Mengjiao Xia

Mengjiao Xia


Mengjiao graduated in 2016 with a BSc in Traditional Chinese Medicine and then in 2019, with an MSc in Internal Medicine from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Mengjiao then moved to the University of Leeds in 2019 to complete an MSc in International Health, graduating in 2020 with Distinction. During this time, Mengjiao developed a particular interest in cancer treatment, immunology and public health. Mengjiao joined the institute of Medical Research at the University of Leeds in October 2020 to undertake her PhD, under the supervision of Dr Laura Matthews and Dr Stephen Griffin.

Research interests

Synthetic glucocorticoids (Gc) are potent anti-inflammatory agents, which are widely used to treat a range of chronic inflammatory conditions and are also used as a part of standard therapy for many cancers.

New immunomodulating therapies including oncolytic viruses are emerging as important agents to treat cancer. However, the role of Gcs in modulating the efficacy of oncolytic viruses is not well understood. Gcs have also received recent attention for their ability to treat patients seriously ill with COVID-19. The mechanisms underlying their potent effects are still under investigation.

Mengjiao will examine the effect of Gc use, and the impact on (1) the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy in hematological malignancies and solid tumours and (2) the effect of Gc use on COVID-19 treatment using a combination of patient data from clinical trials and from next generation sequencing technologies.

Through this, Mengjiao will increase understanding of how Gcs regulate the action of pathogenic and therapeutic viruses.


  • 2016: BSc Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • 2019: MSc Internal Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • 2020: MSc International Health, University of Leeds