Xu Zhihong, male, Han nationality, is native of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. He graduated from the Biology Department of Beijing University in 1965 and completed postgraduate studies from the Shanghai Plant Physiology Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1969. Xu is a plant physiologist.
Xu has had a long and varied academic career. He was a researcher at the Shanghai Plant Physiology Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and later served as the academy's deputy dean. In addition, Xu has been the president of Beijing University.
Among his academic achievements, Xu studied the cultivation of plant organization and hereditary operation on cultivated cells. He later obtained rebirth plants from protoplasm cultivation of 15 series of important crops and woods – including soybeans, peanuts, and alamo. Xu verified that existing matter could promote growth of the male pit in anther through cultivation of anther.
Xu was elected as an academician to the Third World Academy of Science in 1995. Two years later, he was elected as an academician to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.