Dr. Xu received both her Masters in Applied Mathematics (1995) and her PhD in Mathematics (1996) from UCSD. She worked for one year as a POST-graduate researcher at the UCSD Cancer Center and the Department of Mathematics before taking up an Assistant Professorship in 1997 in the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Biostatistical Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. She returned to UCSD in 2004 as an Associate Professor with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and the Department of Mathematics. She is a recipient of David P. Byar Young Investigator Award, and fellow, American Statistical Association.
Dr. Xu directs the Biostatistics unit at the UCSD Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI), partially funded by the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). She is the lead statistician at the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) Collaborative Research Center, which carry out studies such as the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevalence in the US and Vaccine and Medication in Pregnancy Surveillance System.