Xia received a BS degree in optoelectronics from Shandong University in China and an MS degree in Optics from Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, The Chinese Academy of Sciences. Then he obtained another MS degree in Physics and a PhD degree in Bioengineering, both from the University of Missouri - Columbia. He did postdoctoral training at several universities including the University of Georgia, the University of Washington, and Wayne State University. His research strengths and interests are in optical instrumentation, optical science, laser ultrasonics, and ultrasound guided photoacoustic imaging for molecular detection in turbid media. His research has wide applications in the biomedical area and in non-destructive evaluation industries.