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CHEN, Xuemei
E-mail: xuemei.chen(AT)pku.edu.cn
Office Address: LUI CHE WOO BUILDING,Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District,Beijing, P.R.China 100871
Lab Address: Jinguang Life Science Building,Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District,Beijing, P.R.China 100871
Lab Homepage:
Personal Homepage:
Xuemei Chen received a B.S. degree from Peking University, China in 1988 and a doctorate from Cornell University, USA in 1995. After postdoctoral training at California Institute of Technology, she started her assistant professor position in 1999 at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University. She was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and won the Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence at Rutgers University. She moved to University of California, Riverside in 2005 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2009 and distinguished professor in 2013. In 2023, she became chair professor at School of Life Sciences, Peking University. In 2006, she received the prestigious Charles Albert Shull award from American Society of Plant Biologists. In 2011, she was elected an AAAS Fellow. She was an HHMI-GBMF investigator from 2012 to 2018. In 2013, she was elected into the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2016, she received the University Lecturer award at UC Riverside; this is the highest honor given to one faculty member a year for research excellence. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Achievement Award from Chinese American Association of Scientists and Engineers of Southern California. Her work has focused on flower development, small RNAs, and RNA modifications in plants.
1984-1988 B.S. Peking University
1989-1995 Ph.D. Cornell University
Professional Experience
2023-  Dean, School of Life Sciences, Peking University
2023-  Endowed chair professor, Peking University
2013-2023 Distinguished Professor, University of California, Riverside
2009-2013 Professor, University of California, Riverside
2005-2009 Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside
1999-2005 Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
1995-1998 Postdoc, California Institute of Technology
Social Services
Member of the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee, 2005-2008.
Member of review committee of Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, 2009.
Board member of International Botanical Congress (2017) scientific program committee
Scientific Advisory Board member for the International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium (IAIC), 2012-2015
Scientific Advisory Board member for the joint center of Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Innes Center (UK), 2016 - 2017
Ray Wu Prize committee, 2015 - present
Board of Advisors, IPMB congress 2022
Keystone symposia study group for 2022-2023 programs
Keystone symposia Scientific Advisory Board for 2024-2025 programs
Honors and Awards
2018  Achievement Award, Chinese American Association of Scientists and Engineers of Southern California
2016  University Faculty Lecturer, UC Riverside
2013  Elected to the US National Academy of Sciences
2011  Elected an AAAS Fellow
2012-2018 HHMI-GBMF investigator
2007-2010 University Scholar, UC Riverside
2006  Charles Albert Shull award from American Society of Plant Biologists
2005  Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, Rutgers University
2002-2002 March of Dimes Basil O`Connor Starter Scholar Research Award
1995-1997 NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship
1991-1994 Cornell Plant Science Center Fellowship
1992  The Liu Memorial Award and The Hsien Wu and Daisy Yen Wu Scholarship
Editorial Activities
Senior editor, The Plant Cell, 04/2020 – present
Consulting Editor of PLOS Genetics, January 2016 - present
Editorial Board member of National Science Review 2015 – present
Editorial Board member of Molecular Plant, December 2014 – present
Editorial Board member of China Science Bulletin, 2014 – present
Editorial Board member of Science in China, 2014 - present
Editorial Board member of PLOS Biology, June 2014-present
Editorial Board member of Genes & Development, 2013-2017
Associate Editor of PLOS Genetics, Nov 2012 – January 2016
Editor of Plant Journal, January 2010 – December 2015
Editor of Molecular Plant, January 2012 – December 2014
Editorial Board member of Current Opinion in Plant Biology, December 2007 – present
Editor of Tropical Plant Biology, August 2007 – present
Monitoring Editor of Plant Physiology, August 2005 – December 2009
Editorial Board member of RNA Biology, 2004 - present
Grant Review/Study Section Membership
Ad hoc reviewer for ERC (Europe), 2022
NIH MIRA panel June 23-24, 2020
NIFA panel, July 2013
NIH DEV1 study section regular member, 2012-2016
NSF review panel, Sept 2012
Served on NIH DEV1 panel, Oct 2011
Served on NIH study section (DEV1), Feb 14-15, 2008.
Served as an ad hoc reviewer on NIH study section, Oct. 2006.
Served on NSF panel, 2005
Served on NASA plant biology panel, March 2001
Meeting Organizers and Session Chairs
Co-organized the Keystone symposium “Nuclear events in plant gene expression and signaling”, March 6-10, 2012, Taos, New Mexico.
Co-organized the Cold Spring Harbor Asia meeting on RNA biology, Nov 1-5, 2010, Suzhou, China.
Co-organized the 19th International Conference for Arabidopsis Research, July 23-27, 2008, Montreal, Canada.
Co-organized the 24th symposium in plant biology titled “Gene silencing: small RNAs and the epigenome”, Riverside, Jan. 2007.
Keynote speaker, The 23rd Penn State Symposium in Plant Biology – RNA Biology. May 18-20, 2022. Noncanonical RNA caps - NAD, FAD, and dpCoA
Keynote speaker, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory symposium - Plant Genomes, Systems of Biology & Engineering. December 1-4, 2021.
Plenary speaker at NSF-sponsored workshop: Cross-disciplinary study of post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications, October 18-20, 2021. Virtual.
Plenary session organizer and speaker, ASPB Plant Biology21, July 2021. Session title: RNA - the long and short of it
Distinguished lecture, City University of Hong Kong, December 19, 2017
Keynote address, the 19th International Botanical Congress, Shenzhen, China. July 23-29, 2017.
Keynote speech, the 57th International Maize Conference, St. Charles, Illinois. March 12-15, 2015.
Plenary speech, Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) XXIII, San Diego, Jan 9-14, 2015.
Keynote speech, The 25th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, Vancouver, Canada. July 28-August 1, 2014.
Editorial Activities
2012 Co-edited an issue on Plant Development, Current Opinion in Plant Biology
2010 Edited an issue in Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Books and Book Chapter
Manu Agarwal, Julien Curaba, and Xuemei Chen*. (2009). Endogenous small RNA pathways in Arabidopsis. Chapter 11 in “Regulation of Gene Expression by Small RNAs”, edited by J. Rossi and J. Gaur, published by CRC press.
Research Interests
The Chen lab initially studied how the identities of floral organs are specified and uncovered the functions of a number of RNA-binding proteins as floral homeotic genes that specify the identities of floral organs. The studies led to the discovery that some of the proteins act in the metabolism or function of microRNAs. The lab then switched research focus and investigated how microRNAs are made, degraded, and who they regulate target genes.
At present, the lab focuses on three main areas of investigation. One is to study how microRNAs move from cell to cell or systemically in plants and how mobile RNAs serve as intercellular signals that coordinate the growth of plant organs in response to warm temperature. The second is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the deposition, removal and molecular functions of non-canonical RNA caps such as NAD, FAD, and dpCoA caps. The third is to investigate the development of plastids with a focus on understanding gene expression and RNA modifications in plastids.
Representative Peer-Reviewed Publications
Qing Sang, Lusheng Fan, Tianxiang Liu, YongjianQiu, Juan Du, Beixin Mo, Meng Chen*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2023). MicroRNA156 conditions auxin sensitivity to enable growth plasticity in response to environmental changes in Arabidopsis. Nature Comm., accepted.

Yuan Wang, Brandon H. Le, Jianqiang Wang, Chenjiang You, Yonghui Zhao, Mary Galli, Ye Xu, Andrea Gallavotti, Thomas Eulgem, Beixin Mo*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2022). A novel factor that recruits and excludes Pol IV-mediated DNA methylation in a site-specific manner. Science Advances 8, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adc9454.

Lusheng Fan, Cui Zhang, Yong Zhang, Ethan Stewart, Jakub Jez, Keiji Nakajima, and Xuemei Chen*. (2022). Microtubules promote the non-cell autonomous action of microRNAs by inhibiting their cytoplasmic loading onto ARGONAUTE1 in Arabidopsis. Dev. Cell. 57, 995-1008.

Xuemei Chen* and Oded Rechavi*. (2021). Plant and animal small RNA communications between cells and organisms. Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 23, 85–203.

Hao Hu, Nora Flynn, Hailei Zhang, Chenjiang You, Runlai Hang, Xufeng Wang, Huan Zhong, Zhulong Chan, Yiji Xia*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2021). SPAAC-NAD-seq, a sensitive and accurate method to profile NAD+-capped transcripts. PNAS 118 (13) e2025595118.

Zhenxia Su, Nannan Wang, Zhimin Hou, Baiyang Li, Dingning Li, Yanhui Liu, Hanyang Cai, Yuan Qin*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2020). Regulation of female germline specification via small RNA mobility in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 32, 2842–2854.

Chenjiang You, Wenrong He, Runlai Hang, Cuiju Zhang, Xiaofeng Cao, Hongwei Guo, Xuemei Chen, Jie Cui*, and Beixin Mo*. (2019). FIERY1 promotes microRNA accumulation by suppressing rRNA-derived small interfering RNAs in Arabidopsis. Nature Comm. 10:4424.

Yuan Wang, Shaofang Li, Yonghui Zhao, Chenjiang You, Brandon Le, Zhizhong Gong, Beixin Mo, Yiji Xia and Xuemei Chen*. (2019). NAD+-capped RNAs are widespread in the Arabidopsis transcriptome and can probably be translated. PNAS 116, 12094-12102

Zhenxia Su, Lihua Zhao, Yuanyuan Zhao, Shaofang Li, So Youn Won, Hanyang Cai, Lulu Wang, Zhenfang Li, Yuan Qin*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2017). The THO complex non-cell autonomously represses female germline specification through the TAS3-ARF3 module. Current Biology 27, 1597–1609.

Yu Yu, Lijuan Ji, Brandon Le, Jixian Zhai, Jiayi Chen, Elizabeth Luscher, Lei Gao, Chunyan Liu, Xiaofeng Cao, Beixin Mo, Jinbiao Ma, Blake C. Meyers, and Xuemei Chen*. (2017). ARGONAUTE10 promotes the degradation of miR165/6 through the SDN1 and SDN2 exonucleases in Arabidopsis. PLoS Biology 15(2): e2001272.

Shengben Li, Lin Liu, Xiaohong Zhuang, Yu Yu, Xigang Liu, Xia Cui, Lijuan Ji, Zhiqiang Pan, Xiaofeng Cao, Beixin Mo, Fuchun Zhang, Natasha Raikhel, Liwen Jiang, and Xuemei Chen*. (2013). microRNAs inhibit the translation of target mRNAs on the endoplasmic reticulum in Arabidopsis. Cell 153, 562-574.

Yuanyuan Zhao, Yu Yu, Jixian Zhai, Vanitharani Ramachandran, Thanh Theresa Dinh, Blake C. Meyers, Beixin Mo*, and Xuemei Chen*. (2012). The Arabidopsis nucleotidyl transferase HESO1 uridylates unmethylated small RNAs to trigger their degradation. Current Biology 22, 689-694.

Vanitharani Ramachandran and Xuemei Chen*. (2008). Degradation of microRNAs by a family of exoribonucleases in Arabidopsis. Science 321, 1490-1492.

Junjie Li, Zhiyong Yang, Bin Yu, Jun Liu, and Xuemei Chen*. (2005). Methylation protects miRNAs and siRNAs from a 3’ end uridylation activity in Arabidopsis. Current Biology 15, 1501-1507.

Bin Yu, Zhiyong Yang, Junjie Li, Svetlana Minakhina, Maocheng Yang, Richard W. Padgett, Ruth Steward, and Xuemei Chen*. (2005). Methylation as a crucial step in plant microRNA biogenesis. Science 307, 932-935.

Xuemei Chen*. (2004). A microRNA as a translational repressor of APETALA2 in Arabidopsis flower development. Science 303, 2022-2025.
Undergraduate courses:
Molecular Biology

Graduate courses:
RNA interference
The Plant Genome
Laboratory Introduction