Tien Hsu, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Medicine

Tien Hsu
650 Albany St Evans Biomed Research Ctr


Dr. Tien Hsu was recruited to the National Central University in August 2013. Previously he was Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. The major research interest in Dr. Hsu’s laboratory is to understand the origin of cancer and the mechanism of its growth. In the 1990s, Dr. Hsu pioneered the study using multiple model organisms, including fruit fly, mouse, and human cells, for functional comparison of tumor-related genes in embryonic development. He has contributed greatly in the understanding of tumor suppressor genes VHL and anti-metastasis gene Nm23. He serves on the advisory board of the International VHL Disease Alliance. He was elected in 2012 as the Chair of International Congress of NDPK/Nm23/awd Gene Family. He also served as grant review panel members of NIH (USA), NSF (USA), and government agencies of other countries such as Italy, Israel, United Kingdom, Canada, Holland, etc.

  Traditionally, cancer research has been focused on killing cancer cells. Such strategy has shown only limited success in the over 40 years of “War on Cancer”. Dr. Hsu believes that we need to rethink our strategy, and should focus on the role of stromal cells, which promote inflammatory reaction and support stem cell survival. It is now discovered that tumor growth and stem cell maintenance are dependent on the surrounding tissues and cells (the stroma). Controlling organ pathology by modulating the stromal function should present a gentler and more effective containment of many diseases including cancer. The concept is to contain the cancer tissue and prevent malignancy, but not to kill cancer cells. Such new direction requires a systems biology view of the interaction between the diseased tissue and the entire body. Dr. Hsu’s current research is focused on stromal biology, characterizing the function and therapeutic potential of the tumor microenvironment. His research team includes collaboration with international experts in cancer and in fibrotic diseases, which is a key aspect of tumor progression.

Other Positions

  • Boston Medical Center
  • University Chair Professor in Biomedicine, Program in Biomedical Sciences, National Central University
  • Chair Professor, Biotechnology, Taiwan Bio-development Foundation
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Medical University of South Carolina, PhD
  • National Taiwan University, BS


  • Published on 10/28/2019

    Hsu T, Nguyen-Tran HH, Trojanowska M. Active roles of dysfunctional vascular endothelium in fibrosis and cancer. J Biomed Sci. 2019 Oct 28; 26(1):86. PMID: 31656195.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/2/2019

    Mezzofanti E, Ignesti M, Hsu T, Gargiulo G, Cavaliere V. Vps28 Is Involved in the Intracellular Trafficking of Awd, the Drosophila Homolog of NME1/2. Front Physiol. 2019; 10:983. PMID: 31427986.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/30/2018

    Liu SC, Hsu T, Chang YS, Chung AK, Jiang SS, OuYang CN, Yuh CH, Hsueh C, Liu YP, Tsang NM. Cytoplasmic LIF reprograms invasive mode to enhance NPC dissemination through modulating YAP1-FAK/PXN signaling. Nat Commun. 2018 11 30; 9(1):5105. PMID: 30504771.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/6/2018

    Chen HY, Hsiao YT, Liu SC, Hsu T, Woon WY, I L. Enhancing Cancer Cell Collective Motion and Speeding up Confluent Endothelial Dynamics through Cancer Cell Invasion and Aggregation. Phys Rev Lett. 2018 Jul 06; 121(1):018101. PMID: 30028147.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/16/2017

    Romani P, Ignesti M, Gargiulo G, Hsu T, Cavaliere V. Extracellular NME proteins: a player or a bystander? Lab Invest. 2018 02; 98(2):248-257. PMID: 29035383.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/22/2017

    Kuo CY, Lin CH, Hsu T. VHL Inactivation in Precancerous Kidney Cells Induces an Inflammatory Response via ER Stress-Activated IRE1a Signaling. Cancer Res. 2017 Jul 01; 77(13):3406-3416. PMID: 28533271.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/12/2016

    Bader HL, Hsu T. Inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) in granulocytes contributes to development of liver hemangiomas in a mouse model. BMC Cancer. 2016 Oct 12; 16(1):797. PMID: 27733136.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/22/2016

    Romani P, Papi A, Ignesti M, Soccolini G, Hsu T, Gargiulo G, Spisni E, Cavaliere V. Dynamin controls extracellular level of Awd/Nme1 metastasis suppressor protein. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2016 Nov; 389(11):1171-1182. PMID: 27449069.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/15/2015

    Hsu T, Steeg PS, Zollo M, Wieland T. Progress on Nme (NDP kinase/Nm23/Awd) gene family-related functions derived from animal model systems: studies on development, cardiovascular disease, and cancer metastasis exemplified. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2015 Feb; 388(2):109-17. PMID: 25585611.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2015

    Kirschner R, Hsu T, Tuan NN, Chen CL, Huang SL. Characterization of fungal and bacterial components in gut/fecal microbiome. Curr Drug Metab. 2015; 16(4):272-83. PMID: 26264196.

    Read at: PubMed

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