Xunlei Kang, MD, PhD

Xunlei Kang, MD, PhD


Associate Professor of Medicine


Dr. Kang’s research is focused on blood-related conditions, including discovering novel therapeutic targets to treat acute myeloid leukemia, by identifying cell surface targets and related signaling and their roles in both normal hematopoiesis and hematological malignancies. He has a broad background in biomedical research, with specific training in small protein modification, cancer cell biology and cell signaling transduction. As PI on several university-, national association-, and NIH-funded grants, he laid the groundwork for the proposed research by developing effective compound screen assays, functional experiments in the evaluation of stem cells and powerful animal disease models on genetically modified mice to explore the mechanisms underlying human illness. In addition, Dr. Kang learned how to successfully manage the projects (e.g., staffing, research protections, budget), collaborate with other researchers, and produce several peer-reviewed publications on each project during a career of leading and designing research projects. From his previous experiences, Dr. Kang is aware of the importance of frequent communication among project members as well as constructing a realistic research plan, timeframe and budget. He has extensive experience in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) and acute myeloid leukemia stem cell (AML-SC) research and cell surface receptor signaling studies.

Academic Information

Associate Professor of Medicine

Areas of Expertise

  • Hematopoietic stem cell study
  • Leukemia stem cell study
  • SUMO modification study

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

PhD, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2009
MD, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2002

Awards & Honors

  • 2023 Mid-Career Fellows, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • 2022 Dorsett L. Spurgeon Distinguished Medical Research Award, Finalist, Columbia, MO
  • 2022 Young Investigator Award, Midwest tumor microenvironment meeting, Kansas City, KS
  • 2020 MERIT Award, NIH/NCI
  • 2019 Career Development Award, American Heart Association
  • 2013 Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology
  • 2011 Nomination Award for Excellent National Doctoral Dissertations, China
  • 2010 Outstanding Young Faculty Award, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai

Grants and Contract Awards

Agency: University of Missouri, School of Medicine
Mission Enhancement Startup Funding
Title: Investigation of cell surface proteins for hematopoietic stem cell and leukemia stem cell
Period: 08/04/2016 - present
Role: PI

Agency: American Heart Association (AHA)
Title: Role of SHP-1 in cardiac fibrosis (Career Development Award, AHA-19CDA34770036)
Period: 04/01/2019 - 03/31/2022, $231,000
Role: PI

Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCI)
Title: Membrane protein targeting for leukemia therapy (R37CA241603)
Period: 09/01/2020 - 06/30/2025, $1.701,120 
Role: PI

In the News


NCBI Citations