Hong Xin

Assistant Professor
School of Medicine


HONG XIN, Tenure-track Assistant Professor & Doctoral Supervisor, SUStech School of Medicine. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a PhD degree in 2013. From 2014 to 2020, he conducted his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Howard Hughes Medical Medical Institute (HHMI), focusing on the biology and clinical application of circulating tumor cells (CTC liquid biopsy). He has published 18 original research articles in influential international journals such as Cell, Cancer Discovery, PNAS, EMBO Journal, Genes & Development (H-index = 16, google scholar). He also holds three international patents. He has won several academic awards such as the A*STAR JCO early career development award (Singapore, 2013), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) scholar-in-training award (USA, 2020) and others. He is frequently invited by multiple important SCI journals as an ad hoc reviewer.  



April 30th, 2013           Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences

                                 National University of Singapore

June 30th, 2006          Bachelor of Science (Life Sciences, Hons)

                                 National University of Singapore



08/2020 – present       Tenure-track Assistant Professor,

                                 School of Medicine

                                 Southern University of Science and  

                                 Technology (SUStech)

07/2014 - 05/2020       HHMI postdoctoral fellow

                                 MGH Cancer Center

                                 Harvard Medical School

04/2013 – 06/2014      Briging postdoctoral fellow


                                  National University of Singapore                            



2020                          AACR Scholar-In-Training Award, USA

2013                         JCO Career Development Award, A*STAR,


2007-2010                Junior Research Fellowship

                               Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory

2006                        LiJen Industrial Development Medal

                              (Best academic performance of the class)      

                              National University of Singapore

 2002-2006              Undergraduate Scholarship

                              Ministry of Education, Singapore



Research interests:

My research area is primarily focused on the biology and clinical applications of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC):

1. Establish patient-derived CTC mouse explant model systems (CDX) to investigate molecular mechanisms of blood-borne metastatic process in vivo.

2. Apply interdisciplinary approaches involving next generation CTC microfluidic isolation systems, single cell genomics and cancer genetic models to characterize the evolutionary transitions from primary tumor to metastatic spreading by patient CTCs.

3. Develop CTC-based tumor biomarkers for the non-invasive early detection of cancer, real-time monitoring of therapeutic response and prediction of long-term clinical outcome in patients.

4. Screen for novel therapeutic agents against CTC-mediated cancer metastasis.


Academic membership:

2013-present,Associate member,American Association for Cancer Research    (AACR)



First/Co-first author papers 

1.   Xin Hong*, Ryan J. Sullivan*, Mark Kalinich, Tanya Todorova Kwan, Shiwei Pan, Joseph A. LiCausi, John D. Milner, Linda T. Nieman, Ben S. Wittner, Uyen Ho, Tianqi Chen, Ravi Kapur, Don Lawrence, Keith T. Flaherty, Lecia V. Sequist, Sridhar Ramaswamy, David T. Miyamoto, Michael Lawrence, Anita Giobbie- Hurder, Mehmet Toner, Kurt J. Isselbacher, Shyamala Maheswaran†, and Daniel A. Haber†. Molecular signatures of circulating melanoma cells for monitoring early response to immune checkpoint therapy. PNAS. 115 (10) 2467-72(2018). (*Equal contributions; † co-corresponding authors)

2.   Xin Hong*, Nguyen Thanh Hung*, QingFeng Chen, Rui Zhang, Zandra, Hagman, Mathijs Voorhoeve and Stephen M Cohen. Opposing activities of the Ras and Hippo pathways in cellular transformation converge on regulation of YAP turnover. EMBO J. 33(21):2447-57(2014). (*Equal contributions)

3.   Nguyen Thanh Hung*, Xin Hong*, Sam Tan, Qingfeng Chen, Lifang Chan, Marc Fivaz, Stephen M Cohen and Mathijs Voorhoeve. Viral small T oncoproteins transform cells by alleviating hippo-pathway-mediated inhibition of the YAP proto-oncogene. Cell Reports. 7;8(3):707-13 (2014). (*Equal contributions)

4.   Héctor Herranz*, Xin Hong*, Nguyen Thanh Hung, P. Mathijs Voorhoeve and Stephen M Cohen. Oncogenic cooperation between SOCS family proteins and EGFR identified using a Drosophila epithelial transformation model. Genes & Development. 26(14):1602-11 (2012). (* Equal contributions)

5.   Xin Hong*, Molly Hammell*, Victor Ambros, and Stephen M Cohen. Immunopurification of Ago1 miRNPs selects for a distinct class of microRNA targets. PNAS. 106(35): 15085–90 (2009). (*Equal contributions)

Coauthor papers:

6.   Jon F Edd, Avanish Mishra, Taronish D Dubash, Stefan Herrera, Ridhwan Mohammad, E Kendall Williams, Xin Hong, Baris R Mutlu, John R Walsh, Fernanda Machado de Carvalho, Berent Aldikacti, Linda T Nieman, Shannon L Stott, Ravi Kapur, Shyamala Maheswaran, Daniel A Haber, Mehmet Toner. Microfluidic concentration and separation of circulating tumor cell clusters from large blood volumes. Lab on a Chip 20 (3): 558-567 (2020).

7.   Carlos Alberto Aya-Bonilla, Michael Morici, Xin Hong, Ashleigh Cavell McEvoy, Ryan Joseph Sullivan, James Freeman, Leslie Calapre, Muhammad Adnan Khattak, Tarek Meniawy, Michael Millward, Mel Ziman, Elin Solomonovna Gray. Molecular heterogeneity of Melanoma Circulating Tumour Cells. British Journal of Cancer 122) (7): 1059-1067 (2020).

8.   Chuan Yan*, Dalton C Brunson*, Qin Tang*, Daniel Do*, Nicolae A Iftimia, John C Moore, Madeline N Hayes, Alessandra M Welker, Elaine G Garcia, Taronish D Dubash, Xin Hong, Benjamin J Drapkin, David T Myers, Sarah Phat, Angela Volorio, Dieuwke L Marvin, Matteo Ligorio, Lyle Dershowitz, Karin M McCarthy, Murat N Karabacak, Jonathan A Fletcher, Dennis C Sgroi, John A Iafrate, Shyamala Maheswaran, Nick J Dyson, Daniel A Haber, John F Rawls, David M Langenau**. Visualizing engrafted human cancer and therapy responses in immunodeficient zebrafish. Cell 177(7):1903-1914 (2019). (*Equal contributions).

9.   David T. Miyamoto*, Richard J. Lee*, Mark Kalinich, Joseph LiCausi,    Yu Zheng, Tianqi Chen, John D. Milner, Erin Emmons, Uyen Ho, Katherine Broderick, Ben S. Wittner, Erin Silva, Sarah Javaid, Tanya Todorova Kwan, Xin Hong, Douglas M. Dahl, Jason A. Efstathiou, Matthew R. Smith, Lecia V. Sequist, Ravi Kapur, Chin-Lee Wu, Shannon L. Stott, David T. Ting, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Anita Giobbie-Hurder, Mehmet Toner, Shyamala Maheswaran**, Daniel A. Haber**. An RNA-based digital circulating tumor cell signature is predictive of drug response and early dissemination in prostate cancer. Cancer Discovery 8 (3): 288-303 (2018). (*Equal contributions; ** co-corresponding authors).

10.  Tanya T. Kwan*, Aditya Bardia*, Laura M. Spring, Anita Giobbie-Hurder, Mark Kalinich, Taronish Dubash, Tilak Sundaresan, Xin Hong, Joseph A. LiCausi, Uyen Ho, Erin J. Silva, Ben S. Wittner, Lecia V. Sequist, Ravi Kapur, David T. Miyamoto, Mehmet Toner, Daniel A. Haber**, Shyamala Maheswaran**. A digital RNA signature of Circulating Tumor Cells to predict early response in metastatic and localized breast cancer. Cancer Discovery 8(10):1286-1299 (2018). (*Equal contributions; ** co-corresponding authors).

11.  Mark Kalinich*, Irun Bhan*, Tanya T. Kwan, David T. Miyamoto, Sarah Javaid, Joseph A. LiCausi, John D. Milner, Xin Hong, Lipika Goyal, Srinjoy Sil, Melissa Choz, Uyen Ho, Ravi Kapur, Alona Muzikansky, Huidan Zhang, David A. Weitz, Lecia V. Sequist, David P. Ryan, Raymond T. Chung, Andrew X. Zhu, Kurt J. Isselbacher, David T. Ting, Mehmet Toner, Shyamala Maheswaran†, and Daniel A. Haber†. An RNA-based signature enables high specificity detection of circulating tumor cells in hepatocellular carcinoma. PNAS. 114(5):1123-1128 (2017). (*Equal contributions; † co-corresponding authors).

12.  Hung Thanh Nguyen, Diana Andrejeva, Rajat Gupta, Chunaram Choudhary, Xin Hong, Pieter JA Eichhorn, Anand C Loya, Stephen M Cohen. Deubiquitylating enzyme USP9x regulates hippo pathway activity by controlling angiomotin protein turnover. Cell Discovery. 2: (1):1-13 (2016).

13.  Wanzhong    Ge, Qiannan    Deng, Ting    Guo, Xin Hong, Jan-Michael  Kugler, Xiaohang Yang and Stephen M. Cohen. Regulation of Pattern Formation and Gene Amplification During Drosophila Oogenesis by the miR-318 microRNA. Genetics. 200(1):255-65 (2015).

14.  Héctor Herranz,  Xin Hong, Stephen M. Cohen. Mutual Repression by Bantam miRNA and Capicua Links the EGFR/MAPK and Hippo Pathways in Growth Control. Current Biology. 22(8): 651–7 (2012).

15.  Isabelle Becam*, Neus Rafel*, Xin Hong, Stephen M Cohen and Marco Milán. Notch-mediated repression of bantam miRNA contributes to boundary formation in the Drosophila wing. Development. 138(17): 3781-9 (2011). (* Equal contributions).

16.  Hector Herranz, Xin Hong, Lidia Perez, Ana Ferreira, Daniel Olivieri, Stephen M Cohen and Marco Milan. The miRNA machinery targets Mei-P26 and regulates Myc protein levels in the Drosophila wing. EMBO J. 29(10): 1688– 98 (2010).

17.  Zhen Zhi Tang, Ping Liao, Guang Li, Feng Li Jiang, Dejie Yu, Xin Hong, TanFong Yong, Gregory Tan, Songqing Lu, Jing Wang and Tuck Wah Soong. Differential splicing patterns of L-type calcium channel Cav1.2 subunit in hearts of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats and Wistar Kyoto Rats. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1783(1):118-30 (2008).

18.  Zhen Zhi Tang, Xin Hong, Jing Wang, and Tuck Wah Soong. Signature Combinatorial Splicing Profiles of Rat Cardiac- and Smooth-muscle Cav1.2 Channels with Distinct Biophysical Properties. Cell Calcium, 41(5): 417-28 (2007).