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Education and Training:

Premedicine in Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin, China (1986-89)

M.D. (Summa Cum Laude), Tianjin Medical University, China (1989-94)

Internship, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, China (1992-94)

Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, China (1994-00)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA (2000-03)

Qiang Tian, M.D., Ph.D.
Affiliate Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine

Senior Research Scientist
Cancer and Stem Cell Group Leader
Institute for Systems Biology

Office Address:
Institute for Systems Biology
1441 N 34th St.
Seattle, WA 98103-8904

Phone: (206) 732-1308
Fax: (206) 543-3560
E-mail: qtian@systemsbiology.org


Hematopoiesis, cancer and stem cells, Wnt signaling, biomarker discovery, systems biology


Dr. Tian directs the cancer and stem cell biology group at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) employing systems approach—with the empowering genomic, proteomic, and computational strategies—to the interrogation of both normal and malignant developmental processes. The goal is to uncover novel stem cell and cancer markers and mechanisms governing stem cell self-renewal vs. differentiation. Dr. Tian has successfully applied state of the art high throughput sequencing, DNA microarray, and mass spectrometry (MS) based quantitative proteomic approaches for the molecular dissection of various developmental stages of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), embryonic stem cells (ESC), and more recently cancer stem cells isolated from leukemia and brain tumor patients.

The second area of research focuses on a key signal transduction pathway—the Wnt/b-catenin pathway—in the context of stem cell development and tumorigenesis. The protein-protein interaction network therein has been elucidated by using sophisticated proteomic approaches; novel b-catenin interacting partners and phosphorylation events (e.g. Ser552 by Akt) have been identified, leading to an intriguing new paradigm for b-catenin stabilization with potential clinical applications targeting cancer stem cells. Functional characterizations of novel pathway components are being actively pursued in model organisms using zebra fish and mouse genetics.

The third area of research concerns blood molecular fingerprints for early disease diagnosis. Building upon our extensive collection of deep transcriptomic data from a variety of mouse and human tissues, a panel of tissue-specific, secreted proteins can be selected for each organ, with peptides representing each proteins synthesized. Since blood serves as a window for diseases and the state of progression of these diseases, a MS-based proteomic strategy using this panel of molecular fingerprints can be applied to examine cancer patient blood samples for the identification of blood biomarkers that can be used for early detection and stratification of cancer.

All these research efforts are cultivated in an interdisciplinary team environment leveraging supports from several NIH center/program project grants in close collaboration with leaders in systems biology (Dr. Leroy Hood), stem cell biology (Drs. Irving Weissman and Michael Clarke, Stanford; Dr. Linheng Li, Stowers), neuro-oncology (Dr. Greg Foltz, Swedish Hospital), and nanotechnology (Dr. Jim Heath, Caltech). Expertise and knowledge gained from these studies are readily applicable to other biological and disease systems as exemplified by several ongoing and planned collaborations in the Division and UW-ISCRM (Reems, Blau, Ware, Moon, and Abkowitz).


Yan X, Ma L, Yi D, Yoon JG, Diercks A, Foltz G, Price ND, Hood LE, Tian Q.  A CD133-related gene expression signature identifies an aggressive glioblastoma subtype with excessive mutations.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Tu LC, Foltz G, Lin E, Hood L, Tian Q.  Targeting stem cells-clinical implications for cancer therapy.  Curr Stem Cell Res Ther.  4(2):147-5, (2009)

Majeti R§, Becker MW§, Tian Q§, Lee TL, Yan X, Liu R, Chiang JH, Hood L, Clarke MF, Weissman IL.  Dysregulated gene expression networks in human acute myelogenous leukemia stem cells.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.  2009, 106(9):3396-401. (§equal contribution)

Ghosh D, Yan X, Tian Q.  Gene regulatory networks in embryonic stem cells and brain development.  Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 87(2):182-91, 2009

Reynolds JM, Pappu BP, Peng J, Martinez GJ, Zhang Y, Chung Y, Ma L, Yang XO, Nurieva RI, Tian Q, Dong C.  Toll-like receptor 2 signaling in CD4(+) T lymphocytes promotes T helper 17  responses and regulates the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease.  Immunity. 32(5):692-702, 2010. Epub 2010 Apr 29

Chung Y, Chang SH, Martinez GJ, Yang XO, Nurieva R, Kang HS, Ma L, Watowich SS, Jetten AM, Tian Q, Dong C.  Critical regulation of early Th17 cell differentiation by interleukin-1 signaling.  Immunity. 30(4):576-87, 2009. Epub 2009 Apr 9

Liu X, Alexiou M, Martin-Orozco N, Chung Y, Nurieva RI, Ma L, Tian Q, Kollias G, Lu S, Graf D, Dong C.  Cutting edge: A critical role of B and T lymphocyte attenuator in peripheral T cell tolerance induction.  J Immunol.  182(8):4516-20, 2009

Yamazaki T, Yang XO, Chung Y, Fukunaga A, Nurieva R, Pappu B, Martin-Orozco N, Kang HS, Ma L, Panopoulos AD, Craig S, Watowich SS, Jetten AM, Tian Q, Dong C.  CCR6 regulates the migration of inflammatory and regulatory T cells.  J Immunol. 181(12):8391-401, 2008

Nurieva RI, Chung Y, Hwang D, Yang XO, Kang HS, Ma L, Wang YH, Watowich SS, Jetten AM, Tian Q, Dong C.  Generation of T follicular helper cells is mediated by interleukin-21 but independent of T helper 1, 2, or 17 cell lineages. Immunity. 29(1):138-49,  2008. Epub 2008 Jul 3

Price ND, Foltz G, Madan A, Hood L, and Tian Q. Systems Biology and Cancer Stem Cells. J Cell Mol Med. Nov 20, 2007. [Epub ahead of print].

Hu, Z., Hood, L., and Tian Q. Quantitative proteomic approaches for biomarker discovery. Proteomics Clin. Appl. 1, 1036-1041, 2007

Ma L, Sun B, Hood L, and Tian Q. Molecular profiling of stem cells. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry 378, 24-32, 2007

Tian Q, Stepaniants SB, Mao M, Weng L, Feetham MC, Doyle MJ, Yi EC, Dai H, Thorsson V, Eng J, et al.  Integrated genomic and proteomic analyses of gene expression in Mammalian cells. Mol Cell Proteomics 3, 960-969, 2004

Park IK, He Y, Lin F, Laerum OD, Tian Q, Bumgarner R, Klug CA, Li K, Kuhr C, Doyle MJ, et al. Differential gene expression profiling of adult murine hematopoietic stem cells. Blood 99, 488-498, 2002

Tian Q. Proteomic exploration of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Current opinion in molecular therapeutics 8, 191-197, 2006

Tian Q, Feetham MC, Tao WA, He XC, Li L, Aebersold R, and Hood L. Proteomic analysis identifies that 14-3-3zeta interacts with beta-catenin and facilitates its activation by Akt. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 15370-15375, 2004

He XC, Zhang J, Tong WG, Tawfik O, Ross J, Scoville DH, Tian Q, Zeng X, He X, Wiedemann LM, et al.  BMP signaling inhibits intestinal stem cell self-renewal through suppression of Wnt-beta-catenin signaling. Nature genetics 36, 1117-1121, 2004

Tian Q, He XC, Hood L, and Li L. Bridging the BMP and Wnt pathways by PI3 kinase/Akt and 14-3-3zeta. Cell Cycle 4(2), 215-216, 2005

He XC, Yin T, Grindley JC, Tian Q, Sato T, Tao WA, Dirisina R, Porter-Westpfahl KS, Hembree M, Johnson T, et al.  PTEN-deficient intestinal stem cells initiate intestinal polyposis. Nature genetics 39, 189-198, 2007

Yang XO, Pappu BP, Nurieva R, Akimzhanov A, Kang HS, Chung Y, Ma L, Shah B, Panopoulos AD, Schluns KS, Watowich SS, Tian Q, Jetten AM, and Dong C.  T helper 17 lineage differentiation is programmed by orphan nuclear receptors ROR alpha and ROR gamma. Immunity 28, 29-39, 2008

Nurieva R, Yang XO, Martinez G, Zhang Y, Panopoulos AD, Ma L, Schluns K, Tian Q, Watowich SS, Jetten AM and Dong C.  Essential autocrine regulation by IL-21 in the generation of inflammatory T cells. Nature 448, 480-483, 2007

Park H, Li Z, Yang XO, Chang SH, Nurieva R, Wang YH, Wang Y, Hood L, Zhu Z, Tian Q, and Dong C.  A distinct lineage of CD4 T cells regulates tissue inflammation by producing interleukin 17. Nature immunology 6, 1133-1141, 2005