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Department of Basic Medical Sciences


HU, Xiaoyu


    2020-present    Professor of Immunology, Tsinghua University School of Medicine

    2017-2020        Associate Professor (with tenure), Tsinghua University School of Medicine

    2016-present    Associate Director, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Tsinghua University School of Medicine

    2014-2017        Associate Professor (tenure-track), Tsinghua University School of Medicine (SOM)

    2014-present    Principal investigator, Tsinghua University School of Medicine/Institute for Immunology

    2010-2014        Assistant Professor of Immunology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA

    2008-2014        Assistant Scientist, Research Division, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA

    2005-2008        Instructor, Research Division, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA

    2004                 Ph.D. in Immunology, Cornell University Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, New York, NY, USA

    1997                 B.M. in Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China

Research Fields & Emphasis

Inflammation, autoimmunity, macrophage, intestinal epithelium

Laboratory of Innate Effector Function


Ever since the days doing my undergraduate thesis work at an immunology lab in Beijing Medical University, I have always been intrigued by how immune cells integrate various exogenous and endogenous environmental cues to achieve optimal responses and have been fortunate enough to pursue this dream of deciphering immune responses via molecular approaches throughout most of my career. Meanwhile, given my training in medical school, it is equally important for me to underscore our research efforts with clinical relevance to ultimately achieve the goals of meeting pressing medical needs such as treating human autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. Therefore, our current research efforts and directions largely stem from and are motivated by the desire to unravel immune regulatory mechanisms combined with the hope to discover new therapeutic targets for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.


1.       Investigate molecular mechanisms governing macrophage activation and polarization

2.       Study biology of tissue-resident macrophages    

3.       Unravel regulatory mechanisms controlling functionality of intestinal epithelial cells

4.       Discover novel therapeutic targets for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders

Academic Awards

    2017     Distinguished Young Investigator Award, National Natural Science Foundation of China

    2017     Bayer Investigator Award, Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center

    2016     U.K. Royal Society Academy of Medical Sciences-Newton Advanced Fellowship

    2015     Janssen Scholar, Janssen-Tsinghua Joint Research Center

    2015     Outstanding Young Investigator Award, National Natural Science Foundation of China

    2014     Bayer Investigator Award, Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center

    2010     Christina Fleischmann Memorial Award for Young Women Investigator, International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research

    2006     Arthritis Foundation New York Chapter Young Scholar Award

Key Words

Inflammation, autoimmunity, macrophage, mucosal responses

Selected Publications

1. Xu H, Zhu J, Smith S, Foldi J, Zhao B, Chung AY, Outtz HH, Kitajewski J, Shi C, Weber S, Saftig P, Li YM, Ozato K, Blobel CP, Ivashkiv LB, Hu X. Notch-RBP-J signaling regulates IRF8 to promote inflammatory macrophage polarization. Nature Immunology 2012; 13:642-650


2. Shang Y, Coppo M, He T, Ning F, Yu L, Kang L, Zhang B, Ju C, Qiao Y, Zhao B, Gessler M, Rogatsky I, Hu X. The transcriptional repressor Hes1 attenuates inflammation by regulating transcription elongation. Nature Immunology 2016; 17:930-937


3. Liang S, Guo XK, Ou J, Huang R, Xue Q, Zhang B, Chung Y, Wu W, Dong C, Yang X, Hu X. Nutrient sensing by the intestinal epithelium orchestrates mucosal antimicrobial defense via translational control of Hes1. Cell Host & Microbe 2019; 25:706-718 (cover story accompanied by a preview article)


4. Ning F, Li Y, Yu L, Zhang B, Liu Y, Zhao B, Shang Y, Hu X. Transcription factor Hes1 attenuates type I interferon-mediated immune responses via VEGF-C and WDFY1. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2019; 216:1396-1410


5. Ji L, Zhao X, Zhang B, Kang L, Song W, Zhao B, Xie W, Chen L, Hu X. Slc6A8-mediated creatine uptake and accumulation reprogram macrophage polarization via regulating cytokine responses. Immunity 2019; 51:272-284


6. Kang L, Zhang X, Ji L, Kou T, Smith SM, Zhao B, Guo X, Pineda-Torra I, Wu L, Hu X. The colonic macrophage transcription factor RBP-J orchestrates intestinal immunity against bacterial pathogens. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2020; 217(4). pii: e20190762.


7. Yu L, Zhang B, Sacta MA, Rollins DA, Chinenov Y, Li R, Rogatsky I, Hu X. Negative elongation factor complex enables macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses by controlling expression of anti-inflammatory genes. Nature Communications 2020; 11:2286


Email: xiaoyuhu at tsinghua.edu.cn

Phone: +86 10-62795612

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