Xiang Feng, Ph.D.

Xiang Feng, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Huilin Li Laboratory


Dr. Xiang Feng earned his B.S. in life sciences from Fudan University and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Baylor College of Medicine. His graduate work primarily focused on assessing the topology of membrane proteins and designing models of ligand-binding G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs), a protein superfamily that is targeted by more than 30 percent of medications currently on the market. Now a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of cryo-EM expert Dr. Huilin Li at Van Andel Institute, Dr. Feng studies the structure and function of DNA replication-related protein complexes.




Current research focus

Faithful chromosome duplication is key to proper cell proliferation. Errors that occur during DNA replication can lead to various severe diseases such as cancers. Thanks to the recent advancements in technique, it is now known that the DNA replication depends on a series of carefully orchestrated and highly regulated events, the mechanisms of which are not fully understood. As part of his work, Dr. Feng utilizes a cutting-edge cryo-electron microscope to reveal the structure and function of protein complexes relating to the initiation of DNA replication and regulatory factors. This work aims to push the limits of current knowledge and facilitate the development of cures for lethal diseases.

Education & Training

Postdoctoral fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine (Advisor: Dr. Patrick Barth)

Ph.D. in pharmacology, Baylor College of Medicine (Advisor: Dr. Patrick Barth)
Thesis: Analysis of membrane protein topology and design of ligand binding GPCRs

B.S. in life sciences, Fudan University (Advisor: Dr. Qiang Huang)
Thesis: Predicting the affinity between human kinome and small molecular inhibitors

Awards & External Funding

Selected talk, Graduate Student Research Symposium, Baylor College of Medicine (2015)

Second prize, Baylor College of Medicine Biochemistry and Pharmacology Retreat presentation (2015)

Full tuition scholarship, Baylor College of Medicine (2010)



Bai L, You Q, Feng X, Kovach A, Li H. 2020. Structure of the ER membrane complex, a transmembrane-domain insertase. Nature.

Feng X, Ambia J, Chen KM, Young M, Barth P. 2017. Computational design of ligand-binding membrane receptors with high selectivity. Nat Chem Biol 13(7):715–723.

Feng X, Barth P. 2016. A topographical and conformational stability alphabet for multi-pass membrane proteins. Nat Chem Biol 12(3):167–173.

Arber C, Feng X, Abhyankar H, Romero E, Wu MF, Heslop HE, Barth P, Dotti G, Savoldo B. 2015. Survivin-specific T cell receptor targets tumor but not T cells. J Clin Invest 125(1):157–168.

Kurfareva I, Katritch V, Participants of GPCR Dock 2013, Stevens RC, Abagyan R. 2014. Advances in GPCR modeling evaluated by the GPCR Dock 2013 assessment: Meeting new challenges. Structure 22(8):1120–1139.

Yang Y, Hu L, Wang P, Hou H, Lin Y, Liu Y, Li Z, Gong R, Feng X, Zhou L, Zhang W, Dong Y, Yang H, Lin H, Wang Y, Chen CD, Xu Y. 2010. Structural insights into a dual-specificity histone demethylase ceKDM7A from Caenorhabditis elegans. Cell Res 20(8):886–898.