Download Curriculum Vitae

I am a practicing neuropathologist and assistant professor in the Pathology Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. I received my medical degree from Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China, PhD degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and pathology residency and fellowship training at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO.

My main areas of clinical expertise and research focus on the diagnosis of brain tumors and peripheral muscle and nerve diseases. UTSW Medical Center is the largest referring center for muscle and nerve biopsies in Texas and receives biopsies specimens from over 100 institutions over a 6-state area. My research focuses on the development of novel immunohistochemical tools to improve the diagnostic yield of muscle and nerve biopsies. We are the first and only clinical laboratory in the United States that has validated Morin stain for the diagnosis of macrophagic myofasciitis, a treatable, vaccine related inflammatory condition. More recently, we published distinguishing features of diabetic neuropathy using C5b-9 immunostain in peripheral nerve biopsies, this immunostain may significantly increase the diagnostic yield of peripheral nerve biopsies.

Meningioma is another area of my key research interest. Meningioma arises from the covering of the brain and is the most common central nervous system tumor. Most are benign. However, approximately 5-10% fail surgery and radiation therapy and undergo treatment refractory progression. There is currently no effective chemotherapy for meningioma. We have identified tumor necrosis as the dominant predictor for post radiation recurrence in meningioma, and propose using carbonic anhydrase IX as a marker for radioresistant cells. Current research focuses on mechanism and new therapeutic approaches for meniningioma with radiorefractory progression.


Medical School
Beijing Medical University, China (2001)
Graduate School
Wesleyan University (2008), Biology
Postdoctoral Fellowship
University of Connecticut Health Center (2010), Neuroscience
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2014), Anatomic/neuropathology
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2015), Surgical Pathology

Research Interest

  • Meningioma
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Tumor ischemia and radio-resistance


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Adult Brainstem Gliomas With H3K27M Mutation: Radiology, Pathology, and Prognosis.
Daoud EV, Rajaram V, Cai C, Oberle RJ, Martin GR, Raisanen JM, White CL, Foong C, Mickey BE, Pan E, Hatanpaa KJ J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 2018 Feb
Rapid progression to glioblastoma in a subset of IDH-mutated astrocytomas: a genome-wide analysis.
Richardson TE, Snuderl M, Serrano J, Karajannis MA, Heguy A, Oliver D, Raisanen JM, Maher EA, Pan E, Barnett S, Cai C, Habib AA, Bachoo RM, Hatanpaa KJ J. Neurooncol. 2017 Apr
Unusual skull tumors with psammomatoid bodies: a diagnostic challenge.
Richardson TE, Georgescu MM, Kapur P, Hwang H, Barnett SL, Raisanen JM, Cai C, Hatanpaa KJ Clin. Neuropathol. 2017 Jan
Simpson Grade I-III Resection of Spinal Atypical (World Health Organization Grade II) Meningiomas is Associated With Symptom Resolution and Low Recurrence.
Sun SQ, Cai C, Ravindra VM, Gamble P, Yarbrough CK, Dacey RG, Dowling JL, Zipfel GJ, Wright NM, Santiago P, Robinson CG, Schmidt MH, Kim AH, Ray WZ Neurosurgery 2015 Jun 76 6 739-46
Posterior fossa tumor with distinct choroid plexus papilloma and ependymoma components.
Cai C, Stephens BH, Leonard JR, Dahiya S Clin. Neuropathol. 2015 May 34 3 132-5
Regional ischemic immune myopathy: a paraneoplastic dermatomyopathy.
Cai C, Alshehri A, Choksi R, Pestronk A J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 2014 Dec 73 12 1126-33

Honors & Awards

  • Keifer Graduate Research Award, Wesleyan University
  • Leadership Emerging in Academic Department (LEAD)
    Junior Faculty LEAD Program for Physician &Scientists
  • Outstanding Student Award, Beijing Medical University

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Chinese American Pathologists Association (CAPA) (2018)
  • Texas Medical Association (2017)
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP) (2015)
  • American Board of Pathology (ABP) (2014)
  • Member of American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP) (2014)
  • Member of United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) (2014)