Howard Xu




Leveraging his expertise in antibacterial drug discovery in the biotechnology industry, Dr. Xu has established and is expanding research programs focusing on the discovery of novel antibiotics and the development of pathogen diagnostic technologies employing several complimentary approaches.


Bacterial Functional Genomics. This project involves identification and characterization of bacterial essential genes and proteins which are absolutely required for the proliferation and survival of bacterial cells. Modern techniques of antisense expression, transposon mutagenesis, gene knock-out, molecular cloning, biochemistry and genetic engineering will be routinely used.


Novel Assay Development. With new knowledge from bacterial functional genomics research, cell-based and biochemical (cell-free) assays will be developed to probe interactions of chemical compounds with various essential processes within a bacterial cell. This project relies heavily on the principles and methodologies of molecular genetics, microbial physiology, biochemistry, enzymology and genetic engineering.


Antibacterial High Throughput Screening. In order to facilitate discovery of novel chemical structures with antibacterial activity, our laboratory has acquired robotic, high throughput instruments to perform high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns using developed assays to identify hit compounds from compounds libraries. We are either acquiring or securing access to vast diverse compound libraries and/or natural product extract libraries (including traditional Chinese Medicines).


Clinical Microbiology. Emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance (especially multi-drug resistance) not only highlights  the unmet need of novel antibiotics but also demands better understanding of the mechanisms of resistance and faster molecular diagnostics of the pathogens. The objectives of this project are to elucidate mechanisms of resistance for emerging clinical isolates and to develop novel diagnostic strategies and methods.




Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology, 1992-1996                           The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Ph.D., Microbiology, 1992                                             University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota

M.S., Environmental Microbiology, 1988                             Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio

B.S., Microbiology, 1982                                                  Wuhan University, P. R. China

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