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.

Recent Publications

Dalbavancin exposure in vitro selects for dalbavancin-non-susceptible and vancomycin-intermediate strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Werth BJ, Ashford NK, Penewit K, Waalkes A, Holmes EA, Ross DH, Shen T, Hines KM, Salipante SJ, Xu L. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2021 Jun; 27(6):910.e1-910.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2020.08.025. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Benzalkonium Chloride Disinfectants Induce Apoptosis, Inhibit Proliferation, and Activate the Integrated Stress Response in a 3-D in Vitro Model of Neurodevelopment. Herron JM, Tomita H, White CC, Kavanagh TJ, Xu L. Chem Res Toxicol. 2021 May 17;34(5):1265-1274. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00386. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Determination of drugs and drug metabolites by ion mobility-mass spectrometry: A review. Ross DH, Xu L. Anal Chim Acta. 2021 Apr 15;1154:338270. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338270. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Altered toxicological endpoints in humans from common quaternary ammonium compound disinfectant exposure. Hrubec TC, Seguin RP, Xu L, Cortopassi GA, Datta S, Hanlon AL, Lozano AJ, McDonald VA, Healy CA, Anderson TC, Musse NA, Williams RT. Toxicol Rep. 2021 Mar 9;8:646-656. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2021.03.006. eCollection 2021.

Smoothened-activating lipids drive resistance to CDK4/6 inhibition in Hedgehog-associated medulloblastoma cells and preclinical models. Daggubati V, Hochstelter J, Bommireddy A, Choudhury A, Krup AL, Kaur P, Tong P, Li A, Xu L, Reiter JF, Raleigh DR. J Clin Invest. 2021 Mar 15;131(6):e141171. doi: 10.1172/JCI141171.

Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Loss of Cell Viability Induced by Oxysterol Treatment of a Retinal Photoreceptor-Derived Cell Line: An In Vitro Model of Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. Pfeffer BA, Xu L, Fliesler SJ. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 26;22(5):2339. doi: 10.3390/ijms22052339.

Sterol and oxysterol synthases near the ciliary base activate the Hedgehog pathway. Findakly S, Daggubati V, Garcia G, LaStella SA, Choudhury A, Tran C, Li A, Tong P, Garcia JQ, Puri N, Reiter JF, Xu L, Raleigh DR. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jan 4;220(1):e202002026. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202002026.

Development and Application of a Peroxyl Radical Clock Approach for Measuring Both Hydrogen-Atom Transfer and Peroxyl Radical Addition Rate Constants. Do Q, Lee DD, Dinh AN, Seguin RP, Zhang R, Xu L. J Org Chem. 2021 Jan 1;86(1):153-168. doi: 10.1021/acs.joc.0c01920. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Identification of a novel tedizolid resistance mutation in rpoB of MRSA after in vitro serial passage. Shen T, Penewit K, Waalkes A, Xu L, Salipante SJ, Nath A, Werth BJ. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Jan 19;76(2):292-296. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkaa422.

Quaternary Ammonium Compound Disinfectants Reduce Lupus-Associated Splenomegaly by Targeting Neutrophil Migration and T-Cell Fate. Abdelhamid L, Cabana-Puig X, Mu Q, Moarefian M, Swartwout B, Eden K, Das P, Seguin RP, Xu L, Lowen S, Lavani M, Hrubec TC, Jones CN, Luo XM. Front Immunol. 2020 Oct 21;11:575179. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.575179. eCollection 2020.

LiPydomics: A Python Package for Comprehensive Prediction of Lipid Collision Cross Sections and Retention Times and Analysis of Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry-Based Lipidomics Data. Ross DH, Cho JH, Zhang R, Hines KM, Xu L. Anal Chem. 2020 Nov 17;92(22):14967-14975. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02560. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Lipidomic and Ultrastructural Characterization of the Cell Envelope of Staphylococcus aureus Grown in the Presence of Human Serum. Hines KM, Alvarado G, Chen X, Gatto C, Pokorny A, Alonzo F 3rd, Wilkinson BJ, Xu L. mSphere. 2020 Jun 17;5(3):e00339-20. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00339-20.

Resistome of Staphylococcus aureus in Response to Human Cathelicidin LL-37 and Its Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides. Golla RM, Mishra B, Dang X, Lakshmaiah Narayana J, Li A, Xu L, Wang G. ACS Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 10;6(7):1866-1881. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00112. Epub 2020 May 11.

Breaking Down Structural Diversity for Comprehensive Prediction of Ion-Neutral Collision Cross Sections. Ross DH, Cho JH, Xu L. Anal Chem. 2020 Mar 17;92(6):4548-4557. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b05772. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Occurrence of cross-resistance and β-lactam seesaw effect in glycopeptide-, lipopeptide- and lipoglycopeptide-resistant MRSA correlates with membrane phosphatidylglycerol levels. Hines KM, Shen T, Ashford NK, Waalkes A, Penewit K, Holmes EA, McLean K, Salipante SJ, Werth BJ, Xu L. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2020 May 1;75(5):1182-1186. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkz562.

Metabolism of Benzalkonium Chlorides by Human Hepatic Cytochromes P450. Seguin RP, Herron JM, Lopez VA, Dempsey JL, Xu L. Chem Res Toxicol. 2019 Dec 16;32(12):2466-2478. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.9b00293. Epub

Lipidomics by HILIC-Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry. Li A, Hines KM, Xu L. Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2084:119-132. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0030-6_7.

Characterization of the Impact of Drug Metabolism on the Gas-Phase Structures of Drugs Using Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry. Ross DH, Seguin RP, Xu L. Anal Chem. 2019 Nov 19;91(22):14498-14507. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b03292. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

A Vibrio cholerae BolA-Like Protein Is Required for Proper Cell Shape and Cell Envelope Integrity.

Fleurie A, Zoued A, Alvarez L, Hines KM, Cava F, Xu L, Davis BM, Waldor MK. mBio. 2019 Jul 9;10(4):e00790-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00790-19.

Multi-omics investigation reveals benzalkonium chloride disinfectants alter sterol and lipid homeostasis in the mouse neonatal brain. Herron JM, Hines KM, Tomita H, Seguin RP, Cui JY, Xu L. Toxicol Sci. 2019 Jun 14;171(1):32-45. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfz139. Online ahead of print.

Lipidomic consequences of phospholipid synthesis defects in Escherichia coli revealed by HILIC-ion mobility-mass spectrometry. Hines KM, Xu L. Chem Phys Lipids. 2019 Mar;219:15-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2019.01.007. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Lipopolysaccharide induces human olfactory ensheathing glial apoptosis by promoting mitochondrial dysfunction and activating the JNK-Bnip3-Bax pathway. He M, Xiang Z, Xu L, Duan Y, Li F, Chen J. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2019 Jan;24(1):91-104. doi: 10.1007/s12192-018-0945-7. Epub 2018 Oct 29.