Lei Xu, Ph.D.

Lei Xu, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 633
Rochester, NY 14642

Fax: (585) 273-1450
Office: (585) 273-1302
Administrative: (585) 273-1440
Lab: (585) 276-4365

Research Bio

The Xu laboratory investigates the mechanism of metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from their original loci to other parts of the body. It is the major cause of death in cancer patients, but exactly how it occurs is not clear. Metastasis involves multiple levels of interactions between migrating tumor cells and their microenvironment. Understanding these interactions will greatly enhance our knowledge on metastasis and lead to a better treatment of cancer. A major focus of the laboratory is to dissect these interactions by studying the functions of a new family of cell surface receptors, called adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), during tumor spread.

One of the adhesion GPCRs, GPR56, was found to play inhibitory roles in metastatic growth of melanoma cells. We explore its regulatory mechanisms using xenograft models, knockout mice, transgenic tumor models, as well as various biochemical and bioinformatics tools.

Awards & Honors (Local)

IDEA Award from NYSTEM | New York State Department of Health 2009
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award | NIH 2009
Gold Medal | Nanjing University, China 1992
Excellent Student Award | Nanjing University, China 1992 - 1994
Guanghua Award | Nanjing University, China 1991

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 23 available »

Tiwary S, Xu L. "FRIZZLED7 Is Required for Tumor Inititation and Metastatic Growth of Melanoma Cells." PloS one. 2016 11(1):e0147638. Epub 2016 Jan 25.
2015 May 12
Stoveken HM, Hajduczok AG, Xu L, Tall GG. "Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors are activated by exposure of a cryptic tethered agonist." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 May 12; 112(19):6194-9. Epub 2015 Apr 27.
Hamann J, Aust G, Araç D, Engel FB, Formstone C, Fredriksson R, Hall RA, Harty BL, Kirchhoff C, Knapp B, Krishnan A, Liebscher I, Lin HH, Martinelli DC, Monk KR, Peeters MC, Piao X, Prömel S, Schöneberg T, Schwartz TW, Singer K, Stacey M, Ushkaryov YA, Vallon M, Wolfrum U, Wright MW, Xu L, Langenhan T, Schiöth HB. "International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. XCIV. Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors." Pharmacological reviews. 2015 67(2):338-67.
2014 Jul 7
Tiwary S, Preziosi M, Rothberg PG, Zeitouni N, Corson N, Xu L. "ERBB3 is required for metastasis formation of melanoma cells." Oncogenesis. 2014 Jul 7; 3:e110. Epub 2014 Jul 07.
2014 Feb 15
Yang L, Friedland S, Corson N, Xu L. "GPR56 inhibits melanoma growth by internalizing and degrading its ligand TG2." Cancer research. 2014 Feb 15; 74(4):1022-31. Epub 0/19/2013.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Biomedical Genetics (SMD) - Primary


Postdoctoral Training | Massachusetts Institute of Technology2007
Ph.D. | Biological Sciences | Indiana University2000
B.S. | Biochemistry | Nanjing University1994

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cancer Biology (Mentor: Richard Hynes) 2007