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Huadong Pei Huadong Pei
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Office Phone: 507-261-3100
Email: Email
Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


  • B.S., Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, 2002
  • Ph.D., Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2007


Dr. Pei is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.  He is interested in DNA damage response pathway, glycobiology and human diseases. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in molecular biology of DNA replication. As a postdoctoral fellow at Mayo Clinic, he expanded his research scope to DNA damage response and human diseases. Since he became an independent investigator in GWU, Dr. Pei has led a productive research team in several areas, including DNA damage response, glycobiology and cancer cell metabolism.


ACS Research Scholar Grant: RSG-19-032-01-DMC


American Cancer Society Scholar


Academic year 2018-2019:

Proteins, Pathways and Human Health

CANC 8222
Molecular Oncology and Cancer Epigenetics

BIOC 6222
Biochemical Genetics and Medicine


Dr. Pei’s laboratory focuses on understanding DNA damage response pathway, which is critical for maintaining genomic stability. DNA damage agents, such as ubiquitous UV and ionising radiation, activate a signaling cascade called DNA damage response pathway that initiates DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint activation. Understanding this pathway will help us understand the cause of genomic instability, a driving force of tumorigenesis. In addition, we could explore the information gained to effectively kill cancer cells, since cancer cells often are defective in some aspect of DNA damage response.
Dr. Pei’s laboratory is also interested in glycobiology and human diseases. Nutrient flux into the cell triggers protein modification by the amino sugar called N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). This dynamic and reversible posttranslational modification is emerging as a key regulator of diverse cellular processes. We are interested in elucidating how dysregulation in this posttranslational modification contributes to human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity and aging.
We are employing a combination of experimental approaches, including biochemistry, cellular biology, mouse genetics, proteomics and metabolomics, to accomplish our research goals.
Selected Publications (from 30 publications):
  1. Peng Y, Liao Q, Tan W, Peng C, Hu Z, Chen Y, Li Z, Li J, Zhen B, Zhu W, Li X, Yao Y, Song Q, Liu C, Qi X*, He F* and Pei H*. The deubiquitylating enzyme USP15 regulates homologous recombination repair and cancer cell response to PARP inhibitors. Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 15;10(1):1224. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09232-8.
  2. Peng C, Zhu Y, Zhang W, Zhang H, Chen Y, Zhao X,Zhang J, Zeng P, Qin W, and Pei H*. Regulation of the Hippo-YAP Pathway by Glucose Sensor O-GlcNAcylation. Mol Cell.2017 68(3):591-604.
  3. Yang X, Chen G, Li W, Peng C, Zhu Y, Yang X, Li T, Cao C, Pei H*. Cervical Cancer Growth Is Regulated by a c-ABL-PLK1 Signaling Axis. Cancer Res. 2017 77(5):1142-1154.
  4. Liu Chen Y, Liu H, Zhang H, Sun C, Hu Z, Tian Q, Peng C, Jiang P, Hua H, Li X, Pei H*. And-1 coordinates with CtIP for efficient homologous recombination and DNA damage checkpoint maintenance. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 45(5):2516-2530.
  5. Deng M, Yang X, Qin B, Liu T, Zhang H, Guo W, Lee SB, Kim JJ, Yuan J, Pei H*, Wang L*, Lou Z*.  Deubiquitination and Activation of AMPK by USP10. Mol Cell. 2016 18; 61(4):614-24. *Co-senior authors.
  6. Zhang H, Liu H, Chen Y, Yang X, Wang P, Liu T, Deng M, Qin B, Correia C, Lee S, Kim J, Sparks M, Nair AA, Evans DL, Kalari KR, Zhang P, Wang L, You Z, Kaufmann SH, Lou Z, Pei H*. A cell cycle-dependent BRCA1-UHRF1 cascade regulates DNA double-strand break repair pathway choice.  Nat Commun.  2016 5; 7:10201. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10201.
  7. Liu H, Zhang H, Wang X, Tian Q, Hu Z, Peng C, Jiang P, Wang T, Guo W, Chen Y, Li X, Zhang P, Pei H*. The Deubiquitylating Enzyme USP4 Cooperates with CtIP in DNA Double-Strand Break End Resection. Cell Rep. 2015 13(1):93-107.
  8. Xu Q, Yang C, Du Y, Chen Y, Liu H, Deng M, Zhang H, Zhang L, Liu T, Liu Q, Wang L, Lou Z, Pei H*. AMPK regulates histone H2B O-GlcNAcylation. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 42(9):5594-604.
  9. Pei H, Zhang L, Luo K, Qin Y, Chesi M, Fei F, Bergsagel PL, Wang L, You Z, Lou Z. MMSET regulates  histone H4K20 methylation and 53BP1 accumulation at DNA damage sites. Nature. 2011 470(7332):124-8.
  10. Pei H, Li L, Fridley BL, Jenkins GD, Kalari KR, Lingle W, Petersen G, Lou Z, Wang L. FKBP51 affects cancer cell response to chemotherapy by negatively regulating Akt. Cancer Cell 2009 16(3):259-66.

Centers and Institutes

GWU Cancer Center


  • GW Cancer Center


View publications by this faculty member.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None