Dr. Xu obtained Ph.D. at University of Southern California in 2008, where he worked with Dr. Michel Baudry studying the interaction between glutamate receptors and calpain and its implications in brain functions. He then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Tom Südhof at HHMI and Stanford University where he started to develop molecular tools for exploring brain circuits and used the tools to address questions related to memory. He joined the department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern in Dec. 2014.
Dr. Xu is interested in the neuronal mechanisms underlying the basic cognitive processes. He focuses on the circuit level with the goal of bridging cellular and synaptic phenomena to high-level brain functions. The specific questions include the encoding, retrieval and generalization of memories and the brain’s executive control over the selection of behavioral programs.
- Brain Connectivity
- Generalization of memory
- Neuronal mechanisms underlying psychosis
- Technology development
- Conditional neuroligin-2 knockout in adult medial prefrontal cortex links chronic changes in synaptic inhibition to cognitive impairments.
- Liang J, Xu W, Hsu YT, Yee AX, Chen L, Südhof TC Mol. Psychiatry 2015 Mar
- A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization.
- Xu W, Südhof TC Science 2013 Mar 339 6125 1290-5
- Simultaneous monitoring of presynaptic transmitter release and postsynaptic receptor trafficking reveals an enhancement of presynaptic activity in metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated long-term depression.
- Xu W, Tse YC, Dobie FA, Baudry M, Craig AM, Wong TP, Wang YT J. Neurosci. 2013 Mar 33 13 5867-77
- Distinct neuronal coding schemes in memory revealed by selective erasure of fast synchronous synaptic transmission.
- Xu W, Morishita W, Buckmaster PS, Pang ZP, Malenka RC, Südhof TC Neuron 2012 Mar 73 5 990-1001
- Calpain-mediated mGluR1alpha truncation: a key step in excitotoxicity.
- Xu W, Wong TP, Chery N, Gaertner T, Wang YT, Baudry M Neuron 2007 Feb 53 3 399-412
- Synaptotagmin-1- and Synaptotagmin-7-Dependent Fusion Mechanisms Target Synaptic Vesicles to Kinetically Distinct Endocytic Pathways.
- Li YC, Chanaday NL, Xu W, Kavalali ET Neuron 2016 Dec
- Synaptotagmin-1 and synaptotagmin-7 trigger synchronous and asynchronous phases of neurotransmitter release.
- Bacaj T, Wu D, Yang X, Morishita W, Zhou P, Xu W, Malenka RC, Südhof TC Neuron 2013 Nov 80 4 947-59
- Rapid single-step induction of functional neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.
- Zhang Y, Pak C, Han Y, Ahlenius H, Zhang Z, Chanda S, Marro S, Patzke C, Acuna C, Covy J, Xu W, Yang N, Danko T, Chen L, Wernig M, Südhof TC Neuron 2013 Jun 78 5 785-98
- Candidate autism gene screen identifies critical role for cell-adhesion molecule CASPR2 in dendritic arborization and spine development.
- Anderson GR, Galfin T, Xu W, Aoto J, Malenka RC, Südhof TC Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012 Oct 109 44 18120-5
- CSPa knockout causes neurodegeneration by impairing SNAP-25 function.
- Sharma M, Burré J, Bronk P, Zhang Y, Xu W, Südhof TC EMBO J. 2012 Feb 31 4 829-41
Honors & Awards
- K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, NIH
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2008)
- Society for Neuroscience (2003)