Ph.D, Tsinghua University, 2004
Clinical / Research Interests
Pediatric Brain Tumors

Yanxin Pei is currently Assistant Professor at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She earned her PhD from the Department of Neuroscience in Tsinghua University, China. Her doctoral thesis work focused on cellular therapy for Parkinson's disease. She successfully induced embryonic stem cells to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons that can survive and integrate into host tissue after transplantation, which significantly reduced the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in a mouse model. After completing her PhD, Yanxin joined Dr. Robert Wechsler-Reya's lab in Duke University as a postdoc, and then moved with Dr. Wechsler-Reya to the Sanford-Burnham Institute, where she was promoted to Research Assistant Professor. During her training in Dr. Wechsler-Reya's lab, Yanxin developed a mouse model for Group 3 medulloblastoma by overexpressing MYC and mutant p53 in cerebellar stem cells, which provided a valuable tool to identify and test novel therapies. Using this model, she demonstrated that HDAC and PI3K antagonists cooperate to inhibit growth of MYC-driven medulloblastoma. After completing her postdoc training, Yanxin started her own lab at Children's National Medical Center in Washington in 2014, where she developed a novel mouse model for Group 3 medulloblastoma. She found that the MYC oncogene alone is sufficient to induce tumorigenesis in granule neuron progenitors and Bergmann glia, without requiring p53 mutation. This model faithfully recapitulates human Group 3 medulloblastoma in terms of histology and gene expression profiles. She aims to use this model to test a novel targeted therapy for treating Group 3 medulloblastoma.