Xiao obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Hong Kong where she undertook research on the molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of bacterial gene regulation under environmental stresses to elaborate the delicate and intricate relationship between microorganisms and their living environment. Later, she became a post-doctoral fellow at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of Chinese Academy of Sciences. During this period, Xiao worked on several projects: she successfully switched the host range of a bacteriophage to inhibit clinically isolated multidrug-resistant bacteria, and this method had the potential to promote phage therapy as a supplement or alternative therapy for antibiotic treatment of bacterial infection; she also studied on the metagenomics of anxious mouse models in collaboration with the Institute of Brain Science of SIAT, and it was found for the first time that there was a correlation between anxiety tolerance and specific bacterial species in the intestine; she conducted research on the intestinal flora of aquatic animals, combining biochemical analysis with advanced metagenomics to guide precise probiotics formulation, which broke through the traditional empirical design of probiotic formulation. Xiao joined BGI Research in late February 2017 and is committed to the research on coupling genomics and synthetic biology to intervene with microbial induced infections.
Up until now, Xiao had four papers published, two papers submitted, and three patents pending. In addition, she has received “PhD Start-up Fund of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province”, and “SIAT Excellent Youth Innovation Fund”. Xiao is certified as the overseas high-level talents in the “Peacock Plan” of Shenzhen, and the “Phoenix Tree Talent” of Yantian District.