Merissa (Xiansha) Xiao, Ph.D.

Merissa (Xiansha) Xiao, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Huilin Li Laboratory


Dr. Merissa Xiao earned her Ph.D. in structural biology and biotechnology from Leiden University and her B.S. in bioengineering from Northeast Agricultural University. Her graduate work focused on antibiotic biosynthesis and drug-target interactions. Dr. Xiao’s main lab competencies lie in molecular biology, chemistry biology and structural biology. In 2021, she joined the lab of Dr. Huilin Li as a postdoctoral fellow.


Current research focus

Mycobacteria tuberculosis (Mtb) has evolved a unique Pup-proteasome system, which is essential for Mtb survival in the host and therefore serves as a potential target for anti-TB drugs. This research will focus on the mechanistic studies on how this complex system works using cryo-EM techniques. Besides protein degradation, the mechanism regarding protein folding through the chaperone system in Mtb will also be explored.

Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Leiden University

Ph.D. in structural biology and biotechnology, Leiden University (China Scholarship Council Fellowship)

Thesis: Structural and functional analysis of proteins involved in natural product biosynthesis and morphological differentiation in Streptomyces (Advisor: Dr. Gilles van Wezel)

M.S. in structural biology from Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences   

B.S. in bioengineering, Northeast Agricultural University


To view a list of selected publications click below.

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Abi Habib W, Brioude F Azzi S, Salem J, Das Neves C, Personnier C, Chantot-Bastaraud S, Keren B, Le Bouc Y, Harbison MD, Netchine I. 2017. 11p15 ICR1 Partial Deletions Associated with IGF2/H19 DMR Hypomethylation and Silver-Russell Syndrome. Hum Mutat 38(1):105-111.     PubMed

Shackleford GG, Grenier J, Abi Habib W, Massaad C, Meffre D. 2016. Liver X receptors differentially modulate central myelin gene mRNA levels in a region-, age- and isoform-specific manner.  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol S0960-0760(16)30046-2.     PubMed

Azzi S, Steunou V, Tost J, Rossignol S, Thibaud N, Das Neves C, Le Jule M, Abi Habib W, Blaise A, Koudou Y, Busato F, Le Bouc Y, Netchine I. 2015. Exhaustive methylation analysis revealed uneven profiles of methylation at IGF2/ICR1/H19 11p15 loci in Russell-Silver Syndrome. J Med Genet 52(1):53–60.     PubMed

Azzi S, Blaise A, Steunou V, Harbison MD, Salem J, Brioude F, Rossignol S, Abi Habib W, Thibaud N, Neves CD, Le Jule M, Brachet C, Heinrichs C, Bouc YL, Netchine I. 2014. Complex tissue-specific epigenotypes in Russell-Silver Syndrome associated with 11p15 ICR1 hypomethylation. Hum Mutat 35(10):1211–1220.     PubMed

Abi Habib W, Azzi S, Brioude F, Steunou V, Thibaud N, Das Neves C, Le Jule M, Chantot-Bastaraud S, Keren B, Lyonnet S, Michot C, Rossi M, Pasquier L, Gicquel C, Rossignol S, Le Bouc Y, Netchine I. 2014. Extensive investigation of the IGF2/H19 imprinting control region reveals novel OCT4/SOX2 binding site defects associated with specific methylation patterns in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 23(21):5763–5673.     PubMed

Azzi S, Abi Habib W, Netchine I. 2014. Beckwith-Widedmann and Russell-Silver syndromes: From new molecular insights to the comprehension of imprinting regulation. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 21(1):30–38.     PubMed