School of Pharmacy

Libin Xu

Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Faculty, School Faculty, Xu Lab

Telephone: (206) 543-1080


Office Location: HSB, H-172P

Website: Xu Lab


  • Postdoctoral training, Vanderbilt University
  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • B.Sc. in Chemistry, Nankai University

Courses Taught

  • MEDCH 562
  • MEDCH 529
  • MEDCH 541
  • MEDCH 582
  • MEDCH 500

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms and products of lipid oxidation
  • Cholesterol biosynthesis disorders, in particular, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • Effect of drugs on lipid metabolism
  • Metabolomics and Lipidomics using ion mobility-mass spectrometry
  • Lipid metabolism in neurodevelopment
  • Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance

Taking Students: Yes


Dr. Xu was trained as an organic chemist early in his career, but during his postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University, his research expanded to chemistry and biology of lipid peroxidation underlying human diseases, as well as mass spectrometry-based lipidomics.

The Xu lab is interested in the consequences of unusual lipid metabolism and oxidation processes on the nervous system, which could result from genetic mutations or small molecule interference. The lab aims to develop interventions that could ameliorate or reverse the adverse effects of the disrupted lipid homeostasis and oxidized lipids. The Xu lab is also interested in elucidating the contribution of altered lipid metabolism to antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens using mass spectrometry and molecular biology methodologies, aiming to develop strategies to re-sensitize the resistant bacteria. On the analytical chemistry side, the Xu Lab develops novel methodologies for the analysis of lipids, metabolites, drugs, and drug metabolites using ion mobility-mass spectrometry to meet the needs of our biological problems.

Dr. Xu is the recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award from NICHD in 2012 and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine in 2011. He is also the inaugural recipient, together with Prof. Brian Werth, of the School of Pharmacy Faculty Innovation Fund in 2016. He received this award again, with Dr. Edward Kelly, in 2020.

Selected Publications

  • Golla RM, Mishra B, Dang X, Lakshmaiah Narayana J, Li A, Xu L, Wang G. “Resistome of Staphylococcus aureus in Response to Human Cathelicidin LL-37 and Its Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides.”  ACS Infect Dis. 2020 May 11.  Online ahead of print. PubMed Link.
  • Hines KM, Shen T, Ashford NK, Waalkes A, Penewit K, Holmes EA, McLean K, Salipante SJ, Werth BJ, Xu L. “Occurrence of cross-resistance and β-lactam seesaw effect in glycopeptide-, lipopeptide- and lipoglycopeptide-resistant MRSA correlates with membrane phosphatidylglycerol levels.” J Antimicrob Chemother. 2020 May 1;75(5):1182-1186.  PubMed Link.
  • Ross DH, Cho JH, Xu L. “Breaking Down Structural Diversity for Comprehensive Prediction of Ion-Neutral Collision Cross Sections.”  Anal Chem. 2020 Mar 17;92(6):4548-4557.  Epub 2020 Mar 6. PubMed Link.
  • Li, A.; Hines, K. M.; Xu, L.* (2020) Lipidomics by HILIC-Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2084, 119-132. PubMed Link.
  • Herron, J. M.; Hines, K. M.; Tomita, H.; Seguin, R. P.; Cui, J. Y.; Xu, L.* (2019) “Multi-omics investigation reveals benzalkonium chloride disinfectants alter sterol and lipid homeostasis in the mouse neonatal brain.” Tox. Sci., In Press.  Link.
  • Sever N, Mann RK, Xu L, Snell WJ Hernandez-Lara CI, Porter NA, Beachy PA. “Endogenous B-ring oxysterols inhibit the Hedgehog component Smoothened in a manner distinct fr0m cyclopamine or side-chain oxysterols.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2016 May 9[Epub ahead of print]. PubMed link.
  • Herron J, Reese RC, Tallman KA, Narayanaswamy R, Porter NA, Xu L. “Identification of Environmental Quaternary Ammonium Compounds as Direct Inhibitors of Cholesterol Biosynthesis.” Toxicol Sci. 2016 Jun;151(2):261-70. Epub 2016 Feb 26.  PubMed link.