Cal State LA Microbiology Faculty Receives Cal State LA’s 2019 Outstanding Professor Award

Los Angeles — Cal State LA recognized Howard Xu for excellence in the classroom and service to the community during the 2019 Fall Convocation at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

Xu, a microbiology professor in the university’s Department of Biological Sciences, was one of four Outstanding Professors honored for excellence in teaching and significant achievement in scholarly inquiry or creativity, as well as professional activities and community service during the August 19 event.

Professor H. Howard Xu, Outstanding Professor of the year, 2019. He is the Director of Incubator Development and Programming Professor of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences at Cal State LA . Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA

Xu directs an applied microbiology and biotechnology lab at Cal State LA, where students conduct research on novel antibiotics and elucidation of mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial pathogens. He has mentored master’s, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students, resulting in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications from his lab.

He is also the director of incubator development and programming for Cal State LA BioSpace, which is leading the university’s collaboration with private-sector firms and government agencies to promote inclusive entrepreneurship, innovation, workforce development, and commercialization of the regional bioscience industry in the heart of Los Angeles. The Cal State LA BioSpace incubator will be housed in the new Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art 20,000-square-foot facility at the southern gateway of the University.

Xu has secured more than $2 million in grants for his research program studying mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and virulence, with a special emphasis on developing novel antibiotics. He has also been co-principal investigator on more than $11 million in grants that support research and biotechnology initiatives at Cal State LA.

For his outstanding contributions to biotechnology research and education, he was presented the Anthony Andreoli Faculty Service Award in 2011 and the Faculty Research Award in 2018, both from the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology.

A resident of Alhambra, Xu earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Minnesota and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by The Ohio State University.

Additionally, three Outstanding Professor Awards went to Cal State LA faculty members Mark Balaguer, Heidi Riggio and Deborah Won, and an Outstanding Lecturer Award was given to Jessica Bodoh-Creed. A President’s Distinguished Professor Award was also presented to Sachiko Matsunaga, who was a previous outstanding professor recipient. This award recognizes the faculty member’s superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students, as well as professional accomplishments and services.