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Faculty Detail    
Assistant Professor
Campus Address WTI 510G Zip 3300
Phone  (205) 975-9878
Other websites Lab website
UAB Scholars

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Medicine  Med - Hematology & Oncology Assistant Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Assistant Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cancer Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Genetics and Genomic Sciences 
Genetics and Genomic Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Molecular and Cellular Pathology Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 

2019 Present, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

2017 2018, Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

2012 2017, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

2005 2012, Ph.D. Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association for Cancer Research  Member 
American Society of Hematology  Member 
O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center  Member 

Research/Clinical Interest
Epigenetic Mechanisms in Cancer Initiation, Maintenance, and Drug Resistance
The overall goal of Dr. Lus laboratory is to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie cancer cell development, and to develop mechanism-based and targeted therapeutic approaches. His previous research has produced a series of important publications in the fields of epigenetics and cancer. Dr. Lu and colleagues have identified a novel reader for histone H3K36 methylation (Molecular Cell, 2013), revealed a new mechanism for DNMT3A mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (Cancer Cell, 2016), and discovered the molecular basis for DNMT3A-mediated substrate recognition (Nature, 2018). Building on the previous work and the strength of UAB Division of Hematology & Oncology, Dr. Lus lab currently is focusing on understanding various epigenetic regulations in the development of blood cancers. Recent projects in Dr. Lus lab include the following directions: (1) understanding the molecular basis of driver mutations in cancer; (2) discovery of novel targets for cancer epigenetic therapies (eLife, 2020); (3) development of new epigenome editing tools to study gene regulation in normal and cancer cells.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Wang BB, Lu R, Wang WC, Jin Y.
Inducible and reversible suppression of Npm1 gene expression using stably integrated small interfering RNA vector in mouse embryonic stem cells.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2006; 347(4):1129-37. 
Li H, Wang B, Yang A, Lu R, Wang W, Zhou Y, Shi G, Kwon SW, Zhao Y, Jin Y.
Ly-1 antibody reactive clone is an important nucleolar protein for control of self-renewal and differentiation in embryonic stem cells.
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 2009; 27(6):1244-54. 
Li L, Sun L, Gao F, Jiang J, Yang Y, Li C, Gu J, Wei Z, Yang A, Lu R, Ma Y, Tang F, Kwon SW, Zhao Y, Li J, Jin Y.
Stk40 links the pluripotency factor Oct4 to the Erk/MAPK pathway and controls extraembryonic endoderm differentiation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2010; 107(4):1402-7. 
Lu R, Yang A, Jin Y.
Dual functions of T-box 3 (Tbx3) in the control of self-renewal and extraembryonic endoderm differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011; 286(10):8425-36. 
Yang A, Shi G, Zhou C, Lu R, Li H, Sun L, Jin Y.
Nucleolin maintains embryonic stem cell self-renewal by suppression of p53 protein-dependent pathway.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011; 286(50):43370-82. 
Cai L*, Rothbart SB*, Lu R* (co-first author), Xu B, Chen WY, Tripathy A, Rockowitz S, Zheng D, Patel DJ, Allis CD, Strahl BD, Song J, Wang GG.
An H3K36 methylation-engaging Tudor motif of polycomb-like proteins mediates PRC2 complex targeting.
Molecular cell. 2013; 49(3):571-82. 
Lu R, Wang GG.
Tudor: a versatile family of histone methylation 'readers'.
Trends in biochemical sciences. 2013; 38(11):546-55. 
Yu H, He K, Wang L, Hu J, Gu J, Zhou C, Lu R, Jin Y.
Stk40 represses adipogenesis through translational control of CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins.
Journal of cell science. 2015; 128(15):2881-90. 
Zhou Y, Wang L, Vaseghi HR, Liu Z, Lu R, Alimohamadi S, Yin C, Fu JD, Wang GG, Liu J, Qian L.
Bmi1 Is a Key Epigenetic Barrier to Direct Cardiac Reprogramming.
Cell stem cell. 2016; 18(3):382-95.  
Lu R, Wang P, Parton T, Zhou Y, Chrysovergis K, Rockowitz S, Chen WY, Abdel-Wahab O, Wade PA, Zheng D, Wang GG.
Epigenetic Perturbations by Arg882-Mutated DNMT3A Potentiate Aberrant Stem Cell Gene-Expression Program and Acute Leukemia Development.
Cancer cell. 2016; 30(1):92-107. 
Lu R, Wang GG.
Gene enhancer deregulation and epigenetic vulnerability.
Oncoscience. 2016; 3(11-12):299-301. 
Lu R, Wang GG.
Pharmacologic Targeting of Chromatin Modulators As Therapeutics of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Frontiers in oncology. 2017; 7:241. 
Zhang ZM*, Lu R* (co-first author), Wang P, Yu Y, Chen D, Gao L, Liu S, Ji D, Rothbart SB, Wang Y, Wang GG, Song J.
Structural basis for DNMT3A-mediated de novo DNA methylation.
Nature. 2018; 554(7692):387-391.  
Xu B, Cai L, Butler JM, Chen D, Lu X, Allison DF, Lu R, Rafii S, Parker JS, Zheng D, Wang GG.
The Chromatin Remodeler BPTF Activates a Stemness Gene-Expression Program Essential for the Maintenance of Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cells.
Stem cell reports. 2018; 10(3):675-683. 
Cai L, Tsai YH, Wang P, Wang J, Li D, Fan H, Zhao Y, Bareja R, Lu R, Wilson EM, Sboner A, Whang YE, Zheng D, Parker JS, Earp HS, Wang GG.
ZFX Mediates Non-canonical Oncogenic Functions of the Androgen Receptor Splice Variant 7 in Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer.
Molecular Cell. 2018; 72(2):341-354.e6.  
Lu R, Wang J, Ren Z, Yin J, Wang Y, Cai L, Wang GG.
A Model System for Studying the DNMT3A Hotspot Mutation (DNMT3A R882) Demonstrates a Causal Relationship between Its Dominant-Negative Effect and Leukemogenesis. Cancer Research. 2019; 79(14):3583-3594 
Pi WC, Wang J, Shimada M, Lin JW, Geng H, Lee YL, Lu R, Li D, Wang GG, Roeder RG, Chen WY.
E2A-PBX1 functions as a coactivator for RUNX1 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood. 2020 Jul 2;136(1):11-23. 
Zhang H*, Zhang Y*, Zhou X*, Wright S, Hyle J, Zhao L, An J, Zhao X, Shao Y, Xu B, Lee HM, Chen T, Zhou Y, Chen X, Lu R#;, Li C#;. Functional interrogation of HOXA9 regulome in MLLr leukemia via reporter-based CRISPR/Cas9 screen. Elife. 2020 Oct 1;9:e57858. (*equal contribution, #; corresponding author)  33001025 

Cancer, Leukemia, Epigenetics, Genomics, Chromatin, Gene regulation, Novel therapeutics