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PROF. XIA, Yiji (夏亦薺)

Chair Professor and Head of Department

(+852) 3411 7052
(+852) 3411 7052
SCT 815A


Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
M.Sc. (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences)
B.Sc. (Hons.) (Zhejiang Agricultural University, Ningbo)


Professor Yiji Xia obtained his PhD in Genetics in 1997 from Iowa State University. He was a Principal Investigator at Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis, USA) from 2001-2009 before joining HKBU. Professor Xia obtained research grants from US National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and Environmental Protection Agency while working in USA. Since joining HKBU in 2009, Professor Xia has succeeded in 12 grants from Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to support his research, including 10 GRF projects and two Collaborative Research Fund (CRF-group) projects, securing a cumulative sum of more than HK$25 million. In addition, he has established extensive collaboration at the University and with other institutions and was/is a Co-Investigator of two Area-of-Excellence projects and four CRF projects. Professor Xia has published over 60 research articles in Nature, PNAS, Plant Cell, EMBO Journal, Nucleic Acids Research, and other journals, earning a citation count of over 7,300.


The main research focus of Xia laboratory is on understanding molecular mechanisms that sense environmental changes and regulate gene expression. In recent years, RNA modifications, such as RNA capping, have increasingly been recognized as important mechanisms in controlling gene expression. The NAD cap is a newly discovered RNA cap that is present in many RNAs in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms of NAD capping and decapping and the molecular and physiological functions of the NAD cap remain largely unknown. Xia laboratory has developed new methods for global-scale identification and characterization of NAD-capped RNAs, and has recently published three papers in PNAS on study of NAD-capped RNAs. The Xia team is using molecular biology, genetics, biochemical, and functional genomics approaches to reveal the mechanisms of gene regulation by RNA modifications in Arabidopsis, E. coli, yeast, and human cells.