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 Tao Xu, Professor

Biography & Introduction


1988-1992  B.S. in Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

1992-1996  Ph.D. in Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

1996-1999  Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany

1999-2000  Senior Fellow, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, USA

2000-2003  Professor, Institute of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

2003-    Professor, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China


1997-1999  Max-Planck-Institute Fellowship

2000    Cheung Kong Scholars, China

2001/2002  Li Foundation Heritage Prize, USA

2004    Expert entitled to Government Special Allowance

2004     Young expert with outstanding contributions

2006    The 10th May 4th Youth Medal, China

2007    Young Affiliate, TWAS

2008    National Natural Science Award (the Second Class), China

Membership in Academies & Societies

2008-    Editorial Board Vice-Chair, Biochemical Journal

2007-    Editorial Board Member, Journal of Biological Chemistry

2006-2010  Associate Chairman, the Biophysical Society of China     

2006-2010  Chairman, Membrane and Cellular Biophysics Committee of the Biophysical Society of China       

2004-    Invited Editor, Chinese Science Bulletin

Research Interests

Our studies focus on two aspects: one is to identify key proteins and regulatory mechanisms involved in the docking, priming and fusion of different secretary vesicles, particularly large dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and GLUT4 storage vesicles (GSVs). The other is to develop novel super-resolution imaging tools, in combination with spectroscopic, biophysical and electron microscopy techniques.

1. We maintain our focus on regulated exocytosis involved in blood glucose regulation, trying to elucidate the key molecular events involved in insulin release. We are now approaching this goal in a systematical way by combining a variety of techniques taken from different scientific fields and assessing protein function from molecule to system level. For example, by constructing protein mutants and RNA interference, we explore roles of multiple proteins in distinct exocytotic processes; then we combine techniques like optical imaging, electrophysiology and biological chemistry to study the co-localization, function and interaction of these proteins at cellular level; in the end, we employ gene knockout and transgenetic animals to study the function of certain protein at system level.

2. Another direction is to develop new methods to improve the performance of currently used diffraction-unlimited microscopy especially in spatial resolution, temporal resolution and labeling technology. We are generating novel algorithms for super-resolution microscopy with higher resolution and accuracy. We are also developing instruments for near-molecular resolution optical microscopy, capable of imaging intracellular proteins with nanometer resolution and determining the static structural relationship between two or more proteins of interest at the molecular level.

Selected Publications

1. Zhang M.S., Chang H., Zhang Y.D., Yu J.W., Wu L.J., Wei J., Chen J.J., Liu B., Lu J.Z., Liu Y.F., Zhang J.L., Xu P.Y., Xu T. (2012) Rational design of true monomeric and bright photoactivatable fluorescent proteins. Nature Methods 9(7), 727-9.

2. Chang H., Zhang M.H., Ji W., Chen J.J., Zhang Y.D., Liu B., Lu J.Z., Zhang J.L., Xu P.Y., Xu T. (2012) A unique series of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins with beneficial properties for various applications. PNAS 109(12), 4455-60.

3. Li Z.Y., Li Y.D., Yi Y.L., Huang W.M., Yang S., Niu W.P., Zhang L., Xu Z.J., Qu A.L., Wu Z.X. Xu T. (2012) Dissecting a central flip-flop circuit that integrates contradictory sensory cues in C. elegans feeding regulation. Nature Communications 776, 1-8.

4. Bai L., Wang Y., Fan J.M., Chen Y., Ji W., Qu A.L., Xu P.Y., James D.E., Xu T. (2007) Dissecting multiple steps of GLUT4 trafficking and identifying the sites of insulin action. Cell Metabolism 5, 47-57.

5. Kang L.J., He Z.X., Xu P.Y., Fan J.M., Bet A., Brose N., Xu T. (2006) Munc13-1 is required for the sustained release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells. Cell Metabolism 3, 463-468.


E-mail  xutao(AT)ibp.ac.cn (请将(AT)替换为@,防止垃圾邮件)




Postalcode  100101