UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Chen, Xiao-Dong

Dental School
Comprehensive Dentistry
(210) 567-1728

I received my medical degree, which was a five-year program, from Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, China in 1983 and, subsequently, completed a four-year residency training in general surgery.
I completed my Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha, Nebraska in 1993. During this time, I was trained in immunology, and hematology. The major project in my dissertation was to identify the embryonic origin of the hematopoietic cells in liver.
In 1993, I started my postdoctoral training in the Department of Orthopedics at Yale University School of Medicine. A major focus of my research project was to identify osteoblast differentiation antigens, correlating them with different stages of development and using them to isolate and activate those cells.
In 1998, as a senior staff fellow, I worked in the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch at NIDCR/NIH. I used in vitro and in vivo models to study the interactions between osteoblastic progenitors and the microenvironment including extracellular matrix (ECM) such as small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), growth factors (TGF-β and BMPs), and biomaterials as vehicles to carry the cells for the purpose of tissue engineering. It has been found that SLRPs biglycan, decorin, and fibromodulin play an important role in controlling the fate of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
In 2003, I moved to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. As a principal investigator, I developed the idea that MSCs require interactions with components of the ECM. Specifically, I established cell-free stromal cell-derived ECM, and then showed that the ECM uniquely supported self-renewal and retention of multipotentiality of MSCs. This work provided the foundation for a successful R21 application to the NIH.
I was recruited by the University of Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at San Antonio as an Associate Professor on tenure track in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry In 2007, and promoted to Professor with tenure in September, 2013. The major focus of my research is to study how ECM, as part of the microenvironment or niche, retains the ability of MSCs to both self-renew and respond appropriately to pro-differentiating signals. My long-term goal is to develop therapies that have direct impact on age-related diseases. During this period of time, I have doggedly pursued my research toward bench to clinic applications and established a number of beneficial collaborations with researchers within the HSC as well as outside the HSC. I have developed interdisciplinary research projects including: 1) Rejuvenation of aged MSCs (News about our work: http://www.cbs19.tv/story/15976212/stem-cell-banks-miay-be-in-our-future?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6426750); 2) Isolation and characterization of MSCs from human umbilical cord blood (UCB); 3) Evaluation of the capability of UCB-derived MSCs for heart repair after myocardial infarction; and 4) Development of an in vitro MSC niche. These collaborative projects have been recognized by support from NIH, VA Merit Review, and local funding. This support allowed me to rapidly expand my research team.
In the past years, several intellectual properties have been generated from our research. In order to pursue our laboratory discoveries into commercial products for clinical applications, I formed a company (StemBioSys, Inc. www.StemBioSys.com ) in 2010 under the supported by receiving a $100,000 award from the McDermott Pre-seed Fund provided by The Texas Technology Development Center (T3DC). The company has licensed our technology.
Overall, I am confident that our studies will help us achieve our long-term objective of understanding the molecular basis of the interaction between the ECM and MSCs, and to facilitate the design of optimal in vitro conditions to generate highly functional MSCs for cell-based clinical applications.

9/2013 - Present Adjunct Professor and Adjunct Professor The University of Texas Health Science Center, Orthopaedics, San Antonio, TX
9/2013 - Present Professor with Tenure University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Comprehensive Dentistry, San Antonio, TX
4/2012 - Present the Graduate Faculty UTHSCSA
5/2011 - Present A mentoring faculty member in the Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology track UTHSCSA, Physiology
9/2010 - Present Founder and Chief Scientific Officer StemBioSys, Inc., San Antonio, TX
6/2008 - Present Visiting Professor Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine