoral Associate, Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Service: 

Peer Reviewer for Journals 

  1. Nature Computational Science
  2. PLOS Computational Biology
  3. BMC Systems Biology
  4. ACS Synthetic Biology
  5. npj Systems Biology
  6. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
  7. Biophysical Journal
  8. Scientific Reports
  9. Journal of the Royal Society Interface
  10. Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids
  11. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology
  12. PLoS One 
  13. Processes
  14. Acta Biotheoretica
  15. Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  16. BioMed Research International
  17. International Journal of Oncology
  18. Oncology Reports
  19. Oncology Letters
  20. FEBS Letters
  21. Molecular Medicine Reports 
  22. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience
  23. Advanced Biosystems

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