Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Xiaochun Li, PhD

Dr. Li is focusing on the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway, which is required for proper development during the formation of an embryo. This pathway can also be activated abnormally in adult tissue and has been implicated in multiple cancers—including basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma—that account for about 25% of cancer deaths. His lab will apply structural and cell biological approaches to study two major components of the Hedgehog signaling pathway: Patched-I, a tumor suppressor, and Smoothened, an oncoprotein. These results will broaden the understanding of the Hh pathway in cancer progression and may help identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Project title: “Investigations on Patched, a tumor suppressor, and its regulation in Hedgehog pathway”
Institution: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: Skin
Research Area: Structural Biology