Dr. Chang Qing Xia is a research assistant professor in the Department of Pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine. He received his MD from Weifang Medical College in Shandong, China, and his PhD from the Institute of Hematology at Beijing University in Beijing, China. He has received a two-year $570,000 grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The funds are part of a JDRF program designed to fast-track scientific discoveries. Dr. Xia is currently partnering with industry to test a diabetes prevention therapy and move it rapidly into clinical testing in people if preliminary findings prove promising.
Dr. Xia’s research focuses on the role of dendritic cells (DC) in immune regulation. Depending upon DC’s maturation status, DC can be immunogenic or tolerogenic when interacting with T cells. Dr. Xia’s DC-related research includes the examination of DC cell biology, tolerogenic DC development, and the use of DC immunotherapy for autoimmune diabetes in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model. Dr. Xia’s research also examines the mechanism of steady-state apoptosis and how this process regulates immune response. The application of steady-state apoptotic cells to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance is a treatment aspect under examination by Dr. Xia’s laboratory. Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a clinical procedure that induces apoptosis, or controlled cell death, of white blood cells collected through leukapheresis. ECP has been used for the treatment of many clinical conditions. Dr. Xia’s lab is also conducting a pre-clinical study in NOD mice to evaluate experimental ECP therapy in diabetes prevention and reversal.
His current research includes two externally funded grant projects. First, he is researching the development of ECP preventive and therapeutic approaches for type 1 diabetes, as funded by the JDRF. He is also investigating the role of beta cell antigenic epitopes in dendritic cell-based T1D immunotherapy, funded by the NIH. In addition, Dr. Xia is researching drugs to aid in controlling inflammation and immune regulation, such as IL-17 antagonists. Lastly, he is investigating the development of thioredoxin-based T1D therapy.