Haineng Xu, PhD

Haineng Xu, PhD

Dr. Haineng Xu is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Xu graduated from Chinese Academy of Sciences, where his research focus was on designing and optimizing the conditionally replicated adenovirus to specially suppress liver cancer cells and lung cancer stem cells, utilizing small molecular drugs to target gastric cancer stem cells. Dr. Xu is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Fiona Simpkins to develop novel therapeutic strategies by exploiting the genetic vulnerabilities in ovarian cancer. Combination of WEE1 and ATR inhibition was explored to treat the PARP inhibitor- and platinum- resistant, CCNE1 overexpressing ovarian cancers. The novel orthotopic patient-derived xenograft models are utilized in the preclinical trials to evaluate the drug efficacy and the mice tolerability. Treatment schedule optimization of the combination of WEE1 and ATR inhibitors further improve its efficacy and drug tolerance of the mice. The ultimate goal is to identify new therapies for women with ovarian cancer in the lab and bring them to the clinic.

Haineng Xu, PhD

Dr. Haineng Xu received his B.S. degree from Anhui Normal University, China, and his Ph.D. from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Xu is currently a Research Associate in Ovarian Cancer Research Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Penn Medicine). During Ph.D. training, Dr. Xu focused on designing and optimizing the conditionally replicated adenovirus to specially replicated in and suppress lung and bladder cancer stem cells, overcoming drug resistance. In his prior postdoctoral training in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, his main projects are overcoming drug resistance in glioma by targeting cancer microenvironment and glioma stem cells. Dr. Xu joined Dr. Fiona Simpkins laboratory in Penn ovarian Cancer Research Center to develop novel therapeutic strategies by exploiting the genetic vulnerabilities in ovarian cancer. He utilized the novel orthotopic patient-derived xenograft models in the preclinical trials to evaluate the drug efficacy and the mice tolerability. He explored that combination of WEE1 and ATR inhibition is effective in treating platinum- resistant ovarian and endometrial cancers and identified CCNE1 level as a biomarker for the treatment. He also discovered that the combination inhibition of PARP and ATR was able to overcome PARP resistance in ovarian cancers. Dr. Xu is currently discovering new treatments for ARID1A mutant clear-cell ovarian cancer (CCOC) by combination of DNA damage inhibitors with BET inhibitor. He is also exploring new chromatin modifiers for ATRi combination to induce synthetic lethality in ARID1A mutated CCOCs by a CRISPR-Cas9 screen in mutagenesis of functional protein domains. The ultimate goal is to identify new therapies for women with clear cell ovarian cancer in the lab and bring them to the clinic. Dr. Xu’s research has been supported by Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) and Kaleidoscope of Hope (KOH). He is a previous recipient of OCRA Ann and Sol Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award.