Di Tian, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pathology | Neuropathologist

Director of Neuropathology, Molecular Pathology, Autopsy and Histology Laboratory
School of Medicine
Di Tian, MD, PhD

Education & Affiliations

MD, Medicine, Beijing Medical University, Beijing P.R. China 07/1992
PhD, Neuroscience, Northwestern University, Chicago IL 05/1998
Resident, Anatomical Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA 06/2002
Fellow, Neuropathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA 06/2004
Postdoc, Molecular Genetics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA 01/2010
Postdoc, Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 03/2012


  1. Tian D, Huang D, Short S, Short ML, Jungmann RA. Protein Kinase A-regulated instability site in the 3'-untranslated region of lactate dehydrogenase-A subunit mRNA. J Biol Chem. 273(38):24861-24866, 1998.
  2. Tian D, Huang D, Brown RC, Jungmann RA. Protein kinase A stimulates binding of multiple proteins to a U-rich domain in the 3'-untranslated region of lactate dehydrogenase A mRNA that is required for the regulation of mRNA stability. J Biol Chem. 273(43):28454-28460, 1998.
  3. Jungmann RA, Huang D, & Tian D. Regulation of LDH-A gene expression by transcriptional and posttranscriptional signal transduction mechanisms. J Exp Zool. 282(1-2):188-195, 1998.
  4. Short S, Tian D, Short ML, Jungmann RA. Structural determinants for post-transcriptional stabilization of lactate dehydrogenase A mRNA by the protein kinase C signal pathway. J Biol Chem. 275(17):12963-12969, 2000.
  5. Warren HS Jr, Gonzalez RG, & Tian D.  Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. A 12-year-old girl with fever and coma. N Engl J Med. 349(24):2341-2349, 2003.
  6. Chylack LT Jr, Fu L, Mancini R, Martin-Rehrmann MD, Saunders AJ, Konopka G, Tian D, Hedley-Whyte ET, Folkerth RD, Goldstein LE. Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) expression in fetal and adult human brain. Exp Eye Res. 79(6):941-948, 2004.
  7. Dickerson BC, Holzman D, Grant PE, & Tian D. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. A 62-year-old woman with seizure, gait disturbance and altered mental status.  N Engl J Med. 353(21):2271-2280, 2005.
  8. Chou RC, Henson JW, Tian D, Hedley-Whyte ET, Reginato AM. Successful treatment of rheumatoid meningitis with cyclophosphamide but not infliximab. Ann Rheum Dis. 65(8):1114-1116, 2006.
  9. Vucic S, Tian D, Chong PS, Cudkowicz ME, Hedley-Whyte ET, Cros D. Facial onset sensory and motor neuropathy (FOSMN syndrome): a novel syndrome in neurology. Brain 129(12):3384-3390, 2006.  
  10. Tian D, Sun S, Lee JT.  The long noncoding RNA, Jpx, is a molecular switch for X-chromosome inactivation. Cell. 143(3):390-403, 2010.
  11. Barnard ZR, Agarwalla PK, Jeyaretna DS, Farrell CJ, Gerstner ER, Tian D, Curry WT Jr. Sporadic primary malignant intracerebral nerve sheath tumors: case report and literature review. J Neurooncol. 104(2):605-10, 2011.
  12. Cho TA, Larvie M, Tian D, Mino-Kenudson M. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 6-2012. A 45-year-old man with a history of alcohol abuse and rapid cognitive decline. N Engl J Med. 366(21):745-755, 2012.
  13. Tian D, Stoppel LJ, Heynen AJ, Lindemann L, Jaeschke G, Mills AA, Bear MF. Contribution of mGluR5 to pathophysiology in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion. Nat Neuroscience 18(2):182-4, 2015.
  14. Lu HC, Mills AL, Tian D. Altered synaptic transmission and maturation in hippocampal CA1 neurons in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion. Journal of Neurophysiology. Doi:101152/jn.00306. 2017. [Epub ahead of print].
  15. Lu HC, Pollack H, Mills AA, Tian D. Altered sleep architecture, rapid eye movement sleep (REM), and neural oscillation in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion. Sleep (in press)
  16. Tiwari N, Tamrazi B, Robison N, Biegel, JA, Jenny Ji, Tian D. Unusual radiological and histological presentation of a diffuse leptomeningeal glioneuronal tumor (DLGNT) in a 13-year-old girl.  Child Nervous System (in press)
  17. Gan P, Patterson P, Velasquez A, Wang K, Tian D, Makita T, Henry M Sucov.  Tnni3k alleles influence ventricular mononuclear cardiomyocyte frequency. PLOS Genet. 15(10): e1008354, 2019. 
  18. Thompson JW Jr, Mikolajewski AJ, Kissinger P, McCrossen P, Allison Smither A, Chamarthi, G, Lin Z, Tian D. An Epidemiologic study of COVID-19 patients in a state psychiatric hospital: high penetrance rate despite following CDC guidelines. Psychiatric Service 1;71(12):1285-1287, 2020.
  19. Huang Z, Tian D, Liu Y, Lin Z, Lyona C, Lai W, Fuscoe D, Drouine A, Yin Y, Hua T, Ning B. Ultra-sensitive high throughput CRISPR diagnosis of COVID-19. Biosensor 15;164:112316, 2020.
  20. Ning B, Yu T, Zhang S, Huang Z, Tian D, Lin Z, Niu A, Golden N, Hensley K, Threeton B, Lyon CJ, Yin XM, Roy CJ, Saba NS, Rappaport J, Wei Q, Hu TY. A smartphone-read ultrasensitive and quantitative saliva test for COVID-19. Sci Adv. 7(2) eabe3703. 2021.
  21. Tian D, Lin Z, Kriner EM, Esneault DJ, Tran J, DeVoto JC, Okami N, Greenberg R, Yanofsky S, Ratnayaka S, Tran N, Livaccari M, Lampp M, Wang N, Tim S, Norton P, Scott J, Hu TY, Garry R, Hamm L, Delafontaine P, Yin XM. Ct Values Do not Predict SARS-CoV-2 Transmissibility in College Students. J Molecular Diagnosis. S1525-1578(21)00163-X. 2021.
  22. Arnaud C. Drouin, Marc Theberge, Sharon Liu, Allison Smither, Shelby Flaherty, Mark Zeller, Gregory P. Geba, Peter Reynaud, W. Benjamin Rothwell, Alfred P. Luk, Di Tian, Matthew L. Boisen, Luis M. Branco, Kristian G. Andersen, James E. Robinson, Robert F. Garry, Dahlene N. Fusco. Depletion Associated Prolonged COVID treated by REGN-COV2 Antibody Cocktail. Viruses 13(7):1202. 2021.
  23. Ning B, Youngquist BM, Li DD, Lyon, CJ, Zelanzny A, Maness NJ, Tian D, Hu TY. Rapid detection of multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern by PAM-targeting mutations. Cell Rep Methods, 2022 Feb 28;2(2):100173. doi: 10.1016/j.crmeth.2022.100173. Epub 2022 Feb 7.
  24. Shahbandi A, Chiu FY, Ungerleider NA, Kvadas R, Mheidly Z, Sun MJS, Tian D, Waizman DA, Anderson AY, Machado HL, Pursell ZF, Rao SG, Jackson JG. Breast cancer cells survive chemotherapy by activating targetable immune-modulatory programs characterized by PD-L1 or CD80. Nat Cancer. 2022 Dec;3(12):1513-1533. doi: 10.1038/s43018-022-00466-y. Epub 2022 Dec 8. PMID: 36482233

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Tian is interested in: 1) molecular diagnosis of brain tumors, 2) sleep regulation, and 3) autism spectrum disorders