Zhaolin Xu



Email: zhaolin.xu@nshealth.ca
Phone: 902-473-7287
Fax: 902-473-3897
Mailing Address: 
Rm. 734C, Mackenzie Building
5788 University Ave.
Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 1V8
Research Topics:
  • Lung cancer genotyping and molecular profiling
  • Lung tumour banking
  • Metastasis and early detection of lung cancer
  • Lung injury and interstitial lung disease


Dr. Zhaolin Xu is a professor in the Dept of Pathology, Dalhousie University, and a senior pulmonary pathologist, cytopathologist and consultant at the QEII Health Sciences Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to his routine clinical practice, Dr. Xu is also doing research to study gene mutations in human lung cancer tissue as well as liquid biopsy (ctDNA) in correlation with pathologic characteristics of the tumor, clinical staging, responding to treatment and overall prognosis.

Dr. Xu has his own research lab with advanced research equipment such as a fully automated next generation sequencer and with several researchers, research coordinator and students. He is a senior scientist at the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Xu has established the QEII Lung Tumor Bank since 2005 with the certification from the Canadian Tumor Repository Network (CTRNet). He is the principal investigator and director of the lung tumor bank that has become one of the largest and the most comprehensive lung tumor bank in the country.

Dr. Xu’s research interest also includes lung cancer metastasis and early detection, lung injury and interstitial lung disease. Dr, Xu serves as the Chair of Research Committee and the member of the Medical Advisory Committee for the Lung Cancer Canada, the College of Advisors for the CTRNet, and the National Lung Cancer Pathology and Staging Multidisciplinary Expert Panel as well as the Lung Cancer Screening Network for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.


  • MD:  Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, China
  • Graduate study:  Thoracic Surgical Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, China
  • Residency:  Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Cancer Hospital, Shanghai, China; Anatomical Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • Postdoctoral Training:  Atlantic Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada
  • Subspecialty Training:  Pulmonary Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Selected Publications

  • Martin D. Hyrcza, Sebastiao N. Martins-Filho, Alan Spatz, Han-Jun Wang, Bibianna M. Purgina, Patrice Desmeules, Paul C. Park, Gilbert Bigras, Sungmi Jung, Jean-Claude Cutz, Zhaolin Xu, David M. Berman, Brandon S. Sheffield, Carol C. Cheung, Charles Leduc, David M. Hwang, Diana Ionescu, Paul Klonowski MD, Myriam Chevarie-Davis, Rose Chami, Bryan Lo, Tracy L Stockley, Ming-Sound Tsao, Emina Torlakovic  Canadian Multicentric Pan-TRK (CANTRK) Immunohistochemistry Harmonization Study  Modern Pathology, 2023 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.modpat.2023.100384

  • Tharindu L Suraweera J P Jose Merlin Graham Dellaire Zhaolin Xu H P Vasantha Rupasinghe Genistein and Procyanidin B2 Reduce Carcinogen-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species and DNA Damage through the Activation of Nrf2/ARE Cell Signaling in Bronchial Epithelial Cells In Vitro  Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 12;24(4):3676. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043676.

  • Bright Huo, Daria Manos, Zhaolin Xu, John Fris, Alison M.R. Wallace, Daniel G. French Screening Criteria Evaluation for Expansion in Pulmonary Neoplasias (SCREEN), Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2022 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.semtcvs.2022.06.018

  • Diana N. Ionescu, Tracy L. Stockley, Shantanu Banerji, Christian Couture, Cheryl A. Mather, Zhaolin Xu, Normand Blais, Parneet K. Cheema, Quincy S.-C. Chu, Barbara Melosky and Natasha B. Leighl  Consensus Recommendations to Optimize Testing for New Targetable Alterations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer  Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4981-4997; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070396

  • Christina B. Chung, Jeeyun Lee, Marc Barritault, Pierre-Paul Bringuier, Zhaolin Xu, Weei-Yuarn Huang, Andrea Beharry, Joseph Castillo, Jason Christiansen, Jennifer C. Lin and Brandon S. Sheffield.  Evaluating Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Assays and Reference Materials for NTRK Fusion Detection. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2022; 24(1) 18-32 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2021.09.008

  • Jinhong Kim, Zhaolin Xu, Paola Marignani.  Single-cell RNA sequencing for the identification of early-stage lung cancer biomarkers from circulating blood. npj Genomic Medicine, 2021; 6(87): 1-15

  • Carol C. Cheung, Adam C. Smith, Roula Albadine, Gilbert Bigras, Anna Bojarski, Christian Couture, Jean-Claude Cutz, Weei-Yuan Huang, Diana Ionescu, Doha Itani, Iyare Izevbaye, Aly Karsan, Margaret M. Kelly, Joan Knoll, Keith Kwan, Michel R. Nasr, Gefei Qing, Fariboz Rashid-Kolvear, Harmanjatinder S. Sekhon, Alan Spatz, Tracy Stockley, Danh Tran-Thanh, Tracy Tucker, Ranjit Waghray, Hangjun Wang, Zhaolin Xu, Yasushi Yatabe, Emina E. Torlakovic, Ming-Sound Tsao. Canadian ROS proto-oncogene 1 Study (CROS) for multi-institutional implementation of ROS1 testing in non-small cell lung cancer, Lung Cancer 2021; 160(8), 127-135, doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.08.003

  • Akram Alwithenani, Drew Bethune, Mathieu Castonguay, Arik Drucker, Gordon Flowerdew, Marika Forsythe, Daniel French, John Fris, Wenda Greer, Harry Henteleff, Mary MacNeil, Paola Marignani, Wojciech Morzycki, Madelaine Plourde, Stephanie Snow, Paola Marcato, and Zhaolin Xu  Profiling non-small cell lung cancer reveals that PD-L1 is associated with wild type EGFR and vascular invasion, and immunohistochemistry quantification of PD-L1 correlates weakly with RT-q  PLoS One. 2021:16(5) 1-16, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251080

  • Rashmi Shah, Deepu Alex, Zhaolin Xu. MET exon 14 skipping mutation: current understanding and therapeutic advances  Oncology & Hematology Review (US). 2021: 16(2): 100-110  DOI:10.17925/OHR.2021.16.2.100

  • Teresa Rodriguez, Daria Manos, Zhaolin Xu and Simon Houston  Diffuse pulmonary ossification diagnosed by transbronchial biopsy: A case report  Canadian Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine DOI: 10.1080/24745332.2021.1895007, pp1-4 2021

  • Marika L. Forsythe, Akram Alwithenani, Drew Bethune, Mathieu Castonguay, Arik Drucker, Gordon Flowerdew, Daniel French, John Fris, Wenda Greer, Harry Henteleff, Mary MacNeil, Paola Marignani, Wojciech Morzycki, Madelaine Plourde, Stephanie Snow, and Zhaolin Xu.  Molecular profiling of non-small cell lung cancer PLoS One. 2020; 15(8): e0236580. Published online 2020 Aug 5. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236580

  • Torlakovic E, Albadine R, Bigras G, Boag A, Bojarski A, Cabanero M, Camilleri-Broet S, Cheung C, Couture C, Craddock K, Cutz JC, Dhamanaskar P, Fiset P, Hossain M, Hwang D, Ionescu D, Itani D, Kelly M, Kwan K, Lim H, Nielsen S, Qing G, Sekhon H, Spatz A, Waghray R, Wang H, Xu Z, Tsao M   Canadian Multicenter Project on Standardization of Programmed Death-Ligand 1 Immunohistochemistry 22C3 Laboratory-Developed Tests for Pembrolizumab Therapy in NSCLC. Journal of Thoracic Oncology  2020; 15(8) 1328-37

  • Tharindu Suraweera, Graham Dellaire, Zhaolin Xu, H.P. Vasantha
    Rupasinghe  Regulation of Nrf2/ARE pathway by dietary flavonoids: a friend or foe for cancer management? Antioxidants 2020;11;9(10): 973 doi: 10.3390/antiox9100973

  • Katey S. S. Enfield, Erin A. Marshall, Christine Anderson, Kevin W. Ng, Sara Rahmati, Zhaolin Xu, Megan Fuller, Katy Milne, Daniel Lu, Rocky Shi, David A. Rowbotham, Daiana D. Becker-Santos, Fraser D. Johnson, John C. English, Calum E. MacAulay, Stephen Lam, William W. Lockwood, Raj Chari, Aly Karsan, Igor Jurisica & Wan L. Lam  Epithelial Tumour Suppressor ELF3 is a Lineage-Specific Amplified Oncogene in Lung Adenocarcinoma  Nature Communications. 2019; 10(1): 5438 doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13295-y.

  • Martinez VDMarshall EAAnderson CNg KWMinatel BCSage APEnfield KSSXu ZLam WL  Discovery of Previously-Undetected miRNAs in Mesothelioma and Their Use as Tissue-of-Origin Markers  American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 2019; 61(2): 266 - 268

  • Emina Torlakovic, Hyun J. Lim, Julien Adam, Penny Barnes, Gilbert Bigras, Anthony W. H. Chan, Carol C. Cheung, Jin-Haeng Chung, Christian Couture, Pierre O. Fiset, Daichi Fujimoto, Gang Han, Fred R. Hirsch, Marius Ilie, Diana Ionescu, Chao Li, Enrico Munari, Katsuhiro Okuda, Marianne J. Ratcliffe, David L. Rimm, Catherine Ross, Rasmus Røge, Andreas H. Scheel, Ross A. Soo, Paul E. Swanson, Maria Tretiakova, Ka F. To, Gilad W. Vainer, Hangjun Wang, Zhaolin Xu, Dirk Zielinski, Ming-Sound TsaoInterchangeability”of PD-L1 immunohistochemistry assays: a meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy Modern Pathology 2019; 33(1): 4-17 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0327-4  2019

  • Carol C. Cheung, Penny Barnes, Gilbert Bigras, Scott Boerner, Jagdish Butany, Fiorella Calabrese, Christian Couture, Jean Deschenes, Hala El-Zimaity, Gabor Fischer, Pierre O. Fiset, John Garratt, Laurette Geldenhuys, Blake Gilks, Marius Ilie, Diana Ionescu, Hyun J. Lim, Lisa Manning, Adnan Mansoor, Robert Riddell, Catherine Ross, Sinchita Roy-Chowdhuri, Alan Spatz, Paul E. Swanson, Victor A. Tron, Ming-Sound Tsao, Hangjun Wang, Zhaolin Xu, Emina E. Torlakovic  Fit-For-Purpose PD-L1 Biomarker Testing for Patient Selection in ImmunoOncology: Guidelines for Clinical Laboratories from The Canadian Association of Pathologists - Association canadienne des pathologistes (CAP-ACP)  Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology. 2019; 27(10): 699-714

  • D.G. Bebb, J. Agulnik, R. Albadine, S. Banerji, G. Bigras, C. Butts, C. Couture, J-C Cutz, P. Desmeules, D. Ionescu, N. Leighl, B. Melosky, W. Morzycki, F. Rashid-Kolvear, H. Sekhon, A.C. Smith, T.L. Stockley, E. Torlakovic, Z. Xu,  M.S. Tsao Crizotinib Inhibition of ROS1-positive Tumours in Advanced NSCLC: A Canadian Perspective Current Oncology 2019; 26(4): e551–e557.