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Jijun Hao, PhD

Associate Professor, Stem Cell Biology / Cancer Biology

College of Veterinary Medicine

E-Mail: jhao@westernu.edu

Phone: 909-469-8686

Join year: 2012


PhD. Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 2003

BSc. Department of Biochemical Enginering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China, 1996

Professional Experience

Associate Professor: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA, 2018 - present

Assistant Professor: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA, 2012 - 2018

Research Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA, 2010 - 2012

Research Fellow, Vanderibilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA, 2004 - 2010

Academic Interests

Stem cell biology, zebrafish-based drug screening and cancer biology.

Research Interest

My current research mainly focuses on 1) chemical approaches for stem cell/iPS cell cardiomyogenesis, 2) zebrafish-based drug screening, and 3) cancer biology.

By zebrafish-based screening, we have identified a number of small molecules which can modulate key signaling pathways such as BMP, Wnt/β-catenin and Hedgehog pathways. As these key signaling pathways are involved in stem cell fate decisions and many types of human diseases including cancer, the small molecules that modulate these key pathways may control stem cell differentiation as well as serve leads for cancer drug development.


American Heart Association


Western University of Health Sciences Research Committee, 2013 ~ Present

Research Advisory Committee, College of Veterinary Medicine,2012 ~ Present

Instructional Resource Committee,College of Veterinary Medicine,2012 ~ Present




Harb, J., Lin, P.J., and *Hao, J. (2019), “Recent Development of Wnt Signaling Pathway Inhibitors for Cancer Therapeutics”, Current Oncology Reports,21(2):12.

Li J. H. and *Hao J. (2019) “Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases with Bioactive Components ofTripterygium wilfordii”, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 47(04) pp. 769-785

Koury J., Ramirez A., Xie C., Harb J, Dong C., Maki C., Ramos T., Izadyar F., Clark D., Drechsler Y., * Kaur G. and *Hao J. (2019) “Phosphodiesterase 4D, miR-203 and selected cytokines in the peripheral blood are associated with canine atopic dermatitis”, Plos One (in press)


Xie, C., Ramirez, A., Wang, Z, Chow, M and *Hao, J (2018) “A Simple and Sensitive HPLC-MS/MS Method for Quantification of Eggmanone in Rat Plasma and Its Application to Pharmacokinetics”, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 153, p37-43.

Li, H., Ha, H., Ding, X., Bae, C., Gazy, N., *Hao, J. and *Zhong, L (2018) “DMH4, a VEGFR2 Inhibitor, Effectively Suppresses Growth and Invasion of Lung Cancer Cells”,Journal of Applied Biomedicine, 16, 46-50


Botello-Smith WM, Alsamarah A, Chatterjee P, Xie C, Lacroix JJ, *Hao J, *Luo Y. (2017) “Polymodal allosteric regulation of Type 1 Serine/Threonine Kinase Receptors via a conserved electrostatic lock”. PLoS Comput Biol. 13(8):e1005711.

Zhang X, Tian Y, Yang Y, *Hao J. (2017) “Development of anticancer agents targeting the Hedgehog signaling”. Cell Mol Life Sci. 74(15):2773-2782.

*Hao, J, Unternaehrer,J, Cui, XJ, Cheng, NH, and Oji, Y (2017) “Regulation of Stemness in Carcinoma Cells”, Stem Cells International, Article ID 7681769

Taguchi T, Cho JY, Hao J, Nout-Lomas YS, Kang KS, Griffon DJ. (2017) “Influence of hypoxia on the stemness of umbilical cord matrix-derived mesenchymal stem cells cultured on chitosan films”, J Biomed Mater Res B Biomater. 106(2):501-511.

Koury, J., Zhong, L., and *Hao, J.(2017) “Targeting Signaling Pathways in Cancer Stem Cells for Cancer Treatment”, Stem Cells International, Article ID 2925869


Chinison, J. Aguilar JS., Avalos A., Huang, Y., Wang, Z., Cameron, DJ.,and *Hao, J. (2016) "Triptonide Effectively Inhibits Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling via C-terminal Transactivation Domain of β-catenin". Scientific Reports. 6, 32779; doi: 10.1038/srep32779.

Pang, J., Zuo, Y., Chen, Y., Song, L., Zhu, Q. Yu, J., Shan, C., Cai, Z., Hao, J., Kaplan, FS., Shore, EM., Zhang, K. (2016) “ACVR1-Fc Suppresses BMP Signaling and Chondro-osseous Differentiation in an in vitro Model of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva”, Bone, 92, 29-36.

Wang Z, Ravula R, Shi L, Song Y, Yeung S, Liu M, Lau B, Hao J, Wang J, Lam CW, Chow MS, Huang Y. (2016) “Overcoming chemoresistance in prostate cancer with Chinese medicine Tripterygium wilfordii via multiple mechanisms”, Oncotarget, doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.10868

*Luo, Y.,Alsamarah, A.,Zhang, K.and *Hao, J. (2016) “Development of New Therapeutic Agents for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva”, Current Molecular Medicine, 16, 4-11


Han, B.C., Qu, Y., Jin, Y.L., Yu, Y., Deng, N., Wawrowsky, K., Zhang, X., Li, N., Bose, S., Liu, Z., Wang, Q., Sakkiah, S., Abrol, R., Kang, S., Zhou, X., Johnson, J., Gao, B., Hao, J., Buttyan, R., Ray, P.S., Hung, M.C., Giuliano, A., Cui, X. (2015) “FOXC1 Activates Smoothened-Independent Hedgehog Signaling in Basal-like Breast Cancer”, Cell reports, 13, 1-13

Begum, AN., Guoynes, C., Cho, J., Hao, J., Lutfy, K. and Hong Y. (2015) “Rapid generation of sub-type, region-specific neurons and neural networks from human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurospheres”, Stem Cell Research, 15, 731-741

Aguilar, JS., Begum, AN., Alvarez,J., Zhang, X., Hong, Y., and *Hao, J. (2015) “Directed cardiomyogenesis of human pluripotent stem cells by modulating Wnt/ β-catenin and BMP signalling with small molecules”, Biochemical Journal, 469 (2) 235-241

Alsamarah, A., LaCuran,AE., Oelschlaeger, P., *Hao, J. *Luo, Y. (2015) “Uncovering Molecular Bases Underlying Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor Inhibitor Selectivity”, PLoS One, 10(7):e0132221

Zhang, X., *Hao, J. (2015) “Development of Anticancer Agents Targeting the Wnt/β-catenin Signaling”, American Journal of Cancer Research, 5(8):2344-2360

Williams CH, Hempel JE, Hao J, Frist AY, Williams MM, Fleming JT, Sulikowski GA, Cooper MK, Chiang C, Hong CC. (2015) “An In Vivo Chemical Genetic Screen Identifies Phosphodiesterase 4 as a Pharmacological Target for Hedgehog Signaling Inhibition”, Cell Reports, 11, p43–50


Hao, J*., Lee, R., Chang, A., Fan, J., Labib C., Parsa, C, Orlando, R., Andresen, B. and Huang, Y* (2014) "DMH1, A Small Molecule Inhibitor of BMP Type I Receptors, Suppresses Growth and Invasion of Lung Cancer", PLoS ONE 9(3): e90748.(*corresponding author).

Hao J*., Galindo CL, Tran TL and Sawyer DB*. (2014) "Neuregulin-1β induces embryonic stem cell cardiomyogenesis via ErbB3/ErbB2 receptors". Biochemical Journal 458, 335-341, (*corresponding author)

Sheng, CC, Hao, J. and Hong, CC. (2014) “Chemically Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (CiPSCs): A Potential Chemical Biological Breakthrough in Reprogramming?” John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN: 978-1-118-34959-5.

Hong, CC, Ao, A. andHao, J. (2014) Book: "Chemical Biology in Regenerative Medicine: Bridging Stem Cells and Future Therapies, John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Han, G.F., Wang, H.T., and *Hao, J. (2013) "Molecular Mechanisms of Embryonic Stem Cell Pluripotency", Pluripotent Stem Cells", INTECH press, ISBN 978-953-51-1192-4(*corresponding author).

Hao, J, Ao, A, Zhou, L, Murphy, CK, Frist, AY, Keel, JJ, Throne, CA,Kim, K, Lee,E and Hong,CC. (2013) "Selective Small Molecule Targeting beta-Catenin Function Discovered by In Vivo Chemical Genetic Screen", Cell Reports, 4, 898-904

Sheng, CC., Zhou, L. and *Hao, J. (2013) “Current Stem Cell Delivery Methods for Myocardial Repair”, BioMed Research International (formerly titled Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology), Article ID 547902 (*corresponding author)


Ao A, Hao J, Hopkins CR and Hong CC. (2012) “DMH1, a Novel BMP Small Molecule Inhibitor, Increases Cardiomyocyte Progenitors and Promotes Cardiac Differentiation in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells”, PLoS One, 7, e41627


Wiley, DM., Kim, JD, Hao, J., Hong, CC., Bautch, VL., Jin, SK. (2011) “Distinct signaling pathways regulate sprouting angiogenesis from the dorsal aorta and axial vein” Nature Cell Biology, 13,686–692

*Hao, J,Sawyer, DB., Hatzopoulos, AK and *Hong,CC (2011) “Recent progress on chemical biology of pluripotent stem cell: self-renewal, reprogramming and cardiomyogenesis”, Recent Patents on Regenerative Medicine, 1, 263-274,

Ao, A., Hao, J, Hong, CC. (2011) “Regenerative chemical biology: current challenges and future potentials”, Chemistry & Biology, 18, 413-424

Wang, H., *Hao, J, *Hong, CC. (2011) “Cardiac induction of embryonic stem cells by a small molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signalling”, ACS Chemical Biology, 6, 192–197, (*co-first author and co-corresponding author)

Ao, A, Williams, CH, *Hao, J, *Hong, CC. (2011) “Modified mouse embryonic stem cell based assay for quantifying cardiogenic induction efficiency”,J Vis Exp., 50, 2656.

Hao, J., Zhou, L., Hong, CC. (2011) “Chemical biology of pluripotent stem cells: Focus on cardiomyogenesis”, Embryonic Stem Cells - Recent Advances in Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Medicine, INTECH, ISBN: 978-953-307-1985, 51-64

2010 and Before

Hao,J., Daleo, MA and Hong, CC. (2010) “Crosstalk between mitogen activated protein kinase and phosphoinositide-3 kinase signalling pathways in development and disease”, Systems Biology for Signaling Networks, , Springer, New York, ISBN:978-144-195-7962, 505-529

Hao, J, Williams, C H., Webb, M E., Hong, CC. (2010) “Large scale zebrafish-based in vivo small molecule screen”, J. Vis. Exp., 46, 2243

Hao, J, Ho, JN, Lewis, JA, Karim, K, Daniels, RN, Gentry, PR, Hopkins, CR, Lindsley, CW and Hong CC. (2010) “In vivo structure activity relationship study of dorsomorphin analogs identifies selective VEGF and BMP inhibitors”,ACS Chemical Biology, 5, 245–253

Hao,J., Daleo MA, Murphy, CK, Yu, PB, Ho, JN, Hu J, Peterson, RT., Hatzopoulos, AK., Hong, CC. (2008) “Dorsomorphin, a Selective Small Molecule Inhibitor of BMP Signaling, Promotes Cardiomyogenesis in Embryonic Stem Cells”, PLoS ONE, 3, e2904

Hao, J., Vann, WF., Hinderlich, S. and Sundaramoorthy, M. (2006)“Elimination of 2-keto-3-dexoy-D-glycero-D-galacto-nonulosonic acid 9-phosphate synthase activity from human N-acetylneuraminic acid 9-phosphate synthase by a single mutation”, Biochem. J. 397, 195-201

Hao, J., Balagurumoorthy, P., Sarilla, S. and Sundaramoorthy, M. (2005)“Cloning, expression and characterization of sialic acid synthases”, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 338,1507-1514

Hao, J.and Berry, A. (2004) “A thermostable variant of fructose bisphosphate aldolase constructed by directed evolution also shows increased stability in organic solvents”, Protein Eng, Des and Sel. 17, 689-697


Hong, CC. Hao, J., Ao, A. and Kwangho, K., “Compounds and methods for inhibition of wnt signaling”, US patent application No: US 61/508,919 (pending).

Hong, CC., Williams, CH., Hempel, J., Feaster, TK., Frist, A., Rubin, DH., Sulikowski, G. and Hao, J. (2016)"Compounds and methods for inhibition of hedgehog signalling and phosphodiesterase", international publication number, WO 2016/040951A1

Hong, CC., Hopkins, C R., Hatzopoulos, AK., Lindsley, CW and Hao, J.“Compounds and methods useful for directing stem cell differentiation”, US patent number: US 8,822,684B1.

Selected Achievements

1) Developed DMH1, a small molecule inhibitor of BMP signalling.


2) Developed DMH4, a small molecule inhibitor of VEGF signaling.


3) Discovered Windorphen, a small molecule inhibitor of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling


4) Discovered Eggmanone, a small molecularallostericinhibitor of PDE4.