Chuanwu Xi, Ph.D.

Chuanwu Xi

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

6626 SPH Tower      Vcard icon
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

Office: (734) 615-7594; Fax: (734) 936-7283


Website(s): Xi Lab

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Summary

Dr. Xi is a molecular microbiologist and microbial ecologist. His research focuses on biofilms, water quality and treatment and human health in three major inter-related areas: (A) molecular mechanisms of biofilm development; (B) characterization of biofilms and microbial community in industrial and clinical settings and its impact on human health; and (C) development of novel approaches for biofilm control. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2005, he spent four years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his Ph.D. from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 2000.

Courses Taught

EHS570: Water Quality Management
EHS576: Microbiology in Environmental Health
EHS614: Water and Global Health
EHS615: Water Quality and Human Health in the Great Lakes Basin
EHS690: Practice in Global Environmental Health


Ph.D., Applied Biological Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, 2000
M.Sc., Molecular Microbiology, Guangxi University, China, 1996
B.Sc., Biology, Anhui Normal University, China, 1993

Research Interests & Projects

Dr. Xi's research interest is in biofilms, water quality, advanced bio-imaging, biological processes, molecular microbial ecology, and environmental genomics. Current research projects include: molecular mechanisms of persistence and resistance of pathogens in drinking water distribution system; ecology of Mycobacteria in metalworking fluids and its associated biofilms; Optical Coherence Tomography imaging of biofilm development dynamics; spread of antibiotic resistance and biofilms in the urban water cycle; characterization of biofilms and microbial populations on medical devices; the role of extracellular polysaccharide and extracellular DNA in Acinetobacter biofilm development; and control of biofilms-related infectious diseases using PDT nano-particles, enzymes, small compounds and natural products.

Prospective Study of Biofilms, Mycobacteria and Pseudomonads in Metalworking Fluids
Principal Investigator: Xi, Franzblau and Kim
Sponsor: NIOSH/CDC

Thermo-detachable anti-biofilm polymer coatings
Principal Investigator: Kuroda and Xi
Sponsor: NIDCR/NIH

Elucidating Mechanisms Responsible for the Persistence of Microorganisms in Drinking Water Distribution Systems
Principal Investigator: Raskin and Xi
Sponsor: NSF

Biofilms and Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in Surface and Drinking Water
Principal Investigator: Xi, Marrs and Simon
Sponsor: Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute

Ecology of Multi-Species Biofilms on Urinary Catheters
Principal Investigator: Xi, Foxman, Younger, et al.
Sponsor: The Office of Vice President for Research/University of Michigan

High throughput screening for chemical compounds inhibiting biofilm formation and growth
Principal Investigator: Xi
Sponsor: Gregory Margolies Fund/Center for Chemical Genomics

Selected Publications

Search PubMed for publications by Chuanwu Xi >>

Cai W, Wu J, Xi C, Meyerhoff ME. (2012). Diazeniumdiolate-doped poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-based nitric oxide releasing films as antibiofilm coatings. Biomaterials

Pinto AJ, Xi C, Raskin L. (2012). Bacterial Community Structure in the Drinking Water Microbiome Is Governed by Filtration Processes. Environ. Sci. Tech.

Song L, Wu J, Xi C. (2012). Biofilms on environmental surfaces: Evaluation of the disinfection efficacy of a novel steam vapor system. Am J Infect Control.

Dai D, Holder D, Raskin L, Xi C. (2011). Separation of the bacterial species, Escherichia coli, from mixed-species microbial communities for transcriptome analysis. BMC Microbiology

Xi, C. and J. Wu (2010). dATP/ATP, a multifunctional nucleotide, stimulates bacterial cell lysis, extracellular DNA release and biofilm development PLoS ONE, 5(10), e13355.

Berry D, Holder D, Xi C, Raskin L. (2010). Comparative transcriptomics of the response of Escherichia coli to the disinfectant monochloramine and to growth conditions inducing monochloramine resistance Water Research, 44(17), 4924-31.

Hodges, A.P., D. Dai, Z. Xiang, P. Woolf, C. Xi, Y. He (2010). Bayesian network expansion identifies new ROS and biofilm regulators PLoS ONE, 5(3), e9513. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009513.

Xi, C., Y. Zhang, W. Ye, C. Marrs, C. Simon, B. Foxman, and J. Niragu (2009). Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution Systems Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75, 5714-5718.

Wu, J. and C. Xi (2009). Evaluation of Different Methods for Extracting Extracellular DNA in Biofilm Matrix Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(16), 5390-5.

Zhang, Y., C.F. Marrs, C. Simon, C. Xi (2009). Wastewater treatment contributes to selective increase of antibiotic resistance among Acinetobacter spp. Science of the Total Envrionment, 407(12), 3702-3706.

Professional Affiliations

American Society for Microbiology
American Water Works Association
International Water Association
Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professsors (AEESP)
International Society of Microbial Ecology