Xiaonan Lu

Xiaonan Lu

Affiliated Associate Professor, Food Science

Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Food Safety, McGill University


UBC Food Safety & Health Engineering Laboratory

Washington State University, 2012, Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Microbiology

Washington State University, 2011, PhD, Food Science

Ocean University of China, 2007, BSc, Food Science and Engineering

The Lu’s Food Safety & Health Engineering Lab at UBC works on genomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics along with nanotechnology to investigate critical scientific questions in food science. We have interest in developing innovative and rapid sensing, instrumentation systems and detection methods for ensuring food safety as well as preventing food bioterrorism and fraud. We also apply molecular biology and genomic approaches to investigate stress response and pathogenesis of microorganisms that post threats to agri-food system and public health. Recently, we have started the investigation of the interaction between food components/diet pattern and human gut.

We focus on both mechanism elucidation and knowledge translation to tackle research challenges in food safety and food industry.

Our current research is focused on six major directions:

(1) Developing sensor, spectroscopy and single-molecule photonics coupled with various separation techniques to rapidly detect chemical and microbiological hazards in food systems

(2) Campylobacter-associated food safety

(3) Food microbiology, including detection and molecular characterization of foodborne pathogens, evaluation of intervention technologies to reduce pathogens in food systems, investigation of the evolution of bacterial antibiotic resistance, assessment of bacterial biofilms, and study of bacterial response due to environmental stresses

(4) Interaction between food components/diet pattern and human gut, such as gut microbiome and gut diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, gut wounds, and colorectal cancer)

(5) Detection of food fraud and adulteration; identification of food mislabelling

(6) Intelligent food safety: application of artificial intelligence (e.g., deep machine learning), big data, and internet of things to improve the safety of our future food chain

Graduate Students

We recruit postdoctoral candidates all year round with excellent training and research experience in the areas of Molecular Microbiology, Food Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Material Science.

There are open positions for graduate students with financial support, starting Fall of each year to work in the areas of molecular microbiology, nanobiosensor, food/gut microbiome, food microfluidics, detection of food fraud, and food microbiological safety.

  • FNH 302 Food Analysis
  • FNH 520 Advances in Food Analysis/Technology

See Google Scholar for a full list of publications.

Selected Journal Articles

‡ Graduate student, undergraduate student, and postdoctoral fellow supervised; * Senior and corresponding author

Ma L.‡, Petersen M.‡, Lu X.*, 2020. Identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Campylobacter using a microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” device. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86, e00096-20

Han L.‡, Wang K.‡, Ma L.‡, Delaquis P., Bach S., Feng J.‡, Lu X.*, 2020. Rapid determination of viable but non-culturable Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica in fresh produce by loop-mediated isothermal amplification coupled with a propidium monoazide treatment. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86, e02566-19.

Ma L.‡, Feng S.‡, Fuente-Núñez C., Hancock R.E.W., Lu X.*, 2018. Development of molecularly imprinted polymers to block quorum sensing and inhibit bacterial biofilm formation. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 10, 18450-18457.

Feng J.‡, Ma L.‡, Nie J.‡, Konkel M.E., Lu X.*, 2018. Environmental stress-induced bacterial lysis and extracellular DNA release contribute to Campylobacter jejuni biofilm formation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84, e:02068-17.

Choi J.R.‡, Long K.W., Choi J.Y., Nilghaz A.‡, Lin Y., Xu J., Lu X.*, 2018. Black phosphorus and its biomedical applications. Theranostics, 8, 1005-1026.

Lin Y., Gritsenko D., Feng S.‡, Teh Y.C.‡, Lu X.*, Xu J., 2016. Detection of heavy metal by paper-based microfluidics. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 83, 256-266.

Draz M.S.‡, Lu X.*, 2016. Development of a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) – surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) assay for the detection of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis. Theranostics, 6, 522-532.

Feng J.‡, Fuente-Núñez C., Trimble M., Xu J., Hancock R.E.W., Lu X.*, 2015. An in-situ Raman spectroscopy-based microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” platform for non-destructive and continuous characterization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Chemical Communications, 51, 8966-8969.

Hu Y.‡, Feng S.‡, Gao F.‡, Li-Chan E.C.Y., Grant E., Lu X.*, 2015. Detection of melamine in milk using molecularly imprinted polymers-surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Food Chemistry, 176, 123-129.

Feng S.‡, Eucker T.P., Holly M.K., Konkel M.E., Lu X.*, Wang S., 2014. Investigating Cronobacter sakazakii responses to garlic-derived organosulfur compounds: a systematic study of pathogenic bacteria injury using high-throughput whole transcriptome sequencing and confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80, 959-971.

Lu X., Samuelson D., Xu Y., Zhang H., Wang S., Rasco B.A., Xu J., Konkel M., 2013. Detecting and tracking nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus using a microfluidic SERS biosensor. Analytical Chemistry, 85, 2320-2327.

Lu X., Huang Q., Miller W.G., Aston D.E., Xu J., Xue F., Zhang H., Rasco B.A., Wang S., Konkel M.E., 2012. Comprehensive detection and discrimination of Campylobacter species by use of confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy and multilocus sequence typing. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 50, 2932-2946.

Lu X., Samuelson D.R., Rasco B.A., Konkel M.E., 2012. Antimicrobial effect of diallyl sulphide on Campylobacter jejuni biofilms. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 67, 1915-1926.

Lu X., Rasco B.A., Jabal J.M.F., Aston D.E., Lin M., Konkel M.E., 2011. Investigating antibacterial mechanisms of garlic (Allium sativum) concentrate and garlic-derived organosulfur compounds on Campylobacter jejuni using FT-IR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and electron microscope. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77, 5257-5269.

Lu X., Rasco B.A., Kang D.-H., Jabal J.M.F., Aston D.E., Konkel M.E., 2011. Infrared and Raman spectroscopic studies of the antimicrobial mechanisms of garlic concentrates and diallyl constituents on foodborne pathogens. Analytical Chemistry, 83, 4137-4146.


Lu X., 2017. Sensing Techniques for Food Safety and Quality Control. Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Editorial Board Member, Trends in Food Science & Technology, 2019
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, 2019
  • Adjunct Professor, UBC Department of Chemistry, 2019
  • NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award, 2019
  • Editorial Board Member, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2017
  • Editorial Board Member, Food and Agricultural Immunology, 2017
  • UBC Peter Wall Scholar, 2017
  • Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award, International Association for Food Protection, 2017
  • Adjunct Professor, UBC Microsystems and Nanotechnology (MiNa) Group, 2017
  • Adjunct Professor, UBC BioProducts Institute, 2017
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Food Science, 2016
  • Young Scientist Excellence Award, International Union of Food Science and Technology, 2015
  • Young Scientist Travel Award, Agricultural & Food Chemistry Division, American Chemical Society, 2014
  • Outstanding Student Award, Institute of Food Technologists, 2009