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Kemi Cui, MD, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Systems Medicine and Bioengineering, Institute for Academic Medicine
Assistant Research Member & Director, Advanced Cellular & Tissue Imaging Core, Research Institute
Houston Methodist

Dr. Cui earned his Ph.D. in Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology from the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 2005. He held faculty appointments at the Department of Integrative Medicine in Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, before becoming a member of the Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2007. 

Description of Research

Dr. Cui’s research uses integrated systems biology approaches to discover new strategies for treating malignant tumors, especially primary (glioblastoma) and secondary (metastatic) brain tumors. He is applying multidisciplinary approaches, including assay development, high-throughput and high-content screening, as well as computational modeling to discover new compounds and explore new treatment combinations. He developed a screening platform for glioma growth and invasion using bioluminescence imaging and uses it to screen potential drugs that inhibit tumor cell migration for better management of malignant glioblastoma. He has investigated a new cocktail strategy for treating brain tumors by combining whole brain radiotherapy, a neuroprotection compound, and an angiogenesis inhibitor. He has also obtained pilot project funding from the NCI to conduct his studies. His new drug combination study on brain tumors is under study in a new clinical trial in collaboration with Dr. Pamela New at the HMH and Dr. Diana Chow at the University of Houston.

Areas Of Expertise

Systems biology Glioblastoma Glioma Metastatic brain tumors
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Brigham and Women's Hospital
Postdoctoral Fellowship , Houston Methodist Research Institute
MS , Shandong University
PhD , Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University

In Vivo Visualization and Characterization of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Tumors
Zhao, Z, Zhu, X, Cui, K, Mancuso, J, Federley, R, Fischer, K, Teng, GJ, Mittal, V, Gao, D, Zhao, H & Wong, STC 2016, Cancer Research, vol 76, no. 8, pp. 2094-2104. DOI:

A lab-on-a-chip system integrating tissue sample preparation and multiplex RT-qPCR for gene expression analysis in point-of-care hepatotoxicity assessment
Lim, GS, Chang, JS, Lei, Z, Wu, R, Wang, Z, Cui, K & Wong, S 2015, Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, vol 15, no. 20, pp. 4032-4043. DOI:

Electro-acupuncture up-regulates astrocytic MCT1 expression to improve neurological deficit in middle cerebral artery occlusion rats
Lu, Y, Zhao, H, Wang, Y, Han, B, Wang, T, Zhao, H, Cui, K & Wang, S 2015, Life Sciences, vol 134, no. 1, pp. 68-72. DOI:

Epithelial derived CTGF promotes breast tumor progression via inducing EMT and collagen I fibers deposition
Zhu, X, Zhong, J, Zhao, Z, Sheng, J, Wang, J, Liu, J, Cui, K, Chang, J, Zhao, H & Wong, S 2015, Oncotarget, vol 6, no. 28, pp. 25320-25338. DOI:

Transcriptional signaling pathways inversely regulated in Alzheimer's disease and glioblastoma multiform
Liu, T, Ren, D, Zhu, X, Yin, Z, Jin, G, Zhao, Z, Robinson, D, Li, X, Wong, K, Cui, K, Zhao, H & Wong, STC 2013, Scientific Reports, vol 3, 3467. DOI:

Novel modeling of cancer cell signaling pathways enables systematic drug repositioning for distinct breast cancer metastases
Zhao, H, Jin, G, Cui, K, Ren, D, Liu, T, Chen, P, Wong, S, Li, F, Fan, Y, Rodriguez, A, Chang, J & Wong, STC 2013, Cancer Research, vol 73, no. 20, pp. 6149-6163. DOI:

Differential effects of low- and high-dose GW2974, a dual epidermal growth factor receptor and HER2 kinase inhibitor, on glioblastoma multiforme invasion
Wang, L, Liu, Q, Zhao, H, Cui, K, Yao, L, Nie, F, Jin, G, Hao, A & Wong, STC 2013, Journal of Neuroscience Research, vol 91, no. 1, pp. 128-137. DOI:

Identification of novel small-molecule inhibitors of glioblastoma cell growth and invasion by high-throughput screening
Wang, L, Zhao, H, Cui, K, Yao, L, Ren, M, Hao, A, Smollen, P, Nie, F, Jin, G, Liu, Q & Wo, STC 2012, BioScience Trends, vol 6, no. 4, pp. 192-200. DOI:

Dehydroepiandrosterone indirectly inhibits human osteoclastic resorption via activating osteoblastic viability by the MAPK pathway
Wang, YD, Tao, MF, Cheng, WW, Liu, XH, Wan, XP & Cui, KM 2012, Chinese Medical Journal, vol 125, no. 7, pp. 1230-1235. DOI:

A novel method of transcriptional response analysis to facilitate drug repositioning for cancer therapy
Jin, G, Fu, C, Zhao, H, Cui, K, Chang, J & Wong, STC 2012, Cancer Research, vol 72, no. 1, pp. 33-44. DOI:

The effect of mTOR inhibition alone or combined with MEK inhibitors on brain metastasis: An in vivo analysis in triple-negative breast cancer models
Zhao, H , Cui, K, Nie, F, Wang, L, Brandl, MB, Jin, G, Li, F, Mao, Y, Xue, Z, Rodriguez, A, Chang, J & Wong, STC 2012, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol 131, no. 2, pp. 425-436. DOI:

Aurora-B Mediated ATM Serine 1403 Phosphorylation Is Required for Mitotic ATM Activation and the Spindle Checkpoint
Yang, C, Tang, X, Guo, X, Niikura, Y, Kitagawa, K, Cui, K, Wong, STC, Fu, L & Xu, B 2011, Molecular Cell, vol 44, no. 4, pp. 597-608. DOI:

Real-time monitoring of cell viability using direct electrical measurement with a patch-clamp microchip
Pathak, P, Zhao, H, Gong, Z, Nie, F, Zhang, T, Cui, K, Wang, Z, Wong, STC & Que, L 2011, Biomedical Microdevices, vol 13, no. 5, pp. 949-953. DOI:

Characterization of a human tumorsphere glioma orthotopic model using magnetic resonance imaging
Wong, K, Young, GS, Makale, M, Hu, X, Yildirim, N, Cui, K, Wong, STC & Kesari, S 2011, Journal of Neuro-Oncology, vol 104, no. 2, pp. 473-481. DOI:

An in-silico approach for drug repositioning to tumour anti-migration using an integrated genomic strategy
Mao, Y, Cui, K, Lulu, W, Zhao, H, Nie, F, Brandl, M, Beck, D, Gao, L & Wong, S 2011, . in Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE/NIH Life Science Systems and Applications Workshop, LiSSA 2011., 5754163, pp. 88-91, 2011 IEEE/NIH Life Science Systems and Applications Workshop, LiSSA 2011, Bethesda, MD, United States, 7-8 April. DOI:

Diffusion tensor-based fast marching for modeling human brain connectivity network
Li, H, Xue, Z, Cui, K & Wong, STC 2011, Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, vol 35, no. 3, pp. 167-178. DOI:

Drug effects analysis on cells using a high throughput microfluidic chip
Gong, Z, Zhao, H, Zhang, T, Nie, F, Pathak, P, Cui, K, Wang, Z, Wong, S & Que, L 2011, Biomedical Microdevices, vol 13, no. 1, pp. 215-219. DOI:

High throughput analysis of drug effects on single breast cancer cells using droplet-microfluidic devices
Gong, Z, Nie, F, Zhang, T, Pathak, P, Wang, Z, Cui, K, Zhao, H, Wong, S & Que, L 2010, . in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)., 5442381, pp. 1015-1018, 23rd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2010, Hong Kong, China, 24-28 January. DOI:

Treating triple-negative breast cancer by a combination of rapamycin and cyclophosphamide: An in vivo bioluminescence imaging study
Zeng, Q, Yang, Z, Gao, YJ, Yuan, H, Cui, K, Shi, Y, Wang, H, Huang, X, Wong, STC, Wang, Y, Kesari, S, Ji, RR & Xu, X 2010, European Journal of Cancer, vol 46, no. 6, pp. 1132-1143. DOI:

Cross-platform method for identifying candidate network biomarkers for prostate cancer
Jin, G, Zhou, X, Cui, K, Zhang, XS, Chen, L & Wong, STC 2009, IET Systems Biology, vol 3, no. 6, ISBEAT000003000006000505000001, pp. 505-512. DOI: