Xin Cai, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, joins our central nervous system disease-oriented team. Dr. Cai earned both his B.A. and M.A. from Harvard University, followed by the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He completed his residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he also completed a postdoc fellowship studying cancer metabolism. Dr. Cai has earned many awards and honors, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Predoctoral Fellowship, ABR Holman Research Pathway Fellow, and NIH/NCI K99/R00 Pathway to Early Independence Award.

Dr. Cai will split his time between the clinic and the Cai Lab, where he is the principal investigator.


Postdoctoral Fellowship
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 2021, Radiation Oncology
Graduate School
Harvard University (2009), Chemistry
Medical School
UT Southwestern Medical School (2016)
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2017), Radiation Oncology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2021), Radiation Oncology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

A tissue injury repair pathway distinct but parallel to host pathogen defense
Liu S, Hur YH, Cai X, Cong Q, Yang Y, Xu C, Bilate AM, Gonzales KAU, Cowley C, Hurwitz B, Luo JD, Tseng T, Gur-Cohen S, Sribour M, Omelchenko T, Levorse J, Pasoli HA, Thompson CB, Mucida D, Fuchs E bioRxiv 2022
Fibroblast pyruvate carboxylase is required for collagen production in the tumour microenvironment.
Schwörer S, Pavlova NN, Cimino FV, King B, Cai X, Sizemore GM, Thompson CB, Nat Metab 2021 Nov 3 11 1484-1499
Proton Radiotherapy for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancers with Palliative Quad Shot.
Ma J, Lok BH, Zong J, Gutiontov SI, Cai X, Bell AC, Shcherba M, Xiao H, Sherman EJ, Tsai CJ, Riaz N, McBride SM, Cahlon O, Lee NY, Int J Part Ther 2018 4 4 10-19
Phosphorylation of innate immune adaptor proteins MAVS, STING, and TRIF induces IRF3 activation.
Liu S, Cai X, Wu J, Cong Q, Chen X, Li T, Du F, Ren J, Wu Y, Grishin N, Chen ZJ Science 2015 Jan
TLR3 deficiency in herpes simplex encephalitis: High allelic heterogeneity and recurrence risk.
Lim HK, Seppänen M, Hautala T, Ciancanelli MJ, Itan Y, Lafaille FG, Dell W, Lorenzo L, Byun M, Pauwels E, Rönnelid Y, Cai X, Boucherit S, Jouanguy E, Paetau A, Lebon P, Rozenberg F, Tardieu M, Abel L, Yildiran A, Vergison A, Roivainen R, Etzioni A, Tienari PJ, Casanova JL, Zhang SY Neurology 2014 Oct
Prion-like Polymerization Underlies Signal Transduction in Antiviral Immune Defense and Inflammasome Activation.
Cai X, Chen J, Xu H, Liu S, Jiang QX, Halfmann R, Chen ZJ Cell 2014 Mar 156 6 1207-22
MAVS recruits multiple ubiquitin E3 ligases to activate antiviral signaling cascades.
Liu S, Chen J, Cai X, Wu J, Chen X, Wu YT, Sun L, Chen ZJ, Elife 2013 Aug 2 e00785
Incomplete specialty referral among children in community health centers.
Zuckerman KE, Cai X, Perrin JM, Donelan K, J Pediatr 2011 Jan 158 1 24-30
N2'-->p3' phosphoramidate glycerol nucleic acid as a potential alternative genetic system.
Chen JJ, Cai X, Szostak JW, J Am Chem Soc 2009 Feb 131 6 2119-21
Enzymatic primer-extension with glycerol-nucleoside triphosphates on DNA templates.
Chen JJ, Tsai CH, Cai X, Horhota AT, McLaughlin LW, Szostak JW, PLoS One 2009 4 3 e4949

Honors & Awards

  • ABR Holman Research Pathway Fellow
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Predoctoral Fellowship
  • NIH/NCI K99/R00 Pathway to Early Independence Award

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) (2016)
  • New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) (2016)
  • Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) (2016)