Xiaowen Bai, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology Xiaowen Bai, MD, PhD

Medical College of Wisconsin
Anesthesiology Research
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-5755
(414) 955-6507 (fax)

Dr. Bai received a PhD in Cell Biology from Beijing University in China. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Stem Cells at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Bai's research interests involve the application of stem cells in tissue regeneration, drug screening, and disease modeling.

Dr. Bai is an author or co-author of more than 50 publications including research articles, book chapters, reviews, editorials, and edited books. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of an R01 and the Leader of the Stem Cell Core of a Program Project Grant. In addition, she participates as a co-investigator on two projects of the Program Project Grant and on an Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Bai is a member of several professional societies and serves as an editorial board member or reviewer for a number of journals including the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Development, Journal of Translational Medicine, Biomaterials, Disease Models & Mechanisms, and Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Bai’s current research focuses on the following three areas:

Research Area 1: Anesthetic-induced developmental neurotoxicity:

Growing evidence demonstrates that prolonged anesthesia with general anesthetics induces widespread neuronal cell death followed by long-term memory and learning disabilities in animal models, seriously questioning the safety of obstetric and pediatric anesthesia. In addition, the underlying mechanisms of anesthetic neurotoxicity are complex and not well understood. We utilize gain- and loss-of-function approaches to examine the novel molecular mechanisms underlying the roles of microRNAs and mitochondrial dynamics in anesthetic neurotoxicity in mice, and translate the findings to humans using stem cell-derived neurons.

Selected relevant publications:

  1. Bosnjak ZJ , Yan Y, Canfield S, Muravyeva MY, Kikuchi C, Wells CW, Corbett JA, Bai X. Ketamine induces toxicity in human neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells via mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Curr Drug Saf, 7(2):106-19, 2012.
  2. Bai X, Twaroski D, Bosnjak ZJ. Modeling anesthetic-induced developmental neurotoxicity using human stem cells. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth, 17(4): 276-87, 2013.
  3. Twaroski DM, Yan Y, Olson JM, Bosnjak ZJ, Bai X. Down-regulation of miR-21 mediates propofol-induced neurotoxicity in developing human neurons. Anesthesiology, 121(4):786-800, 2014.

Research Area 2: Stem cell-mediated myocardial regeneration:

Myocardial infarction is one of the major causes of death throughout the world. Currently, there is no very effective approach for treatment. Stem cells hold a promise in repairing injured cardiac tissue. Our lab is involved in studying the effect of the transplantation of adipose tissue-derived stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes on myocardial regeneration following ischemia injury. A molecular imaging method has been developed to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling homing, engraftment, and survival of injected cells in vivo.

Selected relevant publications:

  1. Bai X, Yan Y, Song YH, Rabinovich B, Seidensticker M, Metzele R, Bankson JA, Vykoukal D, Alt E. Both cultured and freshly isolated adipose tissue-derived stem cells enhance cardiac function after acute myocardial infarction. Eur Heart J, 31(4): 489–501, 2010.
  2. Bai X, Yan Y, Coleman M, Wu G, Rabinovich B, Seidensticker M, Alt E. Tracking long-term survival of intramyocardially delivered human adipose tissue-derived stem cells using bioluminescence imaging. Mol Imaging Biol, 13(4):633-45, 2011.
  3. Bai X, Alt E. Myocardial regeneration potential of adipose tissue-derived stem cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 401(3):321-6, 2010.

Research Area 3: Anesthetic-induced cardioprotection:

Hyperglycemia has been shown to be particularly detrimental to the cardioprotective effects provided by anesthetic preconditioning, with the underlying mechanisms remaining largely unknown. We have developed and validated a clinically relevant model of cardiac preconditioning using human cardiomyocytes, derived from both normal induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and diabetes mellitus iPSCs. This in vitro model of human disease will enable developmental and comparative studies of normal and diabetic cardiomyocytes to address genetic and environmental mechanisms responsible for attenuation of preconditioning efficacy in diabetics.

Selected relevant publications:

  1. Kikuchi C, Bienengraeber M, Canfield S, Koopmeiners A, Schaefer R, Bosnjak ZJ, Bai X. Comparison of cardiomyocyte differentiation potential of type 1 diabetic donor- and non-diabetic donor-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell Transplant, 2015. In press.
  2. Zaja I, Bai X, Liu Y, Kikuchi C, Dosenovic S, Yan Y, Canfield SG, Bosnjak ZJ. Cdk1, PKCδ and calcineurin-mediated Drp1 pathway contributes to mitochondrial fission-induced cardiomyocyte death. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 453(4):710-21, 2014.
  3. Olson J, Yan Y, Bai X, Liang M, Kriegel A, Bosnjak ZJ. MicroRNA-21 mediates isoflurane-induced cardioprotection through PDCD4, independent of PTEN. Anesthesiology, 122(4):795-805, 2014.

To contact Dr. Bai, please call (414) 955-5755 or email xibai@mcw.edu

Recent Publications

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