Xin Sun

Title(s)Professor, Pediatrics
SchoolHealth Sciences
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0766
La Jolla CA 92093
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    UCSFPostdoc04/2002Developmental Genetics
    Yale UniversityPh.D.02/1997Developmental Biology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Research focus:
    The building of an organ starts from an amorphous cluster of cells, and proceeds following an elaborate blueprint of coordinated proliferation, morphogenesis and differentiation. Organ function relies on the harmonization with other organs, the infusion by blood and immune cells, and the wiring by the nervous system. We employ cutting edge techniques in modern biology, including genome editing, genomics, epigenomics, imaging and disease modeling, to delineate the robustness that dictates normal organ function, and uncover the imperfection that initiates pathogenesis.

    At the center of our investigation is the lung, an organ that is vital at first breath. It is the setting for many fetal, pediatric and adult diseases that have little explanation and no cure. We use disease modeling as a starting point for basic discoveries in developmental biology, stem cell biology and neural-immune interface with physiology.
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    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Dissecting the Interoception Circuit that Controls Airway Constriction
    NIH R01AT011676Sep 1, 2021 - Aug 31, 2026
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Balancing Airway Progenitor versus Progeny: a Pathway from Mitochondria
    NIH R01HL160019Aug 20, 2021 - Jun 30, 2025
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Decoding the Cellular Niches Critical for Lung Maturation and Pathogenesis
    NIH U01HL148867Aug 19, 2019 - Jun 30, 2024
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Deciphering the Mechanisms Underlying Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia of Infancy
    NIH R01HL146141Apr 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2023
    Role: Principal Investigator
    KULMAP: Human Kidney, urinary tract and lung mapping center
    NIH U54HL145608Sep 25, 2018 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Impact of Early-in-life Disruption of Lung Development on Adult Lung Progenitor Function
    NIH R01HL143256Sep 1, 2018 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Genetic Basis of Normal and Pathological Alveologenesis in Lung Development
    NIH R01HL142215Aug 22, 2018 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Foundational Mapping of the Neural Circuits that Control Intrinsic Lung Function
    NIH OT2OD023857Feb 1, 2017 - May 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Foundational mapping of the neural circuits that control intrinsic lung function.
    NIH Office of Directors OT2OD023857Feb 1, 2017 - Jan 31, 2019
    Role: PI
    Respiratory Deficiencies in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia
    NIH R01HL122406Aug 15, 2015 - May 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Respiratory deficiencies in congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
    NHLBI RO1HL122406Aug 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2019
    Role: PI
    Cartilage and Smooth Muscle in Airway Tone and Microenvironment
    NIH R01HL119946Aug 1, 2014 - Apr 30, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Cartilage and smooth muscle in airway tone and microenvironment.
    NHLBI R01HL119946Aug 1, 2014 - Jul 31, 2018
    Role: PI
    FGF Signaling in Lung Maturation and Response to Injury
    NIH R01HL113870Apr 20, 2012 - Mar 31, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Gene Mutation and Rescue in Human Diaphragmatic Hernia
    NIH P01HD068250Jul 1, 2011 - Apr 30, 2022
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Investigating the Interplay Between WNT and FGF Signaling in Prostate Initiation
    NIH R21DK082888Sep 30, 2009 - Jul 31, 2012
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Analysis of FGF Function in Limb Development
    NIH R01HD045522Sep 30, 2009 - Apr 29, 2010
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Investigating Effects of Viral Infection on Lung Development
    NIH R01HL097134Sep 1, 2009 - Jul 31, 2014
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Halting SARS-CoV-2: lung organoids step up to the plate. EMBO J. 2021 03 01; 40(5):e107651. Leibel SL, Sun X. PMID: 33576058.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. Single-cell multiomic profiling of human lungs reveals cell-type-specific and age-dynamic control of SARS-CoV2 host genes. Elife. 2020 11 09; 9. Wang A, Chiou J, Poirion OB, Buchanan J, Valdez MJ, Verheyden JM, Hou X, Kudtarkar P, Narendra S, Newsome JM, Guo M, Faddah DA, Zhang K, Young RE, Barr J, Sajti E, Misra R, Huyck H, Rogers L, Poole C, Whitsett JA, Pryhuber G, Xu Y, Gaulton KJ, Preissl S, Sun X, NHLBI LungMap Consortium . PMID: 33164753.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    3. Less Is More: Rare Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Cells Function as Critical Sensors in Lung. Dev Cell. 2020 10 26; 55(2):123-132. Xu J, Yu H, Sun X. PMID: 33108755.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    4. A transitional stem cell state in the lung. Nat Cell Biol. 2020 09; 22(9):1025-1026. Verheyden JM, Sun X. PMID: 32778743.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    5. Myofibroblast contraction is essential for generating and regenerating the gas-exchange surface. J Clin Invest. 2020 06 01; 130(6):2859-2871. Li R, Li X, Hagood J, Zhu MS, Sun X. PMID: 32338642.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    6. Smooth Muscle Differentiation Is Essential for Airway Size, Tracheal Cartilage Segmentation, but Dispensable for Epithelial Branching. Dev Cell. 2020 04 06; 53(1):73-85.e5. Young RE, Jones MK, Hines EA, Li R, Luo Y, Shi W, Verheyden JM, Sun X. PMID: 32142630.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    7. Wheeze No More: Growing Out of Your Dopaminergic Nerves. Immunity. 2019 12 17; 51(6):977-979. Barr J, Su Y, Sun X. PMID: 31851903.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. E3 ubiquitin ligase MDM2 acts through p53 to control respiratory progenitor cell number and lung size. Development. 2019 12 16; 146(24). Sui P, Li R, Zhang Y, Tan C, Garg A, Verheyden JM, Sun X. PMID: 31767619.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    9. Consider the lung as a sensory organ: A tip from pulmonary neuroendocrine cells. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2019; 132:67-89. Garg A, Sui P, Verheyden JM, Young LR, Sun X. PMID: 30797518.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    10. Pdgfra marks a cellular lineage with distinct contributions to myofibroblasts in lung maturation and injury response. Elife. 2018 09 04; 7. Li R, Bernau K, Sandbo N, Gu J, Preissl S, Sun X. PMID: 30178747.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 30     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    11. Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells amplify allergic asthma responses. Science. 2018 06 08; 360(6393). Sui P, Wiesner DL, Xu J, Zhang Y, Lee J, Van Dyken S, Lashua A, Yu C, Klein BS, Locksley RM, Deutsch G, Sun X. PMID: 29599193.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 69     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    12. FGF receptors control alveolar elastogenesis. Development. 2017 12 15; 144(24):4563-4572. Li R, Herriges JC, Chen L, Mecham RP, Sun X. PMID: 29122839.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    13. Brief Report: Changes in Levels of Inflammation After Antiretroviral Treatment During Early HIV Infection in AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study A5217. . 2017 05 01; 75(1):137-141. Macatangay BJ, Yang M, Sun X, Morton J, De Gruttola V, Little S, Hogan C, Rinaldo CR, A5217 Team . PMID: 28198712.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    14. TET-mediated DNA demethylation controls gastrulation by regulating Lefty-Nodal signalling. Nature. 2016 10 27; 538(7626):528-532. Dai HQ, Wang BA, Yang L, Chen JJ, Zhu GC, Sun ML, Ge H, Wang R, Chapman DL, Tang F, Sun X, Xu GL. PMID: 27760115.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 53     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    15. E3 ubiquitin ligase RFWD2 controls lung branching through protein-level regulation of ETV transcription factors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 07 05; 113(27):7557-62. Zhang Y, Yokoyama S, Herriges JC, Zhang Z, Young RE, Verheyden JM, Sun X. PMID: 27335464.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    16. Syndactyly in a novel Fras1(rdf) mutant results from interruption of signals for interdigital apoptosis. Dev Dyn. 2016 Apr; 245(4):497-507. Hines EA, Verheyden JM, Lashua AJ, Larson SC, Branchfield K, Domyan ET, Gao J, Harvey JF, Herriges JC, Hu L, Mcculley DJ, Throckmorton K, Yokoyama S, Ikeda A, Xu G, Sun X. PMID: 26813283.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    17. Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells function as airway sensors to control lung immune response. Science. 2016 Feb 12; 351(6274):707-10. Branchfield K, Nantie L, Verheyden JM, Sui P, Wienhold MD, Sun X. PMID: 26743624.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 63     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    18. A three-dimensional study of alveologenesis in mouse lung. Dev Biol. 2016 Jan 15; 409(2):429-41. Branchfield K, Li R, Lungova V, Verheyden JM, McCulley D, Sun X. PMID: 26632490.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 56     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    19. FGF-Regulated ETV Transcription Factors Control FGF-SHH Feedback Loop in Lung Branching. Dev Cell. 2015 Nov 09; 35(3):322-32. Herriges JC, Verheyden JM, Zhang Z, Sui P, Zhang Y, Anderson MJ, Swing DA, Zhang Y, Lewandoski M, Sun X. PMID: 26555052.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 33     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    20. In vitro model alveoli from photodegradable microsphere templates. Biomater Sci. 2015 Jun; 3(6):821-32. Lewis KJ, Tibbitt MW, Zhao Y, Branchfield K, Sun X, Balasubramaniam V, Anseth KS. PMID: 26221842.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    21. The pulmonary mesenchyme directs lung development. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2015 Jun; 32:98-105. McCulley D, Wienhold M, Sun X. PMID: 25796078.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 52     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    22. Ontogeny of the mouse vocal fold epithelium. Dev Biol. 2015 Mar 15; 399(2):263-82. Lungova V, Verheyden JM, Herriges J, Sun X, Thibeault SL. PMID: 25601450.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    23. Comparison of temporal transcriptomic profiles from immature lungs of two rat strains reveals a viral response signature associated with chronic lung dysfunction. PLoS One. 2014; 9(12):e112997. Hines EA, Szakaly RJ, Leng N, Webster AT, Verheyden JM, Lashua AJ, Kendziorski C, Rosenthal LA, Gern JE, Sorkness RL, Sun X, Lemanske RF. PMID: 25437859.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    24. Interpretation of transplant biopsies and immune responses following Treg cell therapy. Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2014 Dec; 19(6):616-20. Tang Q, Kang SM. PMID: 19097117.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    25. Tissue crosstalk in lung development. J Cell Biochem. 2014 Sep; 115(9):1469-77. Hines EA, Sun X. PMID: 24644090.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 39     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    26. The transcription factor Etv5 controls TH17 cell development and allergic airway inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jul; 134(1):204-14. Pham D, Sehra S, Sun X, Kaplan MH. PMID: 24486067.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    27. Establishment of smooth muscle and cartilage juxtaposition in the developing mouse upper airways. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26; 110(48):19444-9. Hines EA, Jones MK, Verheyden JM, Harvey JF, Sun X. PMID: 24218621.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    28. Viral bronchiolitis in young rats causes small airway lesions that correlate with reduced lung function. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Nov; 49(5):808-13. Sorkness RL, Szakaly RJ, Rosenthal LA, Sullivan R, Gern JE, Lemanske RF, Sun X. PMID: 23763491.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    29. Molecular determinants of lung development. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013 Apr; 10(2):S12-6. Morrisey EE, Cardoso WV, Lane RH, Rabinovitch M, Abman SH, Ai X, Albertine KH, Bland RD, Chapman HA, Checkley W, Epstein JA, Kintner CR, Kumar M, Minoo P, Mariani TJ, McDonald DM, Mukouyama YS, Prince LS, Reese J, Rossant J, Shi W, Sun X, Werb Z, Whitsett JA, Gail D, Blaisdell CJ, Lin QS. PMID: 23607856.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 33     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. Beta-catenin (CTNNB1) induces Bmp expression in urogenital sinus epithelium and participates in prostatic bud initiation and patterning. Dev Biol. 2013 Apr 15; 376(2):125-35. Mehta V, Schmitz CT, Keil KP, Joshi PS, Abler LL, Lin TM, Taketo MM, Sun X, Vezina CM. PMID: 23396188.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    31. Roundabout receptors are critical for foregut separation from the body wall. Dev Cell. 2013 Jan 14; 24(1):52-63. Domyan ET, Branchfield K, Gibson DA, Naiche LA, Lewandoski M, Tessier-Lavigne M, Ma L, Sun X. PMID: 23328398.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    32. The essential role of Mbd5 in the regulation of somatic growth and glucose homeostasis in mice. PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e47358. Du Y, Liu B, Guo F, Xu G, Ding Y, Liu Y, Sun X, Xu G. PMID: 23077600.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    33. Genome-scale study of transcription factor expression in the branching mouse lung. Dev Dyn. 2012 Sep; 241(9):1432-53. Herriges JC, Yi L, Hines EA, Harvey JF, Xu G, Gray PA, Ma Q, Sun X. PMID: 22711520.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    34. Molecular modeling, organ culture and reverse genetics for a newly identified human rhinovirus C. Nat Med. 2011 May; 17(5):627-32. Bochkov YA, Palmenberg AC, Lee WM, Rathe JA, Amineva SP, Sun X, Pasic TR, Jarjour NN, Liggett SB, Gern JE. PMID: 21483405.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 94     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    35. Signaling through BMP receptors promotes respiratory identity in the foregut via repression of Sox2. Development. 2011 Mar; 138(5):971-81. Domyan ET, Ferretti E, Throckmorton K, Mishina Y, Nicolis SK, Sun X. PMID: 21303850.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 80     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    36. The microRNA-processing enzyme Dicer is dispensable for somite segmentation but essential for limb bud positioning. Dev Biol. 2011 Mar 15; 351(2):254-65. Zhang Z, O'Rourke JR, McManus MT, Lewandoski M, Harfe BD, Sun X. PMID: 21256124.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    37. Patterning and plasticity in development of the respiratory lineage. Dev Dyn. 2011 Mar; 240(3):477-85. Domyan ET, Sun X. PMID: 21337460.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 29     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    38. Preaxial polydactyly: interactions among ETV, TWIST1 and HAND2 control anterior-posterior patterning of the limb. Development. 2010 Oct; 137(20):3417-26. Zhang Z, Sui P, Dong A, Hassell J, Cserjesi P, Chen YT, Behringer RR, Sun X. PMID: 20826535.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    39. beta-Catenin promotes respiratory progenitor identity in mouse foregut. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22; 106(38):16287-92. Harris-Johnson KS, Domyan ET, Vezina CM, Sun X. PMID: 19805295.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 105     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    40. Conditional gene inactivation reveals roles for Fgf10 and Fgfr2 in establishing a normal pattern of epithelial branching in the mouse lung. Dev Dyn. 2009 Aug; 238(8):1999-2013. Abler LL, Mansour SL, Sun X. PMID: 19618463.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 67     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    41. FGF-regulated Etv genes are essential for repressing Shh expression in mouse limb buds. Dev Cell. 2009 Apr; 16(4):607-13. Zhang Z, Verheyden JM, Hassell JA, Sun X. PMID: 19386269.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 76     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    42. Tubby-like protein 3 (TULP3) regulates patterning in the mouse embryo through inhibition of Hedgehog signaling. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 May 15; 18(10):1740-54. Norman RX, Ko HW, Huang V, Eun CM, Abler LL, Zhang Z, Sun X, Eggenschwiler JT. PMID: 19286674.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 47     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    43. An Fgf/Gremlin inhibitory feedback loop triggers termination of limb bud outgrowth. Nature. 2008 Jul 31; 454(7204):638-41. Verheyden JM, Sun X. PMID: 18594511.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 70     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    44. Dicer function is essential for lung epithelium morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 14; 103(7):2208-13. Harris KS, Zhang Z, McManus MT, Harfe BD, Sun X. PMID: 16452165.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 199     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    45. Emerging from the fog: hypotheses and paradigms in developmental biology--the Society for Developmental Biology 2005 Annual Meeting Report. Dev Biol. 2006 Jan 15; 289(2):273-82. Sun X, Barolo S, Bilder D, Montgomery M, Sinha N. PMID: 16337185.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    46. Conditional inactivation of Fgfr1 in mouse defines its role in limb bud establishment, outgrowth and digit patterning. Development. 2005 Oct; 132(19):4235-45. Verheyden JM, Lewandoski M, Deng C, Harfe BD, Sun X. PMID: 16120640.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 40     Fields:    Translation:Animals
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