Allen Xiaofeng Su


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor
Location: Other Location
Research Interests:
National Cancer Institute - Genitourinary Malignancies Branch
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Koch Institute
Office Phone


B.S. University of Science and Technology of China (2008)
Ph.D. Tufts University (2016)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2021)


Research Focuses
Oncology, translational sciences, cancer therapy and biomarkers, genomic instability and aneuploidy, DNA damage repair, replication stress, cancer metabolism, new cancer in vitro and in vivo models.

Research Projects
Dr. Su's laboratory focuses on how genomic instability and tumor-specific aneuploidy influences cancer development using prostate cancer as a main cancer model. The lab is interested in understanding a fundamental question of why certain chromosomes were frequently gained or lost during cancer development. Three projects are ongoing in his lab: (1) Elucidate the mechanisms of novel aneuploidy-associated genes (such as the cohesin gene RAD21 and the squalene synthesis gene, SQLE) in driving the aggressiveness of prostate cancers. (2) Understand the roles of patient-specific alterations in DNA damage repair genes in influencing cancer disparities and treatment. (3) Develop novel ex vivo model and pharmacological molecules identify cancer vulnerabilities. The overarching goal is to provide implications for therapeutic targets in prostate and other cancers.

Awards and Honors
Koch Institute Image Award (2022)
DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics (2021)
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2018-2020)
AACR (America Association for Cancer Research) Scholar-in-Training Award (2019)
Koch Institute Marlena Felter Bradford Research Travel Fellowship (2019)
The Ludwig Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2017)
GRS/GRC Travel Award for Invited Speaker (2016)
American Society of Biochem. and Mol. Biology (ASBMB) Best Thematic Poster Award (2015)
Tufts University Graduate Student Research Award (2012)
iGEM Best Foundational Technology, Finalist and Gold Medal, MIT (2007)

Representative Publications
(1) Konrad Stopsack, Xiaofeng A. Su, Jane Vaselkiv, Rebecca Graff, Ericka Ebot, Andreas Pettersson, Rosina Lis, Michelangelo Fiorentino, Massimo Loda, Kathryn Penney, Tamara Lotan, and Lorelei Mucci. "Transcriptomes of Prostate Cancer with TMPRSS2:ERG and Other ETS Fusions." Mol Cancer Res. 2023 Jan 3;21(1):14-23.
(2) Rebecca E. Brown^, Xiaofeng A. Su^, Stacey Fair, Katherine Wu, Lauren Verra, Robyn Jong, Kristin Andrykovich, Catherine H. Freudenreich*. "THO and TRAMP complexes prevent transcription-replication conflicts, DNA breaks, and CAG repeat contraction" PLoS Biology. 2022: 20(12): e3001940. ^co-first author.
(3) Marianna Trakala, Muskaan Aggarwal, Courtney Sniffen, Lauren Zasadil, Allison Carroll, Duanduan Ma, Xiaofeng A. Su, Darawalee Wangsa, Ashleigh Meyer, Pei-hsin Hsu, Glenn Paradis, Thomas Ried, Andrew Holland, Jan Van Deursen and Angelika Amon. "Clonal selection of stable aneuploidies in progenitor cells drives high-prevalence tumorigenesis" Genes and Development. 2021 Jul 15. 35: 1079-1092.
(4) Xiaofeng A. Su*, Duanduan Ma, James V. Parsons JV, John M. Replogle, James F. Amatruda, Charles A. Whittaker, Kimberly Stegmaier K, Angelika Amon. "RAD21 is a driver of chromosome 8 gain in Ewing sarcoma to mitigate replication stress." Genes and Development. 2021 Mar 25. 35: 556-572. *Corresponding Author
(5) Xiaofeng A. Su and Catherine H. Freudenreich. "Cytosine deamination and base excision repair cause R-loop-induced CAG repeat fragility and instability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2017;114(40): E8392-E8401.
(6) Catherine H. Freudenreich and Xiaofeng A. Su. "Relocalization of DNA lesions to the nuclear pore complex." FEMS Yeast Research. 2016 Oct 30; 16(8).
(7) Xiaofeng A. Su, Vincent Dion, Susan M. Gasser and Catherine H. Freudenreich. "Regulation of recombination at yeast nuclear pores controls repair and triplet repeat stability." Genes and Development. 2015 May 15;29(10):1006-17 (featured on the cover).

Representative Bibliography