Xiaoping Wang, PhD

Xiaoping Wang, PhD

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Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Associate Professor (Associate Researcher), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Institute of Biophysics of Chinese Academy of Sciences


2014 – The Zeta Tau Alpha Houston Alumnae Association Fellowship Award in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research
2018 – The Zeta Tau Alpha Houston Alumnae Association Fellowship Award in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research
2021 – The Zeta Tau Alpha Houston Alumnae Association Fellowship Award in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research

Research Focus

Dr. Wang’s research is focused on identifying novel therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers and establishing effective therapeutic interventions for patients with breast cancer, particularly inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). She is dedicated to determining the role of key signaling pathways, including the EGFR/EGR1 and TIG1/Axl/TBK1 signaling axes, in regulating tumorigenesis, inflammation, cancer stem-like cells, and the adjacent tumor microenvironment (TME) in IBC and TNBC. Dr. Wang’s recent work has demonstrated the role of EGFR signaling in modulating an immunosuppressive TME in IBC. Part of her research has been translated into clinical trials of panitumumab, a humanized anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and immunotherapy, in patients with IBC.

Dr. Wang also works on identifying genomic and transcriptomic characteristics and liquid biomarkers for patients with IBC using whole exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and TGIRT-sequencing. She is interested in studying the molecular and immunological mechanism underlying the racial/ethnic disparity of IBC in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women.

Dr. Wang is dedicated to creating models and technology to study breast TME. She has developed novel IBC humanized mouse models, IBC organoid models, and multiplexed immunofluorescence staining. She is currently creating a genetically engineered IBC mouse model.

Selected Publications

Wang X*, Semba T, Manyam GC, Wang J, Shao S, Bertucci F, Finetti P, Krishnamurthy S, Phi LTH, Pearson T, Van Laere SJ, Burks JK, Cohen EN, Reuben JM, Yang F, Min H, Navin N, Trinh VG, Iwase T, Batra H, Shen Y, Zhang X, Tripathy D, and Ueno NT*. EGFR is a master switch between immunosuppressive and immunoactive tumor microenvironment in inflammatory breast cancer. Science Advances. 2022; 8(50), doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abn7983. *Co-corresponding authors.

Semba T, Wang X, Xie X, Cohen EN, Reuben JM, Dalby KN, Long JP, Phi LTH, Tripathy D, and Ueno NT. Identification of the JNK-active triple-negative breast cancer cluster associated with an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst 2022; 114(1): 97-108; https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab128.

Matsuda N*, Wang X*, Lim B*, Krishnamurthy S, Alvarez RH, Willey JS, Parker CA, Song J, Shen Y, Hu J, Wu W, Li N, Babiera GC, Murray JL, Arun BK, Brewster AM, Reuben JM, Stauder MC, Barnett CM, Woodward WA, Le-Petross C, Lucci A, DeSnyder SM, Tripathy D, Valero V, Ueno NT. Safety and efficacy of panitumumab plus neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with primary HER2-negative inflammatory breast cancer. JAMA Oncology. 2018;4(9):1207-1213. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.1436. Epub June 7, 2018. *Equal first authors.

Lim B, Woodward WA, Wang X, Reuben JM, Ueno NT. Inflammatory breast cancer biology: the tumor microenvironment is key. Nat Rev Cancer. 2018 Aug;18(8):485-499. doi: 10.1038/s41568-018-0010-y. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

Wang X*, Reyes ME, Zhang D, Funakoshi Y, Trape AP, Gong Y, Kogawa T, Eckhardt BL, Masuda H, Pirman DA, Yang P, Reuben JM, Woodward WA, Bartholomeusz C, Hortobagyi GN, Tripathy D, Ueno NT*. EGFR signaling promotes inflammation and cancer stem-like activity in inflammatory breast cancer. Oncotarget. 2017;8(40):67904-67917. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.18958. eCollection 2017 Sep 15. PMID: 28978083. *Co-corresponding authors.

Wang X, Saso H, Iwamoto T, Xia W, Gong Y, Pusztai L, Woodward WA, Reuben JM, Warner SL, Bearss DJ, Hortobagyi GN, Hung MC, Ueno NT. TIG1 promotes the development and progression of inflammatory breast cancer through activation of Axl kinase. Cancer Res. 73 (21): 6516-25, 11/2013. PMID: 24014597.

Publication List via NIH MyBibliography

Active Grants

X. Wang, PI
Department of Defense
"Enhancing Axl-targeted therapy in inflammatory breast cancer"
07/02/2021 - 06/30/2024

X. Wang, Co-I; N. Ueno, PI
"Development of a novel therapy targeting the tumor microenvironment in inflammatory breast cancer"
03/01/22 - 02/28/2027

X. Wang, Co-I; N. Ueno, PI
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
"Development of novel therapy by targeting the tumor microenvironment in IBC"
10/01/23 - 09/30/24