Dr Xu obtained his PhD in Scientific Computing. His research involved the development and application of novel Monte Carlo method to the simulation of aggregation of lattice proteins, where the energy landscape was complex and posed significant difficulty in effective sampling of the conformational space. The novel Monte Carlo method aimed to improve the efficiency of sampling and the estimation of the transition temperature between aggregated and dispersed state of the system of proteins. After his PhD, Dr Xu joined the Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare at Imperial College London as a Research Associate, working on Bayesian outbreak reconstruction and transmission inference of infectious disease, in particular TB, from pathogen genomic sequence and epidemiology data, and further integration with other patient covariates in order to better understand transmission patterns. He studied the joint estimation of transmission events on many genetically delineated clusters and contributed to the development of a software package, TransPhylo.
Currently at the Centre for Computational Biology, Dr Xu is mainly working on:
- how machine learning methods can aid in patient triage in major incident settings and
- microbiome data analysis and association with host phenotype.