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Wenxian Fu, PhD

Pediatric Diabetes Research Center (PDRC)

Assistant Professor, UCSD Department of Pediatrics               

phone: 858-246-0022

Fu Lab website​


Dr. Fu received his Ph.D. in Immunology at Peking University, China, where he studied the role of chemokines in immune cell migration and maturation. Dr. Fu did his postdoctoral training first at Joslin Diabetes Center and then at the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, where his research has focused on the pathogenesis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes and the molecular mechanisms of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.


Dr. Fu’s research focuses on the immune regulatory mechanisms that lead to type 1 diabetes with the goal of discovering new preventive and therapeutic strategies.  His lab is also exploring new imaging methods for predicting the risk of developing type 1 diabetes before patients are diagnosed with the disease.


Bi-Huei Yang, Ke Wang, Shuo Wan, Yan Liang, Xiaomei Yuan, Yi Dong, Sunglim Cho, Wanqing Xu, Kristen Jepsen, Gen-Sheng Feng, Li-Fan Lu, Hai-Hui Xue, and Wenxian Fu. TCF1 and LEF1 control Treg competitive survival and Tfr development to prevent autoimmune diseases. Cell Reports 2019 Jun 18;27(12):3629-3645.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.061.

Ying W*, Lee YS*, Dong Y*, Seidman JS, Yang M, Isaac R, Seo JB, Yang B, Wollam J, Riopel M, McNeils J, Glass CK, Olefsky JM‡, Fu W‡. Expansion of islet-resident macrophages leads to inflammation affecting beta cell proliferation and function in obesity. Cell Metabolism. 2019. 29: 457-474.  Preview by Spadaro and Dixit in Immunity. Highlighted in Nature Rev. Endo.

Kraakman MJ, Liu Q, Postigo-Fernandez J, Ji R, Kon N, Larrea D, Namwanje M, Fan L, Chan M, Area-Gomez E, Fu W, Creusot RJ, Qiang L. PPARγ deacetylation dissociates thiazolidinedione's metabolic benefits from its adverse effects. J Clin Invest. 2018 May 14. pii: 98709. doi: 10.1172/JCI98709. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29589839.

Yuan X, Dong Y, Tsurushita N, Tso JY and Fu W. CD122 blockade restores immunological tolerance in autoimmune type 1 diabetes via multiple mechanisms. JCI Insight. 2018;3(2):e96600. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.96600.

Chen K, Jih A, Osborn O, Kavaler ST, Fu W, Sasik R, Saito R, Kim JJ. Distinct gene signatures predict insulin resistance in young mice with high fat diet-induced obesity. Physiol Genomics. 2018 Jan 8. dos: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00045.2017. [Epub ahead of print] 

Yuan X, Yang B, Dong Y, Yamamura A and Fu W. CRIg, a tissue-resident macrophage specific immune checkpoint molecule, promotes immunological tolerance in NOD mice, via a dual role in effector and regulatory T cells. eLife 2017;6:e29540 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.29540

Lee J, Liao R, Wang G, Yang BH, Luo X, Varki NM, Qiu SJ, Ren B, Fu W, Feng GS. Preventive Inhibition of Liver Tumorigenesis by Systemic Activation of Innate Immune Functions. Cell Rep. 2017 Nov 14;21(7):1870-1882

Ying W, Riopel M, Bandyopadhyay G, Dong Y, Birmingham A, Seo JB, Ofrecio JM, Wollam J, Hernandez-Carretero A, Fu W, Li P, Olefsky JM. Adipose Tissue Macrophage-Derived Exosomal miRNAs Can Modulate In Vivo and In Vitro Insulin Sensitivity. Cell. 2017 Oct 5;171(2):372-384

Cho S, Wu CJ, Nguyen D, Lin LL, Chen M, Khan A, Yang B, Fu W and Lu L. A novel miR-24-TCF1 axis in modulating effector T cell responses. Journal of Immunology. 2017. 198:3919-3926.

Fu W, Farache J, Clardy S, Hattori K, Mander P, Lee K, Rioja I, Weissleder R, Prinjha R, Benoist C, Mathis D. Epigenetic modulation of type-1 diabetes via a dual effect on pancreatic macrophages and β cells. eLife. 2014. 10.7554/eLife.04631. Journal cover; highlighted in eLife. 2014;3:e05720; N Engl J Med. 2015. 372: 778-80

Gutierrez D, Fu W, Schonefeldt S, Feyerabend T, Ortiz-Lopez A, Lampi Y, Liston A, Mathis D, Rodewald H. Type 1 Diabetes in NOD Mice is Unaffected by Mast Cell Deficiency. Diabetes. 2014. 63:3827-34.

Engin F, Yermalovich A, Ngyuen T, Hummasti S, Fu W, Eizirik D, Mathis D, Hotamisligil G. Restoration of the Unfolded Protein Response in Pancreatic Beta Cells Protects Mice Against Type 1 Diabetes. Science Translational Medicine. 2013. 5: 211ra156. [Highlighted Nat Rev Endocrinology. 2014.10:129-30]

Fu W, Ergun A, Lu T, Hill JA, Haxhinasto S, Fassett MS, Gazit R, Adoro S, Glimcher L, Chan S, Kastner P, Rossi D, Collins JJ, Mathis D and Benoist B. A multiply redundant genetic switch 'locks in' the transcriptional signature of T regulatory cells. Nature Immunology. 2012. 13: 972–980. Highlighted in Nat Immunol. 2012.13:943-5