Xu, Wenhao

Wenhao Xu

Wenhao Xu

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor of Research, Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology


  • BS, Histology and Embryology, Shanghai 2nd Medical University, Shanghai, China
  • MS, Histology and Embryology, Shanghai 2nd Medical University, Shanghai, China
  • PhD, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Mn
  • Postdoc, Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Contact Information

PO Box 800734
Jordan 2223
Telephone: 982-6506
Email: wx8n@virginia.edu
Website: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/transgenic-mouse

Research Interests

Genetic engineering of murine research models by manipulating embryos, embryonic stem cells and germlines.

Research Description

My research interest is focused on genetic manipulations of embryos, embryonic stem cells and germlines for creating designer murine research models. Since 1981 when the first transgenic mouse was made, the transgenic technology has evolved a major in vivo experimental approach for biomedical research. The technology has been refined to such sophistication that the transgenes can be regulated in space and time. At present, the majority of the systemic and inheritable genetic manipulations are carried out in embryos or embryonic stem cells. Theoretically, germline genetic engineering can be accomplished in male or female germ cells at any stage of development, but is currently limited by the experimental system that can adequately support in vitro manipulation. One of my research interests is to explore and discover ways to modify germ cells or embryos of certain stages so that more efficient and effective genetic manipulation could be accomplished for both transgenic and gene targeting applications. My second research interest is to create customized murine embryonic stem cells by genetically modifying and creating ES cell lines in which utility genes (e.g. recombinases/nucleases) or loci (e.g. recombinase/nuclease recognition sites) are deliberately inserted to enable more efficient and sophisticated genetic manipulation.

Selected Publications