MCDB Associate Professor Haoxing Xu is the recipient of a 2015 Faculty Recognition Award from the University of Michigan.
Xu pioneered the modern analysis of ion channels in lysosomes, which are vital for cell function. One of the top lysosome researchers in the world, his studies are transforming understanding of cellular membranes, how animal cells regulate their vital functions, and diseases caused when these functions go awry.
He was the first to directly demonstrate the importance of ion channels to lysosome function, and also showed that defects in ion channel signaling can cause a group of rare inherited metabolic disorders known as lysosomal storage diseases, characterized by the accumulation of undigested or partially digested macromolecules which cause cells to die. Xu also has identified chemicals that potentially could regulate lysosome functions and lead to drugs to treat lysosomal-derived diseases.
He has shared his discoveries in 71 invited talks, 52 journal articles, and three book chapters. Xu has introduced new courses, including his popular Molecular Biology of Pain and Sensation, and is known for his engaging multi-media lectures. He has mentored numerous undergraduates in his laboratory and leads monthly meetings of ion channel and neurobiology researchers from across campus.
He serves on U-M's President's Advisory Panel on Biosciences, on the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience Steering Committee and on his department's graduate admissions and executive committees. He is an editorial board member of Scientific Reports and Pfugers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology. Xu recently was executive editor of the Cell Calcium Special Issue: Organellar Channels and Transporters.
In 2015, he co-founded the prestigious Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters. His honors include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He has been recognized as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and is a member of U-M's Biological Sciences Scholars Program. He also received the university's Henry Russel Award.
Faculty Recognition Awards are intended for faculty early in their careers who have demonstrated substantive contributions to the university through achievements in scholarly research or creative endeavors; excellence as a teacher, adviser and mentor; and distinguished participation in service activities of the university. Eligible candidates include full professors with no more than four years at that rank, associate professors and assistant professors.