Min Ni

Assistant Professor

Research Focus

Approximately one in three admissions to pediatric hospitals results from conditions with a genetic basis. Although the majority of these conditions are rare, collectively they account for a significant amount of illness and death in children. Discovering the genetic basis of rare conditions can help us uncover the causes of common diseases, particularly those genetic diseases that are the result of impaired metabolism, such as inborn errors of metabolism.

My research with the Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program (GMDP) focuses on discovering disease-causing genes in patients with undiagnosed genetic disorders and understanding the physiological impact of known but inadequately treated metabolic diseases. We apply samples collected from patients and their families to a panel of laboratory tests, including genomic sequencing and profiling of metabolites, to find altered DNA sequences and abnormal metabolic activities. Combining this data with clinical evaluations can lead to identification of new genetic causes in children with undiagnosed disorders and help us discover novel biomarkers to more efficiently diagnose known metabolic diseases.

About Dr. Ni

Min Ni received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) at Los Angeles, where she studied the endoplasmic reticulum stress response in cancers with Dr. Amy Lee at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2008, she started her postdoctoral training with Dr. Myles Brown at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, studying the function of androgens in breast cancer funded by her scholarship from the U.S. Department of Defense. In 2011, she became an Instructor in medical oncology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ni joined Infinity Pharmaceuticals in Boston in 2013 where she worked on clinical trials testing new therapeutics for leukemia and lymphoma. In 2014, she joined the Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program at the Children’s Medical Research Institute at UT Southwestern as an assistant professor.


Huang, F., Ni, M.,Chalishazar, M.D., Huffman, K.E., Kim, J., Cai, L., Shi, X., Cai, F., Zacharias, L.G., Ireland, A.S., Li, K., Gu, W., et al. (2018).  Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase Dependence in a Subset of Small Cell Lung Cancer. Cell MetabolismS1550-413, 30387-5. (PubMed)

Faubert, B., Li, K.Y., Cai, L., Hensley, C.T., Kim, J., Zacharias, L.G., Yang, C., Do, Q.N., Doucette, S., Burguete, D., Li, H., Huet, G., Yuan, Q., Wigal, T., Butt, Y., Ni, M.,et al. (2017). Lactate Metabolism in Human Lung Tumors. Cell171,358-371. (PubMed)

Liu, X., Zhang, Y., Chen, Y., Li, M., Zhou, F., Li, K., Cao, H., Ni, M.,Liu, Y., Gu, Z., Dickerson, K.E., Xie, S., et al. (2017). In situ capture of chromatin interactions by biotinylated dCas9. Cell170,1028-1043. (PubMed)

Liu, X.*, Zhang, Y.*, Ni, M.*,Cao, H., Signer, R.A.J., Li, D., Li, M., Gu, Z., Hu, Z., Dickerson, K.E., Weinberg, S.E., Chandel, N.S., et al. (2017). Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in erythropoiesis by mTORC1-mediated protein translation.  Nat. Cell Biol. 19, 626-638. (PubMed) *equal contribution

Kim, J., Hu, Z., Cai, L., Li, K., Choi, E., Faubert, B., Bezwada, D., Rodriguez-Canales, J., Villalobos, P., Lin, Y-F., Ni, M.,et al. (2017). CPS1 maintains pyrimidine pools and DNA synthesis is KRAS/LKB1-mutant lung cancer cells.  Nature 546, 168-172. (PubMed)

Hensley, C.T., Faubert, B., Yuan, Q., Lev-Cohain, N., Jin, E., Kim, J., Jiang, L., Ko, B., Skelton, R., Loudat, L., et al. (2016). Metabolic heterogeneity in human lung tumors. Cell 164, 681–694.(PubMed)

Shu, S., Lin, C.Y., He, H.H., Witwicki, R.M., Tabassum, D.P., Roberts, J.M., Janiszewska, M., Huh, S.J., Liang, Y., Ryan, J., Doherty, E., Mohammed, H., et al. (2016). Response and resistance to BET bromodomain inhibitors in triple-negative breast cancer. Nature529, 413-7. (PubMed)

Chen, X., Iliopoulos, D., Zhang, Q., Tang, Q., Greenblatt, M., Hatziapostolou, M., Lim, M., Tam, W.L., Ni, M.,Chen, Y., Mai, J., Shen, H., et al. (2014). XBP1 promotes triple-negative breast cancer by controlling the HIF1α pathway. Nature508, 103-7. (PubMed)

Ni, M.,Chen, Y., Fei, T., Li, D., Lim, E., Liu, X.S., and Brown, M. (2013). Amplitude modulation of androgen signaling by c-MYC. Genes Dev. 27, 734-48. (PubMed)

Wey, S., Luo, B., Tseng, C., Ni, M., Zhou, H., Fu, Y., Bhojwani, D., Carroll, W.L., Lee, A.S. (2012). Inducible knockout of GRP78/BiP in the hematopoietic system suppresses Pten-null leukemogenesis and AKT oncogenic signaling. Blood 119, 817-25. (PubMed)

Ni, M.*,Chen, Y.*, Lim, E., Wimberly, H., Bailey, S.T., Imai, Y., Rimm, D.L., Liu, X.S., and Brown, M. (2011). Targeting androgen receptor in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Cancer Cell 20, 119-31. (PubMed) *equal contribution

Ye, R., Ni, M.,Wang, M., Luo, S., Zhu, G., Chow, R.H., Lee, A.S. (2011).  Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor 1 mutation perturbs glucose homeostasis and enhances susceptibility to diet-induced diabetes. J Endocrinol 210, 209-17. (PubMed)

Baba, A., Ohtake, F., Okuno, Y., Yokota, K., Okada, M., Imai, Y., Ni, M.,Meyer, C.A., Igarashi, K., Kanno, J., Brown, M., and Kato, S. (2011). PKA-dependent regulation of the histone lysine demethylase complex PHF2-ARID5B. Nature Cell Biol. 13, 668-75. (PubMed)

Zhang, Y., Liu, R., Ni, M.,Gill, P., and Lee, A.S. (2010). Cell surface relocalization of the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone and unfolded protein response regulator GRP78/BiP. Journal of Biol Chem. 285, 15065-75. (PubMed)

Xu, J., Sankaran, V., Ni, M.,Menne, T., Puram, R., Kim, W., and Orkin, S.H. (2010). Transcriptional silencing of γ-globin by BCL11A involves long-range interactions and cooperation with SOX6. Genes & Development 24, 783-98. (PubMed)

He, H., Meyer, C.A., Shin, H., Bailey, S., Wei, G., Wang, Q., Zhang, Y., Xu, K., Ni, M.,Lupien, M., Mieczkowski, P., Lieb, J.D., Zhao, K., Brown, M., and Liu, X.S. (2010). Nucleosome dynamics defines transcriptional enhancers. Nature Genetics 42, 343-7. (PubMed)

Zhang, Q., Gu, J., Li, L., Liu, J., Luo, B., Cheung, H.W., Boehm, J.S., Ni, M.,Geisen, C., Root, D.E., Polyak, K., Brown, M., et al. (2009). Control of cyclin D1 and breast tumorigenesis by the EgIN2 prolyl hydroxylase. Cancer Cell 16, 413-24. (PubMed)

Ni, M.,Zhou, H., Wey, S., Baumeister, P., and Lee, A.S. (2009). Regulation of PERK signaling and leukemic cell survival by a novel cytosolic isoform of the UPR regulator GRP78/BiP. PLoS One. 4, e6868. (PubMed)

Virrey, J.J., Dong, D., Stiles, C., Patterson, J.B., Pen, L.,Ni, M.,Schonthal, A.H., Chen, T.C., Hofman, F.M., and Lee, A.S. (2008). Stress chaperone GRP78/BiP confers chemoresistance to tumor-associated endothelial cells. Mol Cancer Res. 6, 1268-1275. (PubMed)

Fei, Q., Zhang, H., Fu, L., Dai, X., Gao, B., Ni, M.,Ge, C., Li, J., Ding, X., Ke, Y., Yao, X., and Zhu, J. (2008). Experimental cancer gene therapy by multiple anti-survivin hammerhead ribozymes. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 40, 466-477. (PubMed)

Li, J., Ni, M.,Lee, B., Barron, E., Hinton, D.R. and Lee, A.S. (2008). The unfolded protein response regulator GRP78/BiP is required for endoplasmic reticulum integrity and stress-induced autophagy in mammalian cells. Cell Death Differ. 15, 1460-1471. (PubMed)

Dong, D., Ni, M.,Li, J., Xiong, S., Ye, W., Virrey, J.J., Mao, C., Ye, R., Wang, M., Pen, L., Dubeau, L., Groshen, S., Hofman, F.M. and Lee, A.S. (2008). Critical role of the stress chaperone GRP78/BiP in tumor proliferation, survival and tumor angiogenesis in transgene-induced mammary tumor development. Cancer Res. 68, 498-505. (PubMed)

Yu, J., Ni, M.,Xu, J., Zhang, H.Y., Gao, B.M., Gu, J.R., Chen, J.G., Zhang, L.S., Wu, M.C., Zhen, S.S., and Zhu, J.D. (2002). Methylation profiling of twenty promoter-CpG islands of genes which may contribute to hepatocellular carcinogenesis. BMC Cancer 2, 29. (PubMed)

Xu, J., Zhu, J.D., Ni, M.,Wan, D.F., and Gu, J.R. (2002). The ATF/CREB site is the key element for transcription of the human RNA methyltransferase like 1 (RNMTL1) gene, a newly discovered 17p13.3 gene. Cell Res.12, 177-197. (PubMed)