By Randolph Fillmore
It’s a pretty safe bet that few of us spend time thinking about fatty acid oxidation (FAO), metabolism and cytokine signaling, but Jianhua Xiong, Ph.D., does. His decade of research has been so important that he was recently recruited as a scientist and member of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research, and is now an assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The Path to St. Petersburg
“I found cell biology amazing, and I was fascinated by the work that living cells do,” Xiong says with the same enthusiasm he had when he started his undergraduate studies. He has since devoted his career to unraveling some of the secrets of cell biology and, specifically, cellular metabolism, the integrated program of all chemical reactions within the body's cells that change food into energy for harmonic life.
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Proud to have been the first in his family to go to university, Xiong graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biotechnology in 2007.
Beginning a Ph.D. program in 2007, Xiong investigated genetic regulators of estrogen receptors and their role in breast cancer, worked with high-throughput screening to identify small molecules and studied the role of microRNA in “cell signaling.” He received his Ph.D. in biotechnology in 2012 from the prestigious Peking University, the #1 university in China.
After receiving his Ph.D., he came to the United States for postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the Division of Biological Sciences. While there, from 2012 to 2014, he investigated the mechanism of genetic stability in stem cells, among other questions.
At the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) near Washington, D.C., Dr. Xiong has investigated mechanisms related to “cell fate” and aspects of the vascular and immune systems and their regulation. His work is fundamentally important to health and will eventually help us gain better understanding about the causes of some serious diseases and potentially open doors to cures.
Read more: Read the full story by Randy Fillmore
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