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Xiaoyan Zheng

Xiaoyan Zheng

Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Office Phone: 202-994-4228
Email: Email
Department: Anatomy and Cell Biology


  • B.S., Peking University, China, 2000
  • PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana, 2005


» Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

» Job Openings (PDF)


The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway organizes pattern formation in a variety of embryonic tissues and functions post-embryonically in homeostatic processes. Hh pathway dysfunction thus can lead to embryonic pattern disruptions, such as holoprosencephaly and other birth defects in humans; post-embryonic dysfunction can result in failure of adult tissue regeneration as well as proliferative disorders, such as cancer.

My primary research interest is in identifying target genes regulated by the Hh signal and thus to understand the molecular mechanisms employed by the Hh signaling pathway in regulating cell-cell interactions (I). In parallel, I am interested in developing novel reagents and experimental approaches combined with cutting-edge imaging technologies to study the biochemical and cell biological principles governing a critical yet poorly understood step of Hh signal transduction: trafficking of Hh receptors (II). These studies have broad potential significance for our understanding of the molecular basis of both development and human diseases linked to Hh pathway dysfunction, as well as for providing a basis for therapeutic modulation of pathway activity, either positively to stimulate regeneration or negatively to block malignant growth.

Centers and Institutes

The GW Cancer Center
The GW Institute for Neuroscience


  • GW Cancer Center


View publications by this faculty member from January 1, 2013 - present

Zheng X., Mann R.K., Sever N., and Beachy P. (2010). Genetic and biochemical definition of the Hedgehog receptor. Genes Dev. 24(1): 57-71.

Chou Y.-H., Zheng X., Beachy P., and Luo L. (2010). Axon targeting of olfactory receptor neurons is patterned by coupled Hedgehog signaling at two distinct steps. Cell 142(6): 954-966.

Jensen A.P., Zheng X., Lee T., and O'Connor M.B. (2009). The Drosophila Activin-like ligand Dawdle signals preferentially through one isoform of the Type-I receptor Baboon. Mechanisms of Development 126(11-12): 950-957.

McLellan J.,* Zheng X.,* Hauk G., Ghirlando R., Beachy P., and Leahy D. (2008). The mode of Hedgehog binding to Ihog homologs is not conserved across different phyla. Nature 455(7215): 979-983. (* indicating authors contributed equally to this work.)

Zheng X., Zugates C.T., Lu Z., Shi L., Bai J.-M., and Lee T. (2006). Babo/dSamd2 TGF-beta signaling is required during late larval stage for development of adult-specific neurons. EMBO J. 25(3): 615-627.

McLellan J., Yao S., Zheng X., Geisbrecht B., Ghirlando R., Beachy P., and Leahy D. (2006). Structure of a heparin-dependent complex of Hedgehog and Ihog. PNAS 103(46): 17208-13.

Wang J., Ma X., Yang J.S., Zheng X., Zugates C.T., Lee C.-H., and Lee T (2004). Transmembrane/juxtamembrane domain-dependent Dscam distribution and function during mushroom body neuronal morphogenesis. Neuron 43: 663-672.

Zheng X.,* Wang J.,* Haerry T.E.,* Wu A.Y., Martin J., O'Connor M.B., Lee C.-H., and Lee T (2003). TGF-beta signaling activates steroid hormone receptor expression during neuronal remodeling in the Drosophila brain. Cell 112(3): 303-315. (* indicating authors contributed equally to this work.)

Additional publications published before January 1, 2013 may be available within Himmelfarb Library's database.

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