Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
Program Director, Food, Nutrition and Health
Associate Professor, Food, Nutrition and Health
phone: 6048226253
fax: 6048225143
FNH 219
2205 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Please note: Dr. Xu is not currently accepting new graduate students.


University of Guelph, PhD
University of Guelph, MSc


Nutrition plays a pivotal role in health promotion and disease prevention. However, there is a lack of in-depth understanding of how nutrients exert their function. This hinders the effectiveness of using nutrition as a means for health promotion and disease prevention. Nutrients do not act alone, but in a concerted effort with genes. The interactions between nutrients and genes influence the expression of genes, production of proteins, and ultimately metabolism. My overall research interest is to understand how nutrients act at the cellular and molecular levels with an emphasis on nutrient-gene interactions and their subsequent impact on metabolic functions. My current research focuses are:

  • Zinc, growth, and growth regulation
  • Regulatory role of zinc in apoptosis
  • Zinc and breast cancer


  • Micronutrients & Implications for Health
  • Nutrient Metabolism

Selected Publications

Lee, S., Simpson, M, and Nimmo, M., Xu, Z., (2004) Low zinc intake suppressed N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mammary tumorigenesis in Sprague-Dawley rats. Carcinogenesis. 25:1879-1885.

Paski, S., and Xu, Z. 2003. Role of Metallothionein in Regulating the Abundance of Histochemically Reactive Zinc in Rat Tissues. Canadian Journal Of Physiology And Pharmacology 81:815-824.

Lee, R., Woo, W., Wu, B., Kummer A., Duminy, H., And Xu, Z. 2003. Zinc Accumulation In N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea-Induced Rat Mammary Tumors Is Accompanied By An Altered Expression Of Znt-1 And Metallothionein. Experimental Biology And Medicine. 228:689-696.

Paski, S., And Xu, Z. 2002. Growth Factor Stimulated Cell Proliferation Is Accompanied By An Elevated Labile Intracellular Pool Of Zinc In 3t3 Cells. Canadian Journal Of Physiology And Pharmacology. 80:790-795.

Woo, W., And Xu, Z. 2002. Body Zinc Distribution Profile During N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea-Induced Mammary Tumorigenesis In Rats At Various Levels Of Dietary Zinc Intake.  Biological Trace Element Research. 87:157-169.

Thompson, K.H., Tsukada, Y., Xu, Z., Battell, M., Mcneill, J.H., And Orvig, C. 2001. Influence Of Chelation And Oxidation State On Vanadium Bioavailability And Their Effects On Tissue Concentrations Of Zinc, Copper And Iron.  Biological Trace Element Research. 86: 31-44.

Woo, W., And Xu, Z. 2001. Effect Of Dietary Zinc Intake On N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea-Induced Mammary Tumorigenesis In Rats. Biological Trace Element Research. 83: 169-179.

Paski, S., And Xu, Z. 2001. Labile Intracellular Zinc Is Associated With 3t3 Cell Growth. Journal Nutritional Biochemistry. 12: 655-661.

Xu, Z., Kawai, M., Bandiera, S.M., And Chang, T.K.H. 2001. Influence Of Dietary Zinc Deficiency During Development On Hepatic Cyp2c11, Cyp2c12, Cyp3a2, Cyp3a9, And Cyp3a18 Expression In Postpubertal Male Rats. Biochemical Pharmacology. 62: 1283-1291.

Ghoshal, A.K., Xu, Z., G.A., Wood, And Archer, M.C. 2000. Induction Of Hepatic Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-1 (Igfbp-1) In Rats By Dietary N-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. Experimental Biology And Medicine. 225: 128-135