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Investigators and Program Directors

image of Xinxin Ding

Xinxin Ding

Lab Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, Wadsworth Center, Molecular Toxicology
Professor, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Health Sciences

Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan (1988)
Postdoctoral training: Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan


Tissue-specific deletion of the cytochrome P450 reductase (Cpr) gene in airway epithelial cells of a lung-Cpr-null mouse. Blue: nuclear staining. Arrowhead indicates region of CPR-negative brachial epithelial cells. Green: residual CPRexpressing brachial epithelial cells. The lung-Cpr-null mice are resistant to lung tumorigenesis when exposed to NNK, a tobacco-specific carcinogen; this finding indicated that target tissue metabolic activation of NNK by P450 enzymes in the lung is essential for NNK-induced carcinogenesis (Weng et al., 2007).

Research Interests

The Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology works with the overall goal to develop better approaches to the prevention of various environmental diseases, including adverse drug reactions. The research focus is on the in vivo function and mechanisms of regulation of microsomal cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, which metabolize numerous drugs, chemical carcinogens, environmental pollutants, as well as endogenous signaling molecules. Dr. Ding's team is developing novel transgenic and knockout mouse models for the determination of the roles of P450 enzymes in target tissue metabolic activation and tissue-selective toxicity, including carcinogenicity, of drugs and other xenobiotic compounds. These mouse models are also used to explore the potential biological functions and disease connections of P450 and related enzymes in various organ systems, such as the brain and the olfactory chemosensory organ.

Complementary to studies in animal models, the lab is making continuous efforts to characterize the P450s and other biotransformation enzymes expressed in human tissues, with an emphasis on the respiratory tract and the application of a genomics approach, and to identify and characterize the genetic polymorphisms of selected human P450 genes. A particularly interesting human P450 gene is CYP2A13, which is expressed selectively in the respiratory tract, and is highly active in the metabolic activation of known tobacco-related carcinogens. A long-term goal is to identify the genetic variations that predispose human subpopulations to chemical toxicity.

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Contact Information

Phone: (518) 486-2585
Fax: (518)-473-8722