Xu Li is an Associate Professor at the Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University (NCSU). Before joining NCSU in 2011, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Clint Chapple’s laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry at Purdue University. He received his PhD degree in biochemistry in 2005 from Iowa State University where he was awarded a Plant Science Institute Fellowship in 2000. He obtained a B.S. degree in plant molecular and developmental biology, and a M.S. degree in plant physiology, both from Peking University in China.
Li’s research focuses on plant specialized metabolism. He is interested in integrating metabolomics, genetics, and genomics approaches to discover and characterize functions of biosynthetic genes in plant metabolic pathways. In a GCEP-funded project, his lab has been studying the mechanism underlying the growth inhibition observed in lignin-deficient plants, which is of great significance in the context of maximizing the yield of biomass that is optimized for biofuel production.