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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Wenming Xiao Ph.D.

Principal Investigator — Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

Wenming Xiao
Wenming Xiao, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7391

Back to NCTR Principal Investigator page

About  |  Publications  |  Lab Members


Dr. Wenming Xiao received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Xiamen University in 1989 and a master’s degree in genetics from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science in 1992. Later, he moved to the United States and earned his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1997, and a master’s degree in computer science from Marquette University in 1998. From 1998 to 2005, Dr. Xiao was a bioinformatics scientist in GeneLogic, MetriGenix, and Celera Genomics. In 2005, he joined the National Institute of Health (NIH) as a contractor and then as a staff scientist at the Center for Cancer Research, National Institute of Cancer.

In 2014, Dr. Xiao joined the Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at NCTR. Dr. Xiao has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature, PNAS, New England Journal of Medicine, and Cancer Cell. In 2010, he received the “NIH Director Award” and “NIH Merit Award” for his contribution to the Lymphoma Leukemia Molecular Profiling Program.  

Research Interests

Dr. Xiao’s research interest is to develop and apply integrated bioinformatics methodologies for “omics” data, particularly those generated from the next generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray platforms. He would also like to identify biomarkers for the early detection and treatment prognosis of tumors. In addition, he looks to establish quality metrics and bioinformatics solutions for personal-genome assembly for clinical applications. Molecular data and knowledge accumulated from this line of research may help to develop guidance and protocols for biomarker development and clinical trials that could lead to an enhanced approach towards precision/personalized medicine.  Dr. Xiao’s research mainly focuses on two areas:

  • Personal Genome Assembly and Quality Metrics

Precision medicine is based on interrogation of genetic alteration in one individual, which requires precise and complete characterization of personal genome. Whole-genome sequencing has become more affordable and the challenge of routinely applying it in the precision-medicine era largely rests on bioinformatics solutions, particularly for personal-genome assembly. Dr. Xiao’s study aims to establish the best practice of personal-genome assembly and quality matrices and to provide guidance for using personal genome in clinical applications by investigating the impact of various NGS parameters, such as coverage, read length, and methods on assembly quality.

  • Circulating Cell-Free DNA Detection (ccfDNA)

ccfDNA has been considered a “liquid biopsy” that contains genetic information for a diagnostic purpose. They are small fragmented DNA released from normal or diseased cells due to the process of necrosis or apoptosis. Recently, people have started using ccfDNA to categorize tumors for clinical decision because it is rapid, cost-effective, and non-invasive. More importantly, ccfDNA has better representation of tumor heterogeneity than single-tissue biopsies and provides better guidance for treatment decisions. However, since the amount of ccfDNA in circulating DNA could be as little as 0.01%, standard procedures for pre-analytical and analytical processes need to be established before it can be routinely used in clinical settings. Through prospective studies, the genetic background of circulating DNA in normal individuals with a known disease state or physiologic state and ccfDNA from cancer patients undergoing therapeutic treatments will be examined. While Dr. Xiao will gain knowledge about genomic-background metrics, as well as the sensitivity and specificity of ccfDNA detection; he will also develop bioinformatics tools and analytical workflow for ccfDNA detection with next-generation sequencing technology. 

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

Georgetown University, Department of Health and Human Services Scientific Advisory Panel (DHHS-SAP) 
2016 – Present

SEQC-II Consortium
Leading member
2014 – Present


Select Publications

Publication titles are linked to text abstracts on PubMed.

Challenges, Solutions, and Quality Metrics of Personal Genome Assembly in Advancing Precision Medicine.
Xiao W., Wu L., Yavas G., Simonyan V., Ning B.,  and Hong H.
Pharmaceutics. 2016 Apr 22, 8(2). pii: E15. doi: 10.3390

Regulation of Normal B-Cell Differentiation and Malignant B-Cell Survival by OCT2.
Hodson D.J., Shaffer A.L., Xiao W., Waldmann T.A., Staudt L.M., and et.al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 5, 113(14):E2039-46.

Netbags: A Network-Based Clustering Approach with Gene Signatures for Cancer Subtyping Analysis.
Wu L., Liu Z., Xu J., Chen M., Fang H., Tong W., and Xiao W.
Biomark Med. 2015 Nov, 9(11):1053-65.

Survival of Human Lymphoma Cells Requires B-Cell Receptor Engagement by Self-Antigens.
Young R.M., Wu T., Schmitz R., Dawood M., Xiao W., Phelan J.D., and et.al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Nov 3, 112(44):13447-54.

Activating Mutations of STAT5B and STAT3 in Lymphomas Derived from γδ-T or NK Cells.
Kucuk C., Jiang B., Hu X., Zhang W., Chan J., Xiao W., McKeithan T., and et. al.
Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 14; 6:6025

Loss of Signalling via Gα13 in Germinal Centre B-Cell-Derived Lymphoma.
Muppidi J.R., Schmitz R., Green J.A., Xiao W., Larsen A.B., Braun S.E., and et. al.
Nature. 2014 Dec 11, 516(7530):254-8

Blockade of Oncogenic Iκb Kinase Activity in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma by Bromodomain and Extraterminal Domain Protein Inhibitors.
Ceribelli M., Kelly P.N., Shaffer A.L., Wright G.W., Xiao W., Yang Y., and et. al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Aug 5, 111(31):11365-70.

Burkitt Lymphoma Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Targets from Structural and Functional Genomics.
Schmitz R., Young R., Ceribelli M., Jhavar S., Xiao W., Zhang M., Wright G., and et. al.
Nature. 2012 Oct 4, 490(7418):116-20.

Oncogenically Active MYD88 Mutations in Human Lymphoma.
Ngo V.N., Young R., Schmitz R., Jhavar S., Xiao W., Lim K.H., and et. al.
Nature. 2011 Feb 3, 470(7332): 115-9.       


Lab Members

Contact information for all lab members:
(870) 543-7391

Wei Du, Ph.D.
Commissioner’s Fellow

Leihong Wu, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Gokhan Yavas, Ph.D.
Computer Scientist




Contact Information
Wenming Xiao
(870) 543-7391
Technology & Discipline