Xiao-Yan Wen


Director, Zebrafish Centre for Advanced Drug Discovery


Please note: Dr. Wen is not taking any summer students in 2019.

Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen’s research focuses on incorporation of zebrafish model system and advanced high throughput screening technologies for drug discovery. He recently established the Zebrafish Centre for Advanced Drug Discovery (ZCADD) at St. Michael’s Hospital. With a large infrastructure funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), ZCADD houses Canada’s first fully automated zebrafish high- throughput screening platform for zebrafish. In partnership with many academic labs and industrial partners, the Centre has launched over 10 zebrafish-based drug development projects targeting many neurological, cardiovascular, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Wen received his MD at Jiangxi Medical University in China and PhD at the University of Toronto. He is currently a Staff Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine & Physiology at the University of Toronto. He is the founding director of the Zebrafish Centre for Advanced Drug Discovery and the Director for the St. Micahel’s Hospital Zebrafish Core Facility. He is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto and is directing the graduate course module “Animal Models of Human Diseases”.

Dr. Wen organizes the biennial (2013, 2015, 2017) Zebrafish for Personalized/Precision Medicine Conference, in addition to other past events such as the 2011 Zebrafish Functional Genomics Workshop, and 2012 Zebrafish Chemical Biology & Pharmacogenomics Workshop.

Click Here to learn more about the Wen Lab.


Recent Publications

  1. Schuman, B, Won, A, Brand-Arzamendi, K, Koprich, JB, Wen, XY, Howson, PA et al.. Non-steric-zipper models for pathogenic α-synuclein conformers. APL Bioeng. 2018;2 (2):026105. doi: 10.1063/1.5023460. PubMed PMID:31069302 PubMed Central PMC6481714.
  2. van Kuilenburg, ABP, Tarailo-Graovac, M, Richmond, PA, Drögemöller, BI, Pouladi, MA, Leen, R et al.. Glutaminase Deficiency Caused by Short Tandem Repeat Expansion in GLS. N. Engl. J. Med. 2019;380 (15):1433-1441. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1806627. PubMed PMID:30970188 .
  3. Wen, XY, Tarailo-Graovac, M, Brand-Arzamendi, K, Willems, A, Rakic, B, Huijben, K et al.. Sialic acid catabolism by N-acetylneuraminate pyruvate lyase is essential for muscle function. JCI Insight. 2018;3 (24):. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.122373. PubMed PMID:30568043 PubMed Central PMC6338320.
  4. Leung, CH, Caldarone, CA, Guan, R, Wen, XY, Ailenberg, M, Kapus, A et al.. Nuclear Factor (Erythroid-Derived 2)-Like 2 Regulates the Hepatoprotective Effects of Remote Ischemic Conditioning in Hemorrhagic Shock. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 2019;30 (14):1760-1773. doi: 10.1089/ars.2018.7541. PubMed PMID:30403148 .
  5. Zheng, J, Huang, Y, Islam, D, Wen, XY, Wu, S, Streutker, C et al.. Dual effects of human neutrophil peptides in a mouse model of pneumonia and ventilator-induced lung injury. Respir. Res. 2018;19 (1):190. doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0869-x. PubMed PMID:30268129 PubMed Central PMC6162902.
  6. Moore, MJ, El-Rass, S, Xiao, Y, Wang, Y, Wen, XY, Kolios, MC et al.. Simultaneous ultra-high frequency photoacoustic microscopy and photoacoustic radiometry of zebrafish larvae in vivo. Photoacoustics. 2018;12 :14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.pacs.2018.08.004. PubMed PMID:30225194 PubMed Central PMC6139000.
  7. Ashikov, A, Abu Bakar, N, Wen, XY, Niemeijer, M, Rodrigues Pinto Osorio, G, Brand-Arzamendi, K et al.. Integrating glycomics and genomics uncovers SLC10A7 as essential factor for bone mineralization by regulating post-Golgi protein transport and glycosylation. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2018;27 (17):3029-3045. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy213. PubMed PMID:29878199 .
  8. Shi, X, Chen, R, Zhang, Y, Yun, J, Brand-Arzamendi, K, Liu, X et al.. Zebrafish heart failure models: opportunities and challenges. Amino Acids. 2018;50 (7):787-798. doi: 10.1007/s00726-018-2578-7. PubMed PMID:29725858 .
  9. Yan, MS, Turgeon, PJ, Man, HJ, Dubinsky, MK, Ho, JJD, El-Rass, S et al.. Histone acetyltransferase 7 (KAT7)-dependent intragenic histone acetylation regulates endothelial cell gene regulation. J. Biol. Chem. 2018;293 (12):4381-4402. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.001383. PubMed PMID:29414790 PubMed Central PMC5868248.
  10. Patten, SA, Aggad, D, Martinez, J, Tremblay, E, Petrillo, J, Armstrong, GA et al.. Neuroleptics as therapeutic compounds stabilizing neuromuscular transmission in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. JCI Insight. 2017;2 (22):. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.97152. PubMed PMID:29202456 PubMed Central PMC5752378.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Scientist, Medicine/Hematology, Princess Margaret Hospital