Research Associate Professor School of Medicine

Research Associate Professor of Medical School in Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen Overseas High-level Talent。Member of International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Society (ICMRS), member of the Youth Development Committee of ICMRS, member of the Blood Immunology Committee of Guangdong Society of Immunology, the Chinese Society for Immunology (CSI). The leader of the 11th Youth Committee Committee of Innovation and Transformation Chemistry Deputy, Orthopaedic Branch, the Chinese Medical Association (CMA). Member of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). Reviewer of 《Stem Cell Research & Therapy》, 《Journal of Cell physiology》, 《Journal of Biological Chemistry》,and 《 Chinese Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 》. Supported by General Programs of the State Natural Science Fund of China, Youth fund, and Shenzhen Science and Technology Commission basic research project, as the core member participating key funds of State Natural Science Fund of China, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory and other projects. Relevant research have been published in world-class journals such as 《Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) 》, 《Nature Communications》, 《Journal of Biological Chemistry》, and 《JCI Insight》. Participated in the 《English encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Bone Biology》 and the Chinese encyclopedia 《Bone Development and Disease》. Had been invited to report at the domestic and international conferences and won many awards at international conferences, such as Young Investigator Awards at the ASBMR Annual Meeting in 2011, the Young Investigator Travel Grant at the 2016 ASBMR Annual Meeting, and the Quality Poster Award at the 2017 ASBMR Annual Meeting.

Personal Profile


(1) Study the mechanism of the formation of osteoblasts, osteoclasts and chondrocytes during skeletal development and steady state maintenance under physiological and pathological conditions;

(2) Study the role of adhesion proteins (such as Kindlin-2, Migfilin, Pinch1/2) in skeletal development and homeostasis;

(3) Study on the regulatory mechanisms of glucose and fat metabolism;

(4) Study on the mutual regulation of bone and extra-bone tissues and organs.

Publications Read More

Original articles

1. Yu S, Franceschi RT, Luo M, Fan J, Jiang D, Cao H, Lai Y, Zhang J, Patrene K, Hankenson KD, Roodman GD, Xiao G*. Critical role of activating transcription factor 4 in the anabolic actions of PTH in bone. PLoS One. 2009, Oct 23; 4(10):e7583. PMCID: PMC2762317

2. Cao H#, Yu S#, Yao Z, Galson DL, Jiang Y, Zhang X, Fan J, Lu B, Guan Y, Luo M, Lai Y, Zhu Y, Kurihara N, Patrene K, Roodman GD, Xiao G*. Activating transcription factor 4 regulates osteoclast differentiation in mice. J Clin Invest. 2010 Aug 2; 120(8):2755-66. PMCID: PMC2912190

3. Yang S, Xu H, Yu S, Cao H, Fan J, Ge C, Fransceschi RT, Dong H, Xiao G*. Foxo1 mediates IGF1/Insulin regulation of osteocalcin expression by antagonizing Runx2 in osteoblasts, J Biol Chem, 2011 May 27;286(21):19149-58. PMID: 21471200.

4. Xiao G, Cheng H, Cao H(co-first author), Chen K, Tu Y, Yu S, Jiao H, Yang S, Im HJ, Chen D, Chen J, Wu C. Critical role of filamin-binding LIM protein 1 (FBLP-1)/migfilin in regulation of bone remodeling. J Biol Chem, 2012 Jun 15;287(25):21450-60. PMID: 22556421

5. Teramachi J, Hiruma Y, Ishizuka S, Ishizuka H, Brown JP, Michou L, Cao H, Galson DL, Subler MA, Zhou H, Dempster DW, Windle JJ, Roodman GD, Kurihara N. Role of ATF7-TAF12 interactions in the VDR hyper-sensitivity of osteoclast precursors in Paget’s disease. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Jun;28(6):1489-500. PMID:23426901

6. Zhu K, Jiao H, Li S, Cao H, Galson DL, Zhao Z, Zhao X, Lai Y, Fan J, Im HJ, Chen D, Xiao G*. ATF4 rpromotes bone angiogenesis during development and in hypoxia in mice. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Sep;28(9):1870-1884. PMID:23649506

7. Cao H, Zhu K, Qiu L, Li S, Niu H, Yang S, Zhao Z, Hao M, Anderson JL, Fan J, Roodman GD, Xiao G. Critical role of AKT protein in myeloma-induced osteoclast formation and osteolysis. J Biol Chem, 2013 Oct 18;288(42):30399-410. PMID:24005670

8. Qin T, Xu G, Qi J, Yang G, Zhang K, Liu H, Xu L, Xiang R, Xiao G, Cao H, Wei Y, Zhang Q, Li L. Tumor necrosis factor superfamily member 15 (Tnfsf15) facilitates lymphangiogenesis via upregulation of Vegfr3 gene expression in lymphatic endothelial cells. J Pathol. 2015 Nov;237(3):307-18. PMID: 26096340

9. Wu C, Jiao H, Lai, Y Zheng W, Chen K, Deng W, Song P, Zhu K, Cao H, Galson DL, Fan J, Im HJ, Liu Y, Chen J, Chen D, Xiao G. Kindlin-2 controls TGF-β signaling and Sox9 expression to regulate chondrogenesis. Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 7; 6:7531. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8531. PMID: 26151572

10. Yang X, Xia R, Yue C, Zhai W, Du W, Yang Q, Cao H, Chen X, Obando D, Zhu Y, Chen X, Chen JJ, Piganelli J, Wipf P, Jiang Y, Xiao G, Wu C, Jiang J, Lu B. ATF4 Regulates CD4+ T Cell Immune Responses through Metabolic Reprogramming.

Cell Rep. 2018 May 8;23(6):1754-1766. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.04.032. PMID:29742431

11. Huanqing Gao#, Yuxi Guo#, Qinnan Yan#, Wei Yang, Ruxuan Li, Simin Lin, Xiaochun Bai, Di Chen, Huiling Cao*, Guozhi Xiao*. Lipoatrophy and metabolic disturbance in mice with adipose-specific deletion of Kindlin-2. JCI Insight, 2019 Jul 11;4(13).pii: 128405. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.128405. PMID:31292295

12. Cao H#*, Yan Q#, Wang D#, Lai Y, Zhou B, Zhang Q, Jin W, Lin S, Lei Y, Ma L, Guo Y, Wang Y, Wang Y, Bai X, Liu C, Feng JQ, Wu C, Chen D, Cao X, Xiao G*. Focal adhesion protein Kindlin-2 regulates bone homeostasis in mice. Bone Res. 2020 Jan 2;8:2. doi: 10.1038/s41413-019-0073-8. eCollection 2020. PMID: 31934494.

13. Zhu K, Lai Y, Cao H, Liu C, Bai X, Yan Q, Ma L, Chen D, Kanaporis G, Wang J, Li L, Cheng T, Wu C*, Xiao G*. Kindlin-2 regulation of MafA and -catenin controls insulin expression and secretion and -cell mass in pancreatic -cells in mice. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 24;11(1):484. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14186-y. PMID: 31980627

14. Yishu Wang, Qinnan Yan, Yiran Zhao, Xin Liu, Simin Lin, Peijun Zhang, Liting Ma, Jingli Pan, Yumei Lai, Xiaochun Bai, Chuanyue Wu, Di Chen, Huiling Cao*, Guozhi Xiao*. Focal adhesion proteins Pinch1 and Pinch2 regulate bone homeostasis in mice. JCI Insight. 2019 Nov 14;4(22). pii: 131692. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.131692. PMID: 31723057

15. Sheng Chen, Lei Qin, Xiaohao Wu, Xuekun Fu, Sixiong Lin, Di Chen, Guozhi Xiao, Zengwu Shao*, Huiling Cao*, Moderate fluid shear stress regulates heme oxygenase-1 expression to promote autophagy and ECM homeostasis in the nucleus pulposus cells. Front. Cell Dev. Biol., 03 March 2020.

16. Yiming Lei, Xuekun Fu, Pengyu Li, Sixiong Lin, Qinnan Yan, Yumei Lai, Xin Liu, Yishu Wang, Xiaochun Bai, Chuanju Liu, Di Chen, Huiling Cao*, Guozhi Xiao*. LIM domain proteins Pinch1/2 regulate chondrogenesis and bone mass in mice. Bone Research. (Minor revision).

Reviews and Book chapters

1. Xu H, Cao H, Xiao G. Signaling via PINCH: functions, binding partners and implications in human diseases. Gene. 2016 Aug 30. PMID: 27590440

2. Cao H#*, Xiao G* (2018): Kindlin Signaling and Bone. 《Encyclopedia of Bone Biology 》(book chapter) by Dr. Mone Zaidi et al. Available online 29 July 2019.

3. 曹惠玲, 杨玮,肖国芝 (2018): 软骨细胞.《骨发育与骨疾病的现代研究》(书号:ISBN 978-7-313-20582-7, Book chapter)

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Welcome to the Department of Biology! Since its establishment in 2012, the Department of Biology has attracted internationally renowned professors to join as leaders and dozens of young scientists to start their independent academic career here pursuit of excellence in research and teaching. The research interests of our faculty members include diverse topics such as systems biology, plant biology, neurobiology, structural biology and molecular cell biology. The primary goals of our faculty are to address the most significant fundamental biological questions and to develop new strategies to treat various complex diseases. Such efforts will benefit from the shared inter-disciplinary collaborative spirit deeply rooted in the minds of all the faculty members working in different departments at SUSTech.


Mentoring the next generation biologists with the highest standards is another primary task of the Department of Biology. Our professors choose internationally acclaimed textbooks to teach core courses biological sciences, biotechnology and bioinformatics. Undergraduates are encouraged to join the laboratory early to get firsthand working experience in basic and/or applied biological research, which helps them to consolidate the mastering of basic techniques, to broaden their knowledge horizons and to acquire the capabilities of problem identifying, hypothesis formulating and problem solving.


Life science, one of the fastest developing natural scientific disciplines, has been the driving force behind the growth of the world economy and provides the know for the development of new technologies serving to improve the human health and welfare at large. Wit generous financial support from the Shenzhen municipal government, we are confident that the Department of Biology in SUSTech will surely grow into a top tier globally-renowned research and teaching center!

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