Lifeng Xu

image of Lifeng Xu

Associate Professor


Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Offices and Labs

332 Briggs Hall
Office 530-752-3660
Lab 530-752-1088


2000 PhD Molecular Biology Princeton University
1993 BS Biology Fudan University

Research Interests

Telomeres are the protective nucleoprotein structures at the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere dysfunction contributes to cancer progression and aging. Our laboratory employs molecular and cytological approaches to study telomere maintenance in human normal cells and cancer cells.


2000-2003 Susan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship
2011 March of Dimes - Basil O'Connor Award
2012 American Cancer Society Research Scholar
2012 Concern Foundation - Young Investigator Award

Department and Center Affiliations

UC Davis Cancer Center

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Integrative Genetics and Genomics

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Chromosome Dynamics and Nuclear Function
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cancer Biology
Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Chromosome Biology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS



341 Briggs Hall

Teaching Interests

Molecular genetics and cancer genetics


BIS 104 Regulation Cell Function (Spring)
MIC 115 Recombinant DNA Cloning (Fall)


8/1/2013 12:33:43 AM
  • Nera, B., Huang, H.S., Lai, T., Xu, L. Elevated levels of TRF2 induce telomeric ultrafine anaphase bridges and rapid telomere deletions. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10132 (2015)

  • Frank, A.K., Tran, D.C., Qu, R.W., Stohr, B.A., Segal, D.J., Xu, L. The Shelterin TIN2 Subunit Mediates Recruitment of Telomerase to Telomeres. PLOS Genetics 11(7): e1005410 (2015)

  • Bhakta, M.S., Henry, I.M., Ousterout, D.G., Das, K.T., Lockwood, S.H., Meckler, J.F., Wallen, M.C., Zykovich, A., Yu, Y., Leo, H., Xu, L., Gersbach, C.A., Segal, D.J. Highly active zinc-finger nucleases by extended modular assembly. Genome Res. 23(3):530-8 (2013)
  • Xu, L., Li, S., Stohr, B.A. The role of telomere biology in cancer. Annu Rev Pathol. 8:49-78 (2013)
  • Stohr, B.A., Xu, L., Blackburn, E.H. The Terminal Telomeric DNA Sequence Determines the Mechanism of Dysfunctional Telomere Fusion. Mol. Cell 39: 307-314 (2010).
  • Wang, X., Kam, Z., Carlton, P.M., Xu, L., Sedat, J.W., Blackburn, E.H. Rapid telomere motions in live human cells analyzed by highly time-resolved microscopy. Epigenetics Chromatin. 1(1):4. (2008)
  • Xu, L and Blackburn, E.H. Human cancer cells harbor t-stumps, a distinct class of extremely short telomeres. Mol. Cell 28: 315-327 (2007)
  • Xu, L and Blackburn, E.H. Human Rif1 protein binds aberrant telomeres and aligns along anaphase midzone microtubules. J. Cell Biol. 167: 819-830 (2004)
  • Ly, H.*, Xu, L.*, Rivera, M.A., Parslow, T.G., Blackburn, E.H. A role for a novel ‘transpseudoknot’ RNA-RNA interaction in the functional dimerization of human telomerase. Genes Dev. 17:1078-1083 (2003)
  • Kim, M., Xu, L., Blackburn, E.H. Catalytically active human telomerase mutants with allele-specific biological properties. Exp. Cell Res. 288:277-287 (2003)
  • Comolli, L.R., Smirnov, I., Xu, L., Blackburn, E.H., James, T.L. A molecular switch underlies a human telomerase disease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 99: 16998-17003 (2002)
  • Tao, W., Pennica, D., Xu, L., Kalejta, R.F., Levine A.J. Wrch-1, a novel member of the Rho gene family that is regulated by Wnt-1. Genes Dev. 15: 1796-1807 (2001)
  • Xu, L., Corcoran, R.B., Welsh, J.W., Pennica, D., Levine A.J. WISP-1 is a Wnt-1 and ß-catenin responsive oncogene. Genes Dev. 14: 585-595 (2000)