CAO Huiling
Research Fellow


Prof. Cao focuses on the study of skeleton development and homeostasis regulation and related bone diseases (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc.), mechanisms of sugar and fat metabolism, etc. She obtained her Joint PhD degree (Tianjin Medical University and University of Pittsburgh) in immunology in 2010. Then she finished her post-doc training in the University of Pittsburgh (2010-2011). In 2014, Prof. Cao joined SUSTech, now she is a tenure-track associate professor. She is a member of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, life-time member of ICMRS, etc. Prof. Cao serves as a reviewer for Bone Research, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, Journal of cell physiology, etc. She is a reviewer for National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). She is in charge of the NSFC-Excellent Young Scientists Fund, NSFC-General Program, NSFC-Young Scientists Fund, etc. Her work has been reported in many high-profile journals such as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Communications, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, Bone Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry, JCI Insight, etc.

Research Interests

Skeletal development and homeostasis



Tumor skeletal metastases

Professional Experience

2010.07- 2011.08    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine   Post-Doc

2014.11- 2016.12    Dept of Biology, SUSTech                  Lecturer

2017.01- 2020.02   Dept of Biology, SUSTech                  Research associate professor

2020.03-2021-03    School of Medicine, SUSTech            Research associate professor

2021.04-                 School of Medicine, SUSTech            Research Fellow

Educational Background

1999.09-2004.07 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tianjin Medical University  MD

2004.09-2010.07 Joint Training Program of Chinese and American Doctor         PhD

Honors & Awards

2016 ASBMR Young Investigator Travel Grant, 2016 Plenary Poster,ASBMR 2016 Annual Meeting, September 16-19, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2015 Shenzhen peacock scholar (Class C) (2015) 
2012 Chinese National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation nomination.(Only 278 dissertations were nominated in 2012) “Activating transcription factor 4 regulates osteoclast differentiation in mice”, Chinese Ministry of Education, 2012
2012 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award.  Tianjin city, China, 2012
2011 ASBMR Young Investigator Award, 2011.  ASBMR (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research) annual meeting, 2011, San Diego, California, USA
2011 Young Investigator Award.  9th International Conference on Bone and Mineral Research (ICBMR) & 11th International Osteoporosis Symposium, 2011, Nanjing, China
2010 Excellent PhD Graduate Award.  Tianjin medical university, China, 2010

Original Full-Length Peer-Reviewed Research Papers:

1. Yu S., Franceschi R.T., Luo M., Fan J., Jiang D., Cao H., Kwon T.G., Lai Y., Zhang J., Patrene K., Hankenson K., Roodman G.D., and Xiao G., Critical role of activating transcription factor 4 in the anabolic actions of parathyroid hormone in bone. PLoS One, 2009. 4(10): p. e7583. PMCID: PMC2762317

2. Cao H.#, Yu S.#, Yao Z., Galson D.L., Jiang Y., Zhang X., Fan J., Lu B., Guan Y., Luo M., Lai Y., Zhu Y., Kurihara N., Patrene K., Roodman G.D., and Xiao G., Activating transcription factor 4 regulates osteoclast differentiation in mice. J Clin Invest, 2010. 120(8): p. 2755-66. PMCID: PMC2912190

3. Yang S., Xu H., Yu S., Cao H., Fan J., Ge C., Fransceschi R.T., Dong H.H., and Xiao G., Foxo1 mediates insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)/insulin regulation of osteocalcin expression by antagonizing Runx2 in osteoblasts. J Biol Chem, 2011. 286(21): p. 19149-58. PMID: 21471200.

4. Xiao G.#*, Cheng H.#, Cao H.#, Chen K., Tu Y., Yu S., Jiao H., Yang S., Im H.J., Chen D., Chen J.*, and Wu C.*, Critical role of filamin-binding LIM protein 1 (FBLP-1)/migfilin in regulation of bone remodeling. J Biol Chem, 2012. 287(25): p. 21450-60. PMID: 22556421

5. Teramachi J., Hiruma Y., Ishizuka S., Ishizuka H., Brown J.P., Michou L., Cao H., Galson D.L., Subler M.A., Zhou H., Dempster D.W., Windle J.J., Roodman G.D., and Kurihara N., Role of ATF7-TAF12 interactions in the vitamin D response hypersensitivity of osteoclast precursors in Paget's disease. J Bone Miner Res, 2013. 28(6): p. 1489-50. PMID:23426901

6. Zhu K., Jiao H., Li S., Cao H., Galson D.L., Zhao Z., Zhao X., Lai Y., Fan J., Im H.J., Chen D., and Xiao G., ATF4 promotes bone angiogenesis by increasing VEGF expression and release in the bone environment. J Bone Miner Res, 2013. 28(9): p. 1870-1884. PMID:23649506

7. Cao H., Zhu K., Qiu L., Li S., Niu H., Hao M., Yang S., Zhao Z., Lai Y., Anderson J.L., Fan J., Im H.J., Chen D., Roodman G.D., and Xiao G., Critical role of AKT protein in myeloma-induced osteoclast formation and osteolysis. J Biol Chem, 2013. 288(42): p. 30399-410. PMID:24005670

8. Qin T.T., Xu G.C., Qi J.W., Yang G.L., Zhang K., Liu H.L., Xu L.X., Xiang R., Xiao G., Cao H., Wei Y., Zhang Q.Z., and Li L.Y., Tumour necrosis factor superfamily member 15 (Tnfsf15) facilitates lymphangiogenesis via up-regulation of Vegfr3 gene expression in lymphatic endothelial cells. J Pathol, 2015. 237(3): p. 307-18. PMID: 26096340

9. Wu C. #*, Jiao H.#, Lai Y.#, Zheng W., Chen K., Qu H., Deng W., Song P., Zhu K., Cao H., Galson D.L., Fan J., Im H.J., Liu Y., Chen J., Chen D., and Xiao G.*, Kindlin-2 controls TGF-beta signalling and Sox9 expression to regulate chondrogenesis. Nat Commun, 2015. 6: p. 7531. PMID: 26151572

10. Yang X., Xia R., Yue C., Zhai W., Du W., Yang Q., Cao H., Chen X., Obando D., Zhu Y., Chen X., Chen J.J., Piganelli J., Wipf P., Jiang Y., Xiao G., Wu C., Jiang J., and Lu B., ATF4 Regulates CD4(+) T Cell Immune Responses through Metabolic Reprogramming. Cell Rep, 2018. 23(6): p. 1754-1766. PMID:29742431

11. Gao H.#, Guo Y.#, Yan Q.#, Yang W., Li R., Lin S., Bai X., Liu C., Chen D., Cao H.*, and Xiao G.*, Lipoatrophy and metabolic disturbance in mice with adipose-specific deletion of kindlin-2. JCI Insight, 2019. 4(13). PMID:31292295

12. Wang Y., Yan Q., Zhao Y., Liu X., Lin S., Zhang P., Ma L., Lai Y., Bai X., Liu C., Wu C., Feng J.Q., Chen D., Cao H.*, and Xiao G.*, Focal adhesion proteins Pinch1 and Pinch2 regulate bone homeostasis in mice. JCI Insight, 2019. 4(22). PMID: 31723057

13. Cao H.#*, Yan Q.#, Wang D.#, Lai Y., Zhou B., Zhang Q., Jin W., Lin S., Lei Y., Ma L., Guo Y., Wang Y., Wang Y., Bai X., Liu C., Feng J.Q., Wu C., Chen D., Cao X., and Xiao G.*, Focal adhesion protein Kindlin-2 regulates bone homeostasis in mice. Bone Research, 2020. 8(1): p. 2. PMID: 31934494.

14. Zhu K., Lai Y., Cao H., Bai X., Liu C., Yan Q., Ma L., Chen D., Kanaporis G., Wang J., Li L., Cheng T., Wang Y., Wu C.*, and Xiao G.*, Kindlin-2 modulates MafA and β-catenin expression to regulate β-cell function and mass in mice. Nat Commun, 2020. 11(1): p. 484. PMID: 31980627

15. Chen S., Qin L., Wu X., Fu X., Lin S., Chen D., Xiao G., Shao Z.*, and Cao H.*, Moderate Fluid Shear Stress Regulates Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression to Promote Autophagy and ECM Homeostasis in the Nucleus Pulposus Cells. Front Cell Dev Biol, 2020. 8: p. 127. PMID: 32195253

16. Yiming Lei#, Xuekun Fu#, Pengyu Li#, Sixiong Lin, Qinnan Yan, Yumei Lai, Xin Liu, Yishu Wang, Xiaochun Bai, Chuanju Liu, Di Chen, Huiling Cao*, Guozhi Xiao*. LIM domain proteins Pinch1/2 regulate chondrogenesis and bone mass in mice. Bone Research, Oct 13, 2020, 8(37). DOI: 10.1038/s41413-020-00108-y.

17. Fu X.#, Zhou B.#, Yan Q.#, Tao C., Qin L., Wu X., Lin S., Chen S., Lai Y., Zou X., Shao Z., Wang M., Chen D., Jin W., Song Y., Cao H.*, Zhang G.*, Xiao G.*¬, Kindlin-2 regulates skeletal homeostasis by modulating PTH1R in mice. Signal Transduct Target Ther. Dec 26, 2020, 5(1). DOI: 10.1038/s41392-020-00328-y.

18. Lei Qin, Xuekun Fu, Jing Ma, Manxia Lin, Peijun Zhang, Yishu Wang, Qingnan Yan, Chu Tao, Wen Liu, Bing Tang, Di Chen, Xiaochun Bai*, Huiling Cao*, Guozhi Xiao*. Kindlin-2 mediates mechanotransduction in bone by regulating expression of Sclerostin in osteocytes. Communications Biology, Mar 25, 2021,4(1). DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-01950-4.



School of Medicine

Office 304, Faculty Research Building 1

Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech)

Zip code: 518055

Email: caohl@sustc.edu.cn