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MCOM Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs

PhD Students & Faculty

Xingmin Sun, PhD D-9360-2016

Xingmin Sun, PhD

Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine

Contact Info 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Tampa FL 33612

Academic Email:

Academic Phone:8139744553

View My C.V.

View My Website | View My Lab Site


  • PhD, Natural Sciences, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, 2002
  • MS, Veterinary Microbiology & Immunology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1994


Dr. Sun is a tenured Professor with early promotion in the Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). He holds affiliation appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Molecular Bioscience, Department of Chemistry at USF, and USF Genomics. He received his PhD (magna cum laude) in Natural Sciences from University of Kiel, Germany, and his Master Degree in Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology from Nanjing Agricultural University, China. He received his postdoctoral training in Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry at Brown University, USA. He has a broad interest in microbial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. The research in his laboratory is focused on the pathogenesis of Clostridioides difficile and development of novel therapeutics including vaccines to prevent / treat C. difficile infection (CDI). ​​He was an NIH (National Institutes of Health) Career Development K01 Awardee. His laboratory has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2012. He has been actively serving NIH study section panels including chairing the study section panel since 2016. He serves as an Associate Editor for “Molecular Medicine”, and “Frontiers in Immunology”, and editorial boards for “Infection and Immunity” and “Applied and Environmental Microbiology”. He received the "Tufts Institute for Innovation Inaugural Award" in 2014. In 2018, he was awarded "Faculty Outstanding Research Achievement Award" at USF. In 2020, he was awarded "Excellence in Innovation Award" at USF. He served as the Chairman for the Research Committee in the College of Medicine at USF from 2019 to 2020. He served as the President and Vice President for the USF Chapter, National Academy of Inventors, USA from 2022-2023. He enjoys music, workout, and cuisines from different cultures during spare time.

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease


  • Member (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2024 - Present)
  • Member (The American Association of Immunologists, 2022 - Present)
  • Member (Anaerobe Society of the Americas, 2016 - Present)
  • Member (Society for Mucosal Immunology, 2014 - Present)
  • Member (American Society for Microbiology, 2005 - Present)

Recent Publications

  • Wickramage I, Spigaglia P, Sun X. Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance of Clostridioides difficile. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. , 2021.
  • Zheng M, Li C, Zhou M, Jia R, Cai G, She F, Wei L, Wang S, Yu J, Wang D, Calcul L, Sun X, Luo X, Cheng F, Li Q, Wang Y, Cai J. Discovery of Cyclic Peptidomimetic Ligands Targeting the Extracellular Domain of EGFR. Journal of medicinal chemistry. , 2021.
  • Zhu D, Patabendige HMLW, Tomlinson BR, Wang S, Hussain S, Flores D, He Y, Shaw LN, Sun X. Cwl0971, a novel peptidoglycan hydrolase, plays pleiotropic roles in Clostridioides difficile R20291. Environmental microbiology. , 2021.
  • Heuler J, Fortier LC, Sun X. Clostridioides difficile Phage Biology and Application. FEMS microbiology reviews. , 2021.
  • Zhu D, Bullock J, He Y, Sun X. Cwp22, a novel peptidoglycan cross-linking enzyme, plays pleiotropic roles in Clostridioides difficile. Environmental microbiology. 21(8) : 3076-3090, 2019.
  • Daou N, Wang Y, Levdikov VM, Nandakumar M, Livny J, Bouillaut L, Blagova E, Zhang K, Belitsky BR, Rhee K, Wilkinson AJ, Sun X, Sonenshein AL. Impact of CodY protein on metabolism, sporulation and virulence in Clostridioides difficile ribotype 027. PloS one. 14(1) : e0206896, 2019.
  • Li C, Harmanus C, Zhu D, Meng X, Wang S, Duan J, Liu S, Fu C, Zhou P, Liu R, Wu A, Kuijper EJ, Smits WK, Fu L, Sun X. Characterization of the virulence of a non-RT027, non-RT078 and binary toxin-positive Clostridium difficile strain associated with severe diarrhea. Emerging microbes & infections. 7(1) : 211, 2018.
  • Wang Y, Wang S, Bouillaut L, Li C, Duan Z, Zhang K, Ju X, Tzipori S, Sonenshein AL, Sun X. Oral Immunization with Nontoxigenic Clostridium difficile Strains Expressing Chimeric Fragments of TcdA and TcdB Elicits Protective Immunity against C. difficile Infection in Both Mice and Hamsters. Infection and immunity. 86(11) , 2018.
  • Wang Y, Wang S, Kelly CP, Feng H, Greenberg A, Sun X. TPL2 Is a Key Regulator of Intestinal Inflammation in Clostridium difficile Infection. Infection and immunity. 86(8) , 2018.
  • Teng P, Li C, Peng Z, Anne Marie V, Nimmagadda A, Su M, Li Y, Sun X, Cai J. Facilely accessible quinoline derivatives as potent antibacterial agents. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 26(12) : 3573-3579, 2018.
  • Li C, Teng P, Peng Z, Sang P, Sun X, Cai J. Bis-Cyclic Guanidines as a Novel Class of Compounds Potent against Clostridium difficile. ChemMedChem. 13(14) : 1414-1420, 2018.
  • Xu D, Han L, Li C, Cao Q, Zhu D, Barrett NH, Harmody D, Chen J, Zhu H, McCarthy PJ, Sun X, Wang G. Bioprospecting Deep-Sea Actinobacteria for Novel Anti-infective Natural Products. Frontiers in microbiology. 9: 787, 2018.
  • Peng Z, Wang S, Gide M, Zhu D, Lamabadu Warnakulasuriya Patabendige HM, Li C, Cai J, Sun X. A Novel Bacteriophage Lysin-Human Defensin Fusion Protein Is Effective in Treatment of Infection in Mice. Frontiers in microbiology. 9: 3234, 2018.
  • Zhu D, Sorg JA, Sun X. Biology: Sporulation, Germination, and Corresponding Therapies for Infection. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. 8: 29, 2018.
  • Wang S, Wang Y, Cai Y, Kelly CP, Sun X. Novel Chimeric Protein Vaccines Against Infection. Frontiers in immunology. 9: 2440, 2018.
  • Peng Z, Jin D, Kim HB, Stratton CW, Wu B, Tang YW, Sun X. Update on Antimicrobial Resistance in Clostridium difficile: Resistance Mechanisms and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing. Journal of clinical microbiology. 55(7) : 1998-2008, 2017.
  • Peng Z, Addisu A, Alrabaa S, Sun X. Antibiotic Resistance and Toxin Production of Isolates from the Hospitalized Patients in a Large Hospital in Florida. Frontiers in microbiology. 8: 2584, 2017.
  • Schmidt DJ, Beamer G, Tremblay JM, Steele JA, Kim HB, Wang Y, Debatis M, Sun X, Kashentseva EA, Dmitriev IP, Curiel DT, Shoemaker CB, Tzipori S. A Tetraspecific VHH-Based Neutralizing Antibody Modifies Disease Outcome in Three Animal Models of Clostridium difficile Infection. Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI. 23(9) : 774-84, 2016.
  • Kim HB, Wang Y, Sun X. A Detrimental Role of Immunosuppressive Drug, Dexamethasone, During Clostridium difficile Infection in Association with a Gastrointestinal Microbial Shift. Journal of microbiology and biotechnology. 26(3) : 567-71, 2016.
  • Ghose C, Eugenis I, Edwards AN, Sun X, McBride SM, Ho DD. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of Clostridium difficile spore proteins. Anaerobe. 37: 85-95, 2016.
  • Ghose C, Eugenis I, Sun X, Edwards AN, McBride SM, Pride DT, Kelly CP, Ho DD. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of recombinant Clostridium difficile flagellar protein FliC. Emerging microbes & infections. 5: e8, 2016.
  • Zhang K, Zhao S, Wang Y, Zhu X, Shen H, Chen Y, Sun X. The non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile CD37 protects mice against infection with a BI/NAP1/027 type of C. difficile strain. Anaerobe. 36: 49-52, 2015.
  • Yong Y, Liu S, Hua G, Jia R, Zhao Y, Sun X, Liao M, Ju X. Identification and functional characterization of Toll-like receptor 2-1 in geese. BMC veterinary research. 11: 108, 2015.
  • Sponseller JK, Steele JA, Schmidt DJ, Kim HB, Beamer G, Sun X, Tzipori S. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum as a novel therapy to combat Clostridium difficile infection. The Journal of infectious diseases. 211(8) : 1334-41, 2015.
  • Huang T, Perez-Cordon G, Shi L, Li G, Sun X, Wang X, Wang J, Feng H. Clostridium difficile toxin B intoxicated mouse colonic epithelial CT26 cells stimulate the activation of dendritic cells. Pathogens and disease. 73(3) , 2015.
  • Sun X, Hirota SA. The roles of host and pathogen factors and the innate immune response in the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile infection. Molecular immunology. 63(2) : 193-202, 2015.
  • Wang YK, Zou Q, Sun JH, Wang HA, Sun X, Chen ZF, Yan YX. Screening of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptamers against a zearalenone monoclonal antibody and development of a ssDNA-based enzyme-linked oligonucleotide assay for determination of zearalenone in corn. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 63(1) : 136-41, 2015.
  • Wang YK, Yan YX, Kim HB, Ju X, Zhao S, Zhang K, Tzipori S, Sun X. A chimeric protein comprising the glucosyltransferase and cysteine proteinase domains of toxin B and the receptor binding domain of toxin A induces protective immunity against Clostridium difficile infection in mice and hamsters. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 11(9) : 2215-22, 2015.
  • Kim H, B, Q, Zhang X, Sun G, Beamer D, Schmidt Y, Wang & S, Tzipori. Effect of oral tigecycline treatment on Clostridium difficile and human gut microflora. Antimicrob Agents Chemother.. 58(12) : 7560-4, 2014.
  • Kim HB, Zhang Q, Sun X, Beamer G, Wang Y, Tzipori S. Beneficial effect of oral tigecycline treatment on Clostridium difficile infection in gnotobiotic piglets. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 58(12) : 7560-4, 2014.
  • Ali Y, Koberg S, Heßner S, Sun X, Rabe B, Back A, Neve H, Heller KJ. Temperate Streptococcus thermophilus phages expressing superinfection exclusion proteins of the Ltp type. Frontiers in microbiology. 5: 98, 2014.
  • Zhao S, Ghose-Paul C, Zhang K, Tzipori S, Sun X. Immune-based treatment and prevention of Clostridium difficile infection. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 10(12) : 3522-30, 2014.
  • Wang H, Sun X, Zhang Y, Li S, Chen K, Shi L, Nie W, Kumar R, Tzipori S, Wang J, Savidge T, Feng H. A chimeric toxin vaccine protects against primary and recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Infection and immunity. 80(8) : 2678-88, 2012.
  • Steele J, Chen K, Sun X, Zhang Y, Wang H, Tzipori S, Feng H. Systemic dissemination of Clostridium difficile toxins A and B is associated with severe, fatal disease in animal models. The Journal of infectious diseases. 205(3) : 384-91, 2012.
  • Wu J, Lu Z, Nie M, Zhou H, Sun X, Xue X, Bi J, Fang G. Optimization of cryopreservation procedures for porcine endothelial progenitor cells. Journal of bioscience and bioengineering. 113(1) : 117-23, 2012.
  • Steele J, K, Chen X, Sun Y, Zhang H, Wang S, Tzipori & H, Feng. Toxemia is the cause of systemic disease in the piglet and mouse models of Clostridium difficile infection. J. Infect. Dis.. 205(3) : 384-91, 2012.
  • Sun X, Wang H, Zhang Y, Chen K, Davis B, Feng H. Mouse relapse model of Clostridium difficile infection. Infection and immunity. 79(7) : 2856-64, 2011.
  • Sun X, Savidge T, Feng H. The enterotoxicity of Clostridium difficile toxins. Toxins. 2(7) : 1848-80, 2010.
  • He X, Wang J, Steele J, Sun X, Nie W, Tzipori S, Feng H. An ultrasensitive rapid immunocytotoxicity assay for detecting Clostridium difficile toxins. Journal of microbiological methods. 78(1) : 97-100, 2009.
  • He X, Sun X, Wang J, Wang X, Zhang Q, Tzipori S, Feng H. Antibody-enhanced, Fc gamma receptor-mediated endocytosis of Clostridium difficile toxin A. Infection and immunity. 77(6) : 2294-303, 2009.
  • Sun X, He X, Tzipori S, Gerhard R, Feng H. Essential role of the glucosyltransferase activity in Clostridium difficile toxin-induced secretion of TNF-alpha by macrophages. Microbial pathogenesis. 46(6) : 298-305, 2009.
  • Yang G, Zhou B, Wang J, He X, Sun X, Nie W, Tzipori S, Feng H. Expression of recombinant Clostridium difficile toxin A and B in Bacillus megaterium. BMC microbiology. 8: 192, 2008.
  • Sun X, Mierke DF, Biswas T, Lee SY, Landy A, Radman-Livaja M. Architecture of the 99 bp DNA-six-protein regulatory complex of the lambda att site. Molecular Cell. 24(4) : 569-80, 2006.
  • Sun X, Göhler A, Heller KJ, Neve H. The ltp gene of temperate Streptococcus thermophilus phage TP-J34 confers superinfection exclusion to Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactococcus lactis. Virology. 350(1) : 146-57, 2006.


  • Excellence in Innovation Award (University of South Florida - 2020)
  • Faculty Outstanding Research Achievement Award (University of South Florida - 2018)
  • Tufts Institute for Innovation Inaugural Award (Tufts University - 2014)
  • K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (NIH/NIDDK - 2012)
  • ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) Award for the "6th (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases - 2009)
  • Fellow for 48th Annual ICAAC/46th IDSA (American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America - 2008)
  • Postdoctoral Travel Award (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - 2007)
  • Young Scientist Award (Federation of European Microbiological Societies for the 7th Symposium on Lactic - 2002)
  • Excellent Graduate Student Award (Nanjing Agricultural University - 1993)
  • Excellent Graduate Student Award (Nanjing Agricultural University - 1992)