Ke Xu

Ke Xu

Assistant Professor
Dept of Chemistry
Research Expertise and Interest
biophysical chemistry, cell biology at the nanoscale, super-resolution microscopy, single-molecule spectroscopy
Research Description

As is the case when one axon and multiple dendrites form in a neuron, a high degree of internal structural order often emerges within a single cell. The establishment of such order is often a prerequisite for cells to carry out proper physiological functions. Our research aims at understanding how such subcellular order emerges through the interaction between biomolecules, and we achieve this goal experimentally through the development and integration of innovative biophysical and chemical methods that are capable of visualizing and manipulating cells with nanometer-scale precision. In particular, our recent work on super-resolution fluorescence microscopy just pushed the limit of optical resolution to below 10 nm (Nature Methods 9, 185), and this enabled the exciting discovery in axons of a periodic, actin-spectrin-based cytoskeleton that is highly ordered at the nanoscale (Science 339, 452).

In the News

October 9, 2018

Xu, Titov receive million-dollar New Innovator awards

Two young faculty members — assistant professors Ke Xu of chemistry and Denis Titov of molecular and cell biology — were among 89 recipients of “high-risk, high-reward” grants announced last week by the National Institutes of Health.
January 30, 2018

Super-resolution microscopy reveals fine detail of cellular mesh

One of today’s sharpest imaging tools, super-resolution microscopy, produces sparkling images of what until now has been the blurry interior of cells, detailing not only the cell’s internal organs and skeleton, but also providing insights into cells’ amazing flexibility.
February 23, 2016

Sloan Foundation honors eight young faculty members

Eight UC Berkeley assistant professors are among 126 new fellows announced today by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Sloan Research Fellowships, awarded annually since 1955, honor early-career scientists and scholars.