2005 Recipient — Deyin Xing, MD, PhD

Deyin Xing, MD, PhD

Models to Study Hereditary Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

Epithelial ovarian cancers are thought to arise as a result of the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations that transform ovarian surface epithelial cells. Approximately 10 percent of epithelial ovarian cancers are hereditary and due to mutations in the BRCA1 gene. The more common non-hereditary ovarian cancer and hereditary ovarian cancers are similar in some respects, but patients with hereditary cancers develop the disease earlier and display a longer recurrence-free interval. Most BRCA1-associated ovarian cancers are of the serous subtype and have a disrupted p53 pathway. Little is known about the mechanisms that underlie BRCA1-associated ovarian tumor development, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate experimental model system. Dr. Xing has developed mouse ovarian cancer cell lines with and without the BRCA1 mutation to characterize the genetic alterations that occur during tumor development. He also plans to develop an animal model with the BRCA1 mutation and other genes of interest. The goal is to understand the early stages of tumor formation and to use the model to test treatments.


Deyin Xing, M.D., Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He earned his medical degree in 1999 from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. Following medical school, he spent three years completing a doctoral degree in oncology, under the supervision of Dr. Dongxin Lin, at Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. In 2003, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Sandra Orsulic as a research fellow in the department of pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where his research focused on the development of genetically engineered mouse models of ovarian cancer and of leiomyosarcoma. In 2007, Dr. Xing joined the laboratory of Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Phillip Sharp at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his translational research involved the delivery of siRNAs to silence genes in genetically defined murine ovarian tumor models.

Dr. Xing resumed his clinical career as an anatomic pathology resident in 2011 in the department of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2014, he came to Hopkins for a gynecologic pathology fellowship training mentored by Dr. Robert Kurman, Dr. Biggy Ronnett and Dr. Russell Vang. Dr. Xing’s clinical and translational research centers on novel diagnostic and prognostic markers of gynecologic neoplasms and molecular alterations of these tumors. He is currently an editorial board member for Diagnostic Pathology (Section Editor) and Journal of Pathology and Therapeutics, and a review editor for Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (Molecular Medicine).