Employee Spotlight: Dr. Lilly Xu

Employee Spotlight

Our employee spotlight series celebrates the accomplishments and expertise of our valued scientists and staff.


Headshot of Dr. Lilly Xu in hexagon shaped frame
Dr. Lilly Xu

Dr. Lilly Xu

SVP and Head of DMPK and Exploratory Toxicology at ChemPartner

Q&A with Dr. Xu

How long have you been with ChemPartner?

Almost 6 years.

What is something you have done at ChemPartner that you are proud of?

Currently, I am proud to be managing a 300-person Drug Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, and Exploratory Toxicology department. I am also proud to use my expertise to help ChemPartner clients throughout the drug discovery process and to have contributed to 6 market drugs for patients.

How has your career grown since starting at ChemPartner?

I started managing a 200-person department five and half years ago, but with the DMPK and exploratory toxicology industry expanding, our department has grown more than 50% in terms of people and 200% in revenue. I will continue to manage my department while also utilizing both my expertise and an integrated approach throughout the drug development process, which also encourages the growth of other departments of ChemPartner.

What is something in our industry or research that is new/exciting/innovative?

Early drug discovery needs to be efficient in order to find hits and leads. Using integrated platform approaches (such as a combination of chemistry, DMPK / Exploratory Toxicology, and biology / pharmacology for small molecule; and discovery biologics, DMPK / Exploratory Toxicology, and biology / pharmacology for biologics discovery) will contribute greatly to early drug discovery, which is both crucial and exciting to the pharmaceutical industry.

What’s a fun fact about you/something people don’t know?

I am a great chef! I can cook not only Chinese food but also American. I find that cooking is very similar to running experiments, which is something that I am an expert at.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

I am a working mom, and I am amazing at it. I am proud to have raised three wonderful and ambitious children, two of them work for PWC and one is an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.

Finally, drug discovery is my passion, and I am proud to be involved in it. It’s extremely rewarding when our clients move their compounds to FDA IND filings -a true collaborative achievement between us and our clients.


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About the Author

Lilly Xu, PhD

SVP and Head of DMPK and Exploratory Toxicology

Dr. Xu has more than 25 years of experience in the area of drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics and toxicology. She was one of the pioneers in developing cultured human hepatocytes as a tool to study the metabolism of xenobiotics and induction of P450 isozymes. Prior to joining ChemPartner, Dr. Xu was the Head of the Center of Predictive ADMET at Sanofi/Icagen. She received her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Saint Louis University.

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