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Miao Xu, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Division of Preclinical Innovation

Therapeutic Development Branch

Contact Info

Miao Xu, PhD.


Miao Xu is a staff scientist in biology in the Therapeutic Development Branch within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation, where she focuses on preclinical drug development for the treatment of emerging infectious diseases — such as SARS-CoV-2 and the Ebola and Zika viruses — and rare genetic disorders, including Niemann-Pick disease type C. With more than 12 years of experience in assay development, high-throughput screening and lead compound identification, Xu uses patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to develop new cell-based disease models for evaluation of drug efficacy and compound screening.

Prior to joining NCATS, Xu was a practicing physician specializing in emerging infectious diseases. Her past clinical experience lends itself to her current translational research on the drug repurposing screens for SARS-CoV-2, drug-resistant bacterial infections and Zika virus.

Xu received her medical degree and doctorate in biomedicine from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China.

Research Topics

Xu’s research focuses on assay development, drug repurposing screens, lead compound identification and periclinal drug development for emerging and rare diseases, including SARS-CoV-2, the Zika and Ebola viruses, and lysosomal storage diseases.

Selected Publications

  1. A High-Throughput Screening Assay for Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Pseudotyped Particle Entry
  2. Biological Activity-Based Modeling Identifies Antiviral Leads against SARS-CoV-2
  3. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Cells and Brain Organoids Reveal SARS-CoV-2 Neurotropism Predominates in Choroid Plexus Epithelium
  4. Identification of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Zika Virus Infection and Induced Neural Cell Death via a Drug Repurposing Screen
  5. δ-Tocopherol Reduces Lipid Accumulation in Niemann-Pick Type C1 and Wolman Cholesterol Storage Disorders