Zhigang Xie

Zhigang Xie

Assistant Professor - Research

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Wehner-Welch lab
Room 116 Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX  
Phone: 979.436.0765

Education and Training

Dr. Zhigang Xie is an assistant professor-research in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine.

He received his BS in biology from Nanjing University in 1993 and his MS in neurobiology in 1996 from Shanghai Institute of Physiology (now Institute of Neuroscience), Chinese Academy of Science. He obtained his PhD in cell biology/neuroscience from the University of Alabama, Birmingham in 2001 working with Professor Vytas Bankaitis.

Xie has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Howard Hughes Medical Institute under the guidance of Dr. Li-Huei Tsai. He was an independent investigator at the Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Pharmacology & Experimental at Boston University School of Medicine from 2007 to 2014.

Xie joined the Wehner-Welch Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at Texas A&M University as an assistant research scientist in 2014. He became a faculty member in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine in September 2016.

Research Interests

Xie's research focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating neural stem cell homeostasis in the developing mammalian brain. Elucidating these mechanisms will improve our understanding of the causes of autism spectrum disorders, which are neurodevelopmental disorders affecting >1 percent of children, and pediatric brain cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer-related death in children.

Current projects include the analysis of how lipid metabolic deficiencies, which have been associated with autism spectrum disorders, affect neural stem cell homeostasis in mouse embryonic brain, and the development of mouse models of pediatric gliomas by introducing various genetic mutations into neural stem cells in mouse embryonic brain.

Recent Publications

  1. Xie Z, Sanada K, Samuels BA, Shih H, Tsai LH. Serine 732 phosphorylation of FAK by Cdk5 is important for microtubule organization, nuclear movement, and neuronal migration. Cell. 2003 Aug 22;114(4):469-82. PubMed PMID: 12941275.
  2. Xie Z, Moy LY, Sanada K, Zhou Y, Buchman JJ, Tsai LH. Cep120 and TACCs control interkinetic nuclear migration and the neural progenitor pool. Neuron. 2007 Oct 4;56(1):79-93. PMID:17920017. PMCID:PMC2642594
  3. Davis DA, Wilson MH, Giraud J, Xie Z, Tseng HC, England C, Herscovitz H, Tsai LH, Delalle I. Capzb2 interacts with beta-tubulin to regulate growth cone morphology and neurite outgrowth. PLoS Biol. 2009 Oct;7(10):e1000208. doi:10.1371/ journal.pbio.1000208. Epub 2009 Oct 6. PMID:19806181. PMCID: PMC2748697
  4. Buchman JJ, Tseng HC, Zhou Y, Frank CL, Xie Z, Tsai LH. Cdk5rap2 interacts with pericentrin to maintain the neural progenitor pool in the developing neocortex. Neuron. 2010 May 13;66(3):386-402. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.03.036. PMID:20471352
  5. Frank CL, Ge X, Xie Z, Zhou Y, Tsai LH. Control of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) persistence by multisite phosphorylation impacts cell cycle progression and neurogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 22;285(43):33324-37. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.140699. Epub 2010 Aug 19. PMID:20724472. PMCID:PMC2963346
  6. Mahjoub MR, Xie Z, Stearns T. Cep120 is asymmetrically localized to the daughter centriole and is essential for centriole assembly. J Cell Biol. 2010 Oct 18;191(2):331-46. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201003009. PMID:20956381. PMCID:PMC2958470
  7. Pinheiro EM, Xie Z, Norovich AL, Vidaki M, Tsai LH, Gertler FB. Lpd depletion reveals that SRF specifies radial versus tangential migration of pyramidal neurons. Nat Cell Biol. 2011 Jul 24;13(8):989-95. doi: 10.1038/ncb2292. PMID:21785421. PMCID:PMC3149714
  8. Saffary R, Xie Z*. FMRP regulates the transition from radial glial cells to intermediate progenitor cells during neocortical development. J Neurosci. 2011 Jan 26;31(4):1427-39. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4854-10.2011. PMID:21273427 (* Corresponding author)
  9. Xie Z*, Jones A, Deeney JT, Hur SK, Bankaitis VA. Inborn Errors of Long-Chain Fatty Acid beta-Oxidation Link Neural Stem Cell Self-Renewal to Autism. Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 9;14(5):991-9. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.01.004. Epub 2016 Jan 28. PMID:26832401. PMCID:PMC4749429 (* Corresponding author)