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Xiao Tian

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Degenerative Diseases Program, Center for Genetic Disorders and Aging Research Cancer

Assistant Professor, Genome and Epigenetics Program, NCI-designated Cancer Center

Xiao Tian is an Assistant Professor in the Degenerative Diseases Program and the Cancer Genome and Epigenetics Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. He opened the Tian lab in January 2024 to understand the fundamental biology of aging and its contribution to age-related diseases. He joined SBP after his postdoctoral research in Dr. David Sinclair’s lab at Harvard Medical School where he co-wrote the Information Theory of Aging. He obtained his B.S. from Shandong University and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester where he worked with Dr. Vera Gorbunova to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying longevity and cancer resistance in long-lived species.

His work includes identifying the first anti-cancer and longevity mechanism of naked mole rats, high-molecular-mass hyaluronan (Tian, et al, Nature 2013), and discovering that DNA double-strand break repair is a molecular basis of exceptional longevity (Tian, et al, Cell, 2019). In his own lab, he aims to understand the epigenetic causes of aging and how physiological aging transitions to age-related diseases.

Education and Professional Experience

2005-2009, B.S., Microbial Technology, Shandong University

2009-2010, Lab Tech, Institute Pasteur of Shanghai

2010-2016, Ph.D., Biology of Aging, University of Rochester

2016-2018, Postdoc, University of Rochester

2018-2023, Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Honors and Awards

2020-2023, K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Awards (NIH/NIA)

2019-2020, NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship, NASA Ames Research Center

2017, Outstanding Dissertation Award for the Natural Sciences, University of Rochester

2015, Messersmith Dissertation Fellowship, University of Rochester

2014, Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, China Scholarship Council

2010-2014, Holtfreter Fellowship, University of Rochester

2007, Weichai Power Scholarship, Shandong University

2006-2008, Excellent Student Scholarship, Shandong University

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