Xia Liu, MD, PhD

Xia Liu, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Mailing address

Washington University School of Medicine
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
660 S. Euclid Ave.-Campus Box 8115
St. Louis, MO 63110

Research interests

Identifying the states and roles of T cell subsets and dendritic cells in the suppressive tumor microenvironments using different types of tumor models; dissecting molecular mechanisms responsible for the dysfunctions of T cells and dendritic cells in tumors; and developing novel and effective strategies for tumor vaccines and anti-tumor immunotherapies.


  • 2015-2019 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • 2008-2013 – MD/PhD, Jiangsu University School of Medicine, Zhenjiang, China
  • 2003-2008 – Bachelor of Medicine, Jiangsu University School of Medicine, Zhenjiang, China


  • 2011-2012, Scholarship of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China
  • 2011-2013, Postgraduate Students’ Innovation Program, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China
  • 2013, National Graduate Scholarship of China
  • 2014-2017, Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province
  • 2015-2017, National Science Foundation of China
  • 2017, AAI Trainee Abstract Award
  • 2018, AAI Trainee Poster Award
  • 2022, AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant

Selected publications

View Dr. Liu’s research, collaborations and publications »

  1. Liu X, F. Si, D. Bagley, et al., Blockades of effector T cell senescence and exhaustion synergistically enhance antitumor immunity and immunotherapy. Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, 2022:10 (10): e005020.
  2. Liu X, Hoft DF, Peng G. Tumor microenvironment metabolites directing T cell differentiation and function. Trends in Immunology. 2022:43(2):132-147.
  3. Zhao Y, Liu X, Si F, Huang L, Gao A, Lin W, Hoft DF, Shao Q, Peng G. Citrate promotes Excessive Lipid Biosynthesis and Senescence in Tumor Cells for Tumor Therapy. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022:9(1):e2101553.
  4. Liu X, Li L, Si F, Huang L, Zhao Y, Zhang C, Hoft DF, Peng G. NK and NKT cells have distinct properties and functions in cancer. Oncogene. 2021:40(27):4521-4537.
  5. Liu X, Hartman CL, Li L, Albert CJ, Si F, Gao A, Huang L, Zhao Y, Lin W, Hsueh EC, Shen L, Shao Q, Hoft DF, Ford DA, Peng G. Reprogramming lipid metabolism prevents effector T cell senescence and enhances tumor immunotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 2021:13(587):eaaz6314.
  6. Liu, X, Peng, G. Mitochondria orchestrate T cell fate and function. Nat Immunol 22, 276–278 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-020-00861-6
  7. Gao A, Liu X, Lin W, Wang J, Wang S, Si F, Huang L, Zhao Y, Sun Y, Peng G. Tumor derived ILT4 induces T cell senescence and suppresses tumor immunity. J Immunother Cancer. 2021:9(3):e001536.
  8. Liu X, Hoft DF, Peng G. Senescent T cells within suppressive tumor microenvironments:emerging target for tumor immunotherapy. J Clin Invest. 2020:130(3):1073-1083.
  9. Li L, Liu X, Sanders KL, Edwards JL, Ye J, Si F, Gao A, Huang L, Hsueh EC, Ford DA, Hoft DF, Peng G. TLR8-Mediated Metabolic Control of Human Treg Function: A Mechanistic Target for Cancer Immunotherapy. Cell Metab. 2019:29(1):103-123.
  10. Liu X, Mo W, Ye J, Li L, Zhang Y, Hsueh EC, Hoft DF, Peng G. Regulatory T cells trigger effector T cell DNA damage and senescence caused by metabolic competition. Nat Commun. 2018:9(1):249.