Xiaonan Lu

Xiaonan Lu, Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety, McGill UniversityAssociate Professor; William Dawson Scholar
Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety

514-398-7921 xiaonan.lu [at] mcgill.ca (Email)  |  Macdonald-Stewart Building MS1-036  |  LinkedIn  |  Food Safety & Health Engineering Lab


PhD, Washington State University

Short Bio

Dr. Lu is from Tianjin, China. After study in Tianjin No.1 Middle School (1997-2003), he received his BSc (Food Science) from Ocean University of China in 2007 and PhD (Food Science with minor in Analytical Chemistry) from Washington State University in 2011. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University before he joined the University of British Columbia (UBC) as Assistant Professor in January 2013, leading UBC's Food Safety & Health Engineering Laboratory. He received tenure with promotion to Associate Professor in June 2017. In 2020, his research group moved to McGill University. He is appointed as Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety, leading McGill's Food Safety and Quality Program. He is currently a senior editor of Microbiological Research, an associate editor of BMC Microbiology, and an editorial board member of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Trends in Food Science & Technology, Journal of Food Science, ACS Food Science & Technology, etc. His lab has interest in developing innovative and rapid sensing, instrumentation systems and detection methods for ensuring food safety as well as preventing food bioterrorism and fraud. His lab also applies molecular biology and genomic approaches to investigate stress response and pathogenesis of microorganisms that pose threats to agri-food systems and public health. Recently, his lab has started 1) food synthetic biology and cellular agriculture that allow for the production of food with higher and tailored nutritional value, food with longer shelf life and devoid of harmful ingredients (e.g. allergens) and 2) investigation of the interaction between food components and gut microbiota.

Awards and Recognitions

  • McGill William Dawson Scholar, 2021
  • Young Scientist Award, Agricultural & Food Chemistry Division, American Chemical Society, 2021
  • Samuel Cate Prescott Award, Institute of Food Technologists, 2021
  • NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award, 2019
  • UBC Peter Wall Scholar, 2017
  • Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award, International Association for Food Protection, 2017
  • Young Scientist Excellence Award, International Union of Food Science and Technology, 2015

Active Affiliations

  • Member, Institute of Food Technologists
  • Member, International Association of Food Protection
  • Member, American Society of Microbiology
  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology

Research Interests

Dr. Lu’s research program at McGill aims to improve food safety and enhance food sustainability.

Current Research

  1. Developing nano-biosensor and nano-based single-molecule biophotonics coupled with various separation techniques to rapidly detect chemical and microbiological hazards in food
  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. Food synthetic biology and cellular agriculture
  6. Intelligent food safety and food authentication: application of artificial intelligence (e.g., deep machine learning), big data, and internet of things to improve the safety and authenticity of our future food chain


FDSC 200 Introduction to Food Science 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

FDSC 624 Current Food Safety Issues 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


View a list of current publications

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