Xu Feng, PhD

fengAssociate Professor of

Address: Volker Hall, G046B
Birmingham, AL 35294
Telephone: (205) 975-0990
Email: xufeng@uab.edu






BS, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
PhD (Zoology/Molecular Biology), University of Vermont
Post-doctoral training, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Research Interests

Our laboratory uses the molecular and cell biology techniques as well as various animal models (knockout and knockin) to address a variety of important biological and pathological questions. In addition, we have just begun to expand our research endeavor into translational research/drug discovery. Currently, we have the following major research focuses: 1) Understand the molecular mechanism underlying the role of osteoclast differentiation and function and in health and disease. Osteoclasts, our body’s sole bone-resorbing cells, play a pivotal role in skeletal development and adult skeletal maintenance (bone remodeling). Nonetheless, abnormal elevation in osteoclast formation and function is implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases including osteoporosis, bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis, bone loss in periodontal disease and tumor (breast and prostate) skeletal metastasis. Our major and long-term goals are to elucidate the molecular mechanism of osteoclast formation and function and also to delineate the molecular and cellular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of bone loss in the various pathological disorders; 2) Investigate the molecular mechanism of tumor bone metastasis. We are currently investigating how breast cancer cells are attracted and attached to the prospective bone metastasis sites to initiate the process. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism by which breast cancer cells are attracted to bone may facilitate the revelation of better therapeutic targets/strategies for the devastating diseases. 3) Drug discovery/translational research - We have previously identified and characterized several RANK cytoplasmic motifs that play important functional roles in osteoclast formation and function. The potency and specificity of these RANK motifs in osteoclast biology have convinced us to expand our research programs into the translation research. We are developing innovative cell-based assay systems for identifying compounds through high throughput screening (HTS).