Dr. Yang Xia, MD, PHD
Dr. Xia received MD in a prestigious six-year English-Medicine program in Xiangya Medical School in China in 1992 and PhD in Molecular Pathology in University of Texas Health Science Center-Graduate School of Biomedical Science in 1998. Dr. Xia received postdoctoral training in mouse genetics until 2001 and established her independent laboratory in 2001 in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas-McGovern Medical School. Dr. Xia focuses on translational research of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, preeclampsia, chronic kidney disease, blood disorders (sickle cell disease) and high altitude. Those projects are united by common features of hypoxia. Dr. Xia’s goal is to translate her discovery-driven basic science smoothly and quickly to the clinic to benefit human health. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Xia’s laboratory has conducted multiple non-biased screening (including metabolomic screening and gene array) to identify potential pathogenic markers for the diseases. Extending from the initial screens, Dr. Xia has conducted preclinical studies using both pharmacological and genetic approaches to determine the pathophysiological role of these newly identified molecules in animal models of specific diseases. Finally, Dr. Xia has conducted human translational research to determine whether these newly identified pathogenic biomarkers are diagnostic markers for early detection and therapeutic targets.
Dr. Xia has successfully led a highly interactive, collaborative and productive research team including both basic and clinical research scientists. Dr. Xia has been continuously funded since joining the BMB faculty and has received nearly $17 million in funding from multiple agencies, including NIDDK, NIHLB and AHA, among others. In addition to her outstanding track record in basic and translational research as a principal investigator, Dr. Xia brings her significant experience in the development of leading research and education programs in biomedical research and education. Dr. Xia orchestrated the establishment of a cooperative agreement between Central South University (CSU, a major Chinese university) and the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston (UTHSC). As Program Director, Dr. Xia has focused on an ongoing academic and educational relationship between UTHSC and faculty and students from CSU and its affiliated medical school and hospitals. She has trained numerous PhD and MD/PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical residents and fellows (Hematology and ObGyn) and visiting faculty. As a result of her guidance these students, residents and fellows have received awards for their research including Dean’s Research Award, Harry and Isabel C. Cameron Fellowship, the prestigious inaugural UT System Jess Hay Chancellor’s Fellowship.
Dr. Xia served on a study section for the American Heart Association and served as a member of NIH study sections and special emphasis panels. Because of her research contribution in the area of sickle cell disease, Dr. Xia was appointed to the Sickle Cell Disease Advisory Committee of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH (SCDAC). Dr. Xia’s research has been recognized by numerous awards including Innovative Research Funds from AHA, A Challenge grant from NIH, McGovern Scholar, Excellence Award of Basic Research from Women Research Forum,Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award, Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award from the AHA, Winner of Basic Cardiovascular Science Outstanding Early Career Development Award from the AHA, Finalist for the Young Investigator Award of International Society for Heart Research and Presidential Fellowship Award.