With a career path traversing clinical medicine, molecular genetics and systems biology, Dr. Tian is primarily interested in applying the powerful systems approach with the enabling genomics, proteomics, and single cell analysis technologies to address some of the most pressing issues pertaining to human health: cancer and stem cell biology, immunity, and disease biomarker discovery. He directs the interdisciplinary cancer and stem cell group at the Institute for Systems Biology, striving to dissect the clonal origin of cancer heterogeneity, aiming to identify the tumor-initiating cells and the underlying genomic landscape leading to their tumorigenic properties.
Dr. Tian has led the development of gene signature panels for cancer patient stratification, and has elucidated protein interaction networks and relevant phosphorylation events in the Wnt signaling pathway for potential therapeutic targeting. He also contributed to the molecular characterization of multiple Th cell subsets (e.g. Th17, follicular T cells) through transcriptomic profiling and genome-wide mapping of protein-DNA interactions. Dr. Tian received his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University and his MD from Tianjin Medical University in China. He serves on the faculty of the UW-Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, and is an affiliate professor of Chinese Academy of Sciences.