Hua Lu, MB, PhDHua Lu, MB, PhD

Tulane University School of Medicine
Professor and Chairman, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Reynolds and Ryan Families Chair of Translational Cancer

Roles of the p53 and MDM2 families in energy metabolism and its disorders


Professor Hua Lu received a Medical Bachelor degree (US MD equivalent) from Jiangxi Medical College, China in 1983, a Master of Science degree from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing in 1986, and a PhD degree from Rutgers University/UMDNJ in 1993. After completing his postdoctoral research at Princeton University, he was appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in 1997 and promoted to a tenured Associate Professor in 2003. He joined Indiana University as a Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Daniel and Lori Efryomson Chair Professor of Oncology in 2007 before fully joining Tulane University School of Medicine in January 2012. Professor Lu serves as the editorial board member for 4 scientific journals, and the ad hoc reviewer for various funding agents and for more than 36 national and international scientific journals. He also serves as a scientific advisory board member for the Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA) Foundation, Inc. in New York. Professor Lu has the expertise in the fields of protein chemistry, molecular biology, cancer mechanisms involving the tumor suppressor p53 and the oncoprotein c-Myc, and translational cancer research. Part of his works is useful for anti-cancer drug development. Recently his lab has identified a novel small molecule called Inauhzin that can suppress tumor growth by activating the p53 pathway as a potential anti-cancer drug candidate. Lately, his lab starts to investigate the roles of the p53 family members and the MDM2-MDMX complex in lipid and glucose metabolism and related disorders. His works, which have been continuingly funded by NIH/NCI grants, have resulted in 100 of high quality publications in scientific journals, such as Nature, Molecular Cell, Cancer Cell, Nature Medicine, EMBO J, PNAS, EMBO Reports, EMBO Molecular Medicine, MCB, JBC, Cancer Research, Cell Death and Differentiation, Oncogene, and so on.

Ongoing research projects related to diabetes and obesity

Research Interests/Area of Study Molecular dissection and translational research of the p53 and MDM2-MDM4 networks in controlling metabolism and its disorders.

Summary The Lu laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular and biochemical basis that underlies physiological and pathological signaling pathways (growth, metabolic, hypoxia signals), which lead to gene expression and subsequent cell growth arrest, differentiation, senescence, autophagy, apoptosis or disorders of metabolism by employing a variety of model systems, such as in vitro, cell-based and mice, and tools, such as biochemical, molecular biological, cell biological, and genetic tools (mouse models).

Ongoing projects include:

  1. Understanding the role of the p53 family members including p63 and p73 in glucose and lipid metabolism in normal and cancer cells or tissues.
  2. Understanding the role of MDM2 and MDM4 in lipid and glucose metabolism in normal and cancer cells or tissues.
  3. Understanding the role of a newly identified secreting protein molecule from adipocytes in lipid and glucose metabolism in normal and cancer cells or tissues.

Lab members

Shelya Zeng, MB - Research Professor and Lab manager
Qi Zhang, PhD - Research Assistant Professor
Hongbing Liu, PhD - Research Assistant Professor
Jun-Ming Liao, PhD - Research Scientist
Xiang Zhou, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Yiwei Zhang, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Peng Liao, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Bo Cao, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Wenjuan Liao, PhD - Graduate Student
Hani Nakhoul - MD/PhD Graduate Student
Sheng Zhang, MD - and also PhD Graduate Student
Ray (Ruizhi) Wu, PhD - Visiting Scientist
Manuela Gaviria - Lab Aide

Other Links

Pubmed Link to Publications


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