Libin Xu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry (Primary department)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences
Dr. Xu was trained as an organic chemist early in his career. 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 particularly 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, such as environmental agents.
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.

Contact Information

Tel: 206-543-1080

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms and products of lipid oxidation
    Cholesterol biosynthesis disorders, in particular, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
    Effect of drugs and environmental agents on lipid metabolism
    Metabolomics and lipidomics

Teaching interests

Lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, lipidomics


PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007
BS, Chemistry, Nankai University, 2002


Effect of environmental agents on neurodevelopment through disrupting cholesterol and lipid homeostasis
Effect of drugs on neurodevelopment through disrupting cholesterol and lipid homeostasis
Cholesterol biosynthesis disorder Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
Selected Publications

Herron, J., Reese, R., Tallman, K. A., Narayanaswamy, R., Porter, N. A., Xu, L.* (2016) Identification of Environmental Quaternary Ammonium Compounds as Direct Inhibitors of Cholesterol Biosynthesis, Toxicol. Sci. In Press. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfw1041.

Xu, L., Kliman, M., Forsythe, J. G., Korade, Z., Hmelo, A. B., Porter, N. A., and McLean, J. A. (2015) Profiling and imaging ion mobility-mass spectrometry analysis of cholesterol and 7-dehydrocholesterol in cells via sputtered silver MALDI, J. Am. Soc. Mass. Spectrom., 26, 924-933.

Xu, L.,* Porter, N. A. (2014) Free Radical Oxidation of Cholesterol and Its Precursors: Implications in Cholesterol Biosynthesis Disorders Free Radical Res., In Press.

Goyal, S., Xiao, Y., Porter, N. A., Xu, L.,* Guengerich, F. P.* (2014) Oxidation of 7-Dehydrocholesterol and Desmosterol by Human Cytochrome P450 46A1 J. Lipid Res. 55, 1933-1943.

Xu, L.,* Porter, N. A. (2014) Reactivities and Products of Free Radical Oxidation of Cholestadienols, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 5443−5450.

Korade, Z., Xu, L.,# Harrison, F. E., Ahsen, R., Hart, S. E., Folkes, O. M., Mirnics, K., and Porter, N. A. (2014) Antioxidant supplementation ameliorates molecular deficits in Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS), Biol. Psychiatry, 75, 215-222.

Xu, L.,* Korade, Z., Rosado, D. A., Mirnics, K., Porter, N. A.* (2013) Metabolism of oxysterols derived from nonenzymatic oxidation of 7-dehydrocholesterol in cells, J. Lipid Res. 54, 1135-1143.

Xu, L., Mirnics, K., Bowman, A. B., Liu, W., Da, J., Porter, N. A., and Korade, Z. (2012) DHCEO accumulation is a critical mediator of pathophysiology in a Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome model, Neurobiol. Dis. 45, 923-929.

Shinkyo, R., Xu, L., Tallman, K. A., Cheng, Q., Porter, N. A., and Guengerich, F. P. (2011) Conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to 7-ketocholesterol is catalyzed by human cytochrome P450 7A1 and occurs by direct oxidation without an epoxide intermediate, J. Biol. Chem. 286, 33021-33028.

Xu, L., Korade, Z., Rosado, D. A., Liu, W., Lamberson, C. R., and Porter, N. A. (2011) An oxysterol biomarker for 7-dehydrocholesterol oxidation in cell/mouse models for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, J. Lipid Res. 52, 1222-1233.

Korade, Z., Xu, L.,# Shelton, R., and Porter, N. A. (2010) Biological activities of 7-dehydrocholesterol-derived oxysterols: implications for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, J. Lipid Res. 51, 3259-3269.

Xu, L., Korade, Z., and Porter, N. A. (2010) Oxysterols from free radical chain oxidation of 7-dehydrocholesterol: product and mechanistic studies, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 2222-2232.

Xu, L., Davis, T. A., and Porter, N. A. (2009) Rate Constants for Peroxidation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Sterols in Solution and in Liposomes, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 13037-13044.

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