Location: STRF 2.292.5



Xianlin Han, PhD


Personal Statement:

I am an internationally-renowned investigator in the fields of lipidomics, lipid metabolism, and lipid biochemistry. I have developed expertise in broad areas of research, such as diabetes, neuroscience, and metabolic biochemistry. The mass spectrometric techniques for lipidomics developed in our group, collectively termed “multi-dimensional mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomics” with unparalleled high sensitivity and comprehensive coverage, have been widely used to identify altered lipid metabolism, trafficking, and homeostasis, and biomarkers under patho(physio)logical conditions. The current interests of my laboratory research focus on diabetic neuropathy, mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetic hearts, and Alzheimer’s disease. I have the expertise, leadership, training, and motivation necessary to conduct these research projects. As an investigator or co-investigator on over twenty previous NIH-funded grants, I have successfully administered the projects and produced several peer-reviewed publications from each project, resulting in a total of over 250 peer-reviewed publications. It is gratifying that my contribution has received over 21,000 citations (over half are since 2013) with an h-index of 72 (Google Scholar, 2018).


Year Degree Discipline Institution
1982 BS Chemistry Zhejiang University
P.R. , China
1985 MS Chemical Thermodynamics Zhejiang University
P.R. , China
1987 MA Physical Chemistry Washington University
St. Louis , MO
1990 Internship Washington University
St. Louis , MO
1990 PhD Biophysical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Washington University
St. Louis , MO


Our research focuses on identification of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying alterations in lipid metabolism, signaling, and homeostasis that occur under patho(physio)logical conditions such as aging, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), diabetes, and cancer by lipidomics. Lipid metabolism spans a highly elaborate system comprised of numerous classes and subclasses, and hundreds of thousands of species that make up the cellular lipidomes. A large number of pathways and networks which are highly dynamic and interwoven are involved in lipid metabolism. Identifying the mechanisms underpinning alterations in lipid metabolism, signaling, and homeostasis that occur under patho(physio)logical conditions could unravel disease pathogenesis, uncover drug targets for treatment, and identify biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of the diseases. Lipidomics, which facilitates large-scale analysis of cellular lipidomes based on the principles and techniques of analytical chemistry, could allow us to comprehensively and effectively determine alterations in lipid metabolism, signaling, and homeostasis under the conditions.

Our laboratory is one of the world-leading research groups on lipidomics. We have developed an enabling technology with in-house software programs termed “multi-dimensional mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomics (MDMS-SL)”, initiated in the early 1990s and still under constant evolution. The MDMS-SL technology provides modular, robust, and label-free quantification of lipids. At its current stage, the technology enables us to identify and quantify over 50 lipid classes, over 95% of lipid mass content, and thousands of individual lipid molecular species from limited amounts of biological samples in an accurate (>90% reproducibility) and relatively high throughput fashion. By using lipidomics, we have developed a few research projects (supported with NIH funds and other sources) including AD and diabetes-associated dementia, as well as multiple minor translational research projects such as anesthetics-induced neurotoxicity and cancer biomarkers. By using our enabling lipidomics technology, we have also established numerous (inter)national collaborations on a variety of research areas.

Awards & Accomplishments

2003 Memory Ride Prize
2017-Present Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging Studies and Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
2018 University of Texas System STARs Award
Guest Professors Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Soochow University; and Oil Crop Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences


Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases
Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes
Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Lab Members

Dr. Chunyan Wang Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Juan Pablo Palavicini
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Jianing Wang
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Shulan Qiu Post-Doctoral Fellow

Mr. Charles Chao Qin
Research Associate
Prof. Juan Chen Visiting Scholar
Prof. Zhenli Min Visiting Scholar


Dr. Han is the University of Texas System STARs Awardee.
Drs. Han and Seshadri received ~$3.5 million grant award from the NIH National Institute on Aging to unravel the mechanisms by which APOE2 confers neuroprotection against aging and AD.