Dr. Xiaofeng Qi obtained his Ph.D. degree in Genetics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. He joined UT Southwestern in 2017 as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Dr. Xiaochun Li’s lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics. In 2023, Dr. Qi transitioned to the Department of Molecular Biology as an Assistant Professor.

During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Qi focused on two signaling pathways closely associated with cancer: the Hedgehog (HH) pathway and the Wnt pathway. By determining the cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of key components in HH signaling pathways, such as HH, Patched-1 and Smoothened, Dr. Qi uncovered the mechanism of HH signal transduction from the extracellular space to the cell. In the Wnt signaling pathway, Dr. Qi identified Calreticulin as a novel binding partner of the Wnt protein and elucidated the mechanisms underlying Wnt morphogen biogenesis.

Currently, Dr. Qi’s lab continues to concentrate on signaling pathways, particularly those involved in immune regulation in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and conduct cutting-edge studies on essential protein complexes using biophysical and cell biological approaches. Leveraging techniques such as cryo-EM and AlphaFold, Dr. Qi aims to identify new regulators in the TME by analyzing protein complexes purified endogenously from natural sources. The results of this proposed research hold significant promise for enhancing our understanding of cancer biology and facilitating the development of new reagents for cancer therapies.

Dr. Qi is a Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Medical Research and was named one of the 2023 CPRIT Scholars in the First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member program.

Research Interest

  • Cancer
  • Drug Discovery
  • Membrane Protein
  • Structural Biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Expression, Purification and Structure Determination of Human PTCH1-HH-N Complexes. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Hedgehog Signaling

Qi, X., Schmiege, P., Esparza, L., Li, X. (2022). Humana New York, NY

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow