21607-Lu, Tao
Faculty

Tao Lu, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Address
635 Barnhill Drive, MS-A521 PHTX
Indiana University School of Medicine

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Bio

Dr. Tao Lu has an extensive background in signaling transduction, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and pharmacology with specific expertise in NF-kB signaling, post-translational modification, cancer epigenetics, and drug discovery. Born in a physician and medical professor’s family, Dr. Lu was fascinated by medical science from a very young age. She studied signaling transduction in cell death during her graduate study with Dr. Ronald L. Mellgren. Her postdoctoral training was with the world renowned cancer biologist and geneticist Dr. George R. Stark, who discovered Interferon/JAK/Stat pathway. Dr. Lu was an Assistant Professor at Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) before she relocated to Indianapolis. She now is an Associate Professor with tenure at Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and an adjunct Associate Professor at Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, as well as Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Lu is also a full member of the Experimental and Developmental Therapeutics (EDT) Program at IU Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC) - a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

 

Positions

 

2019-present

 

2019-present 

Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Adjunct Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2012-2018

Assistant Professor (tenure track), Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2012-2018

Adjunct Assistant Professor (tenure track), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2009-2011

Assistant Professor  in Molecular Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland, OH

2006-2011

Project Scientist, Department of Molecular Genetics, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

2003-2011

Research Associate, Department of Molecular Genetics, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

 

Honor

 

2018

Keynote Speaker, "Cancer-2018", International Conference on Cancer Research

2017

Faculty Member of the Year, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2016

Trustees’ Teaching Award, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2015

Honorary Keynote Speaker, The Larry Gentry Research Forum, University of Toledo School of Medicine, Toledo, OH

2015

Elwert Award in Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

2015

GlaxoSmithKline's Discovery Fast Track Challenge Nominee, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

2014

National Pew Scholar Nominee in Cancer Research, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

2014

Young Investigator Travel Award, International Cytokine and Interferon Society Conference 

2013

Fellow, Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP), Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

2013

F1000 Prime for High Impact Publication,  twice

2012

Walther Scholar, Indiana University Walther Oncology Center, Indianapolis, IN

2009

ICS Young Investigator Award, Tri-Society [Society of Leukocyte Biology (SLB) & ICS & ISICR] Conference 

2008

Seymour and Vivian Milstein Young Investigator Award, International Society of Interferon & Cytokine Research (ISICR) & ICS Conference 

2007

Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 

2007

Young Investigator Travel Award, International Cytokine Society (ICS) Conference 

2004

Young Investigator Travel Award, International Society of Interferon & Cytokine Research (ISICR) Conference 

2004

Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

2000

Liberato J.A. DiDio Graduate Research Award, University of Toledo School of Medicine, Toledo, OH 

International Professional Activities

Reviewer           

(selected from over 20 journals): Molecular Cellular Biology (MCB), Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS), Oncogene, Cancer Research, FASEB J, Scientific Report, Cancer Letter, J Virology, European Journal of Cell Biology  (EJCB)

Member   

Advisory Board, International BIT Annual World Congress of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Reviewer           

Medical Research Council (MRC), England

Co-Chair           

2nd International Summit on Integrative Biology

Session Chair    

International Conference on Retroviruses and Novel Drugs

Reviewer           

Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austrian Special Research Program (SFB)

Member             

Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (JCPT)

Reviewer           

The Welcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, Biomedical Fellowship Program

Member             

Editorial Board, Journal of Pharmacology Research and Toxicology

Member              

Editorial Board, Clinical Cancer Drugs

Member              

Editorial Board, The Journal of Gastroenterology & Digestive Systems

Member             

Editorial Board, SM Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

Member             

Editorial Board, Journal of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy

Member             

Editorial Board, The Scientific Pages of Drug Design and Development

Session Chair     

International Conference for Biomarkers and Clinical Research

 

Patent Applications

Lu, T and Prabhu, L. Small molecule protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors and methods of treatment. International Patent Application PCT/US2017/058572, filed on October 26, 2017

Lu, T and Prabhu, L. Small molecule protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors and methods of treatment. U.S. Provisional Patent Application 62/534,969, filed on July 20, 2017

Lu, T and Prabhu, L. Small molecule protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors and methods of treatment. U.S. Provisional Patent Application 62/413,341, filed on October 26, 2016

Lu, T and Stark GR. Discovery of the FBXL11 as the negative regulator of NFkB. Filed to the Cleveland Clinic Invention Disclosure in July, 2007, in the process of provisional patent application.

Lu, T, Burdelya, LG, Stark GR and Gudkov AV. Methods of inhibiting apoptosis using latent TGFb.  U.S. provisional Patent No. 60/526,667, filed December 2, 2004.

 

 

Key Publications

Selected from ~60 publications, Complete list of published work can be found at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/browse/collection/48581694/?sort=date&direction=descending

 

1. Prabhu, L, Wei, H, Chen, L, Ozlem, D, Amero, A, Sandusky, G, Sun, E, Wang, J, Mo, J, Safa, A, Korc, M, Zhang, Z, and Lu, T*. Innovative AlphaLISA discovers a novel small-molecule inhibitor targeting PRMT5 in pancreatic and colon cancers. Oncotarget 8(25): 39963-39977, 2017. * Corresponding author. - 1) Featured on front cover, Priority Paper, 2) Honorable Mention Award, Cancer Research Day, 3) Honorable Mention, Erica M. Daniel Kepner Award for Scientific Achievement

2. Martin, M, Hua, L, Wang, B, Wei, H, Prabhu, L, Hartley, AV, Jiang, G, Liu, Y, and Lu, T*. Novel serine 176 phosphorylation of YBX1 activates NF-kB in colon cancer. J Biol Chem 292 (8): 3433-3444, 2017. * Corresponding author

3. Wang, B, Wei, H, Prabhu, L, Zhao, W, Martin, M, Hartley, A, and Lu, T*. Role of novel serine 316 phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-kB in differential gene regulation. J Biol Chem 290 (33): 20336-20347, 2015 * Corresponding author - Selected for Donald Bowman Award

4. Lu, T* and Stark, GR*. NF-kB, regulation by methylation. Cancer Res 75 (18): 3692-3695, 2015. * Corresponding authors

5. Wei, H, Wang, B, She, Y, Gopalan, B, Miyagi, M, Stark, GR, and Lu, T*. PRMT5 dimethylates R30 of the p65 subunit to activate NF-kB. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:13516-13521, 2013. *Corresponding Author. -1) Selected for F1000 Prime, 2) Hal Broxymeyer & Victoria Champion Outstanding Publication Award, 3) 2nd Place Award, Cancer Research Day

6. Lu, T*, Yang, M, Huang, D, Ghosh, G, and Stark GR. Role of lysine methyaltion of NF-kB in differential gene regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: 13510-13515, 2013. *Corresponding author - Selected for F1000 Prime

7. Zhang, T, Park, KA, Li, Y, Byun, HS, Jeon, J, Lee, Y, Hong, JH, Kim, JM, Huang, SM, Choi, SW, Kim, SH, Sohn, KC, Ro, H, Lee, JH, Lu, T, Stark, GR, Shen, HM, Liu, ZG, Park, J, and Hur, GM. PHF20 regulates NF-κB signalling by disrupting recruitment of PP2A to p65. Nat Commun 4:2062-2074, 2013. 

8. Stark, GR, Wang, Y, and Lu, T. Lysine methylation of promoter-bound transcription factors and relevance to cancer. Cell Res 21(3):375-380, 2011.

9. Lu, T*, Jackson, MW, Wang, B, Yang, M, Chance, M, Miyagi, M, Gudkov, AV, and Stark, GR*. Regulation of NF-kB by NSD1/FBXL11-dependent reversible lysine methyaltion of p65. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 46-51, 2010 *Corresponding authors

10. Lu, T and Stark, GR. Use of forward genetics to discover novel regulators of NF-kB. Book Chapter in Book "NF-kB". Editors: Michael Karin and Lou Staudt, Cold Spring Harbor Press, p253-264, 2010.

 

 

Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics
  • Showalter Scholar
  • Member of "Woman Advisory Council" at IUSM
  • Education
    2003 FEL Cleveland Clinic
    2002 PhD University of Toledo
    1994 MS Shandong University
    1991 BS Nanjing University
  • Research

    Please visit Dr. Tao Lu's laboratory website for more information:

    https://marti336.wixsite.com/taolulab

    The research in my lab centers on the multi-functional transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). As a hallmark in many cancers and a key link between inflammation and cancer, the pivotal transcription factor NF-κB is a “hot” target for disease treatment. My research focuses on addressing how NF-κB is regulated and how this regulation contributes to tumorigenesis. Ultimately, these studies may provide a rational basis for the design of new strategies for treating NF-κB-activated cancers and inflammatory disorders.

    ACTIVE RESEARCH:

    Two major directions of research are being conducted in our lab.

    1) Epigenetic regulation of NF-κB in cancer.

    We have discovered that the histone modifying enzymes, such as protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) and the F-box leucine repeat rich protein 11 (FBXL11), a known histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) demethylase are novel regulators of NF-κB. Currently, we are studying the role of these histone modifying enzymes in cancer. Specifically, we have adapted the AlphaLISA technique into a high throughput screen platform to screen for PRMT5 small molecule inhibitors. This work has resulted in two US Provisional Patents and one International Patent application. The lead compound and its derivatives may serve as the basis for new medicine development to combat cancer.

    Furthermore, since elevated NF-κB activity has been widely observed in both chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC), and is believed to be a key link between IBD and CAC, therefore, NF-κB is widely considered to be an attractive therapeutic target for CAC. We have successfully established genetically engineered mouse models to investigate the role of the role of FBXL11 in CAC and other inflammation related diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis.

    2) Using Validation-based insertional mutagenesis (VBIM) technique to discover novel genes.

    VBIM is a powerful genetic approach for gene discovery. We have employed this innovative approach to identify novel regulators of NF-κB. These regulators may have great potential to serve as new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer. Furthermore, understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms regarding how these novel regulators control NF-κB activity may help to devise innovative therapeutic strategies to control NF-κB activity in cancer.   

    Additionally, our lab is also utilizing VBIM technique to discover carboplatin and paclitaxel resistance genes in cancer. Once identified, targeting these genes may help to overcome chemoresistance to carboplatin or paclitaxel, thus, improving their efficacies for cancer treatment. Finally, the newly discovered drug resistance genes may serve as biomarkers to help physicians to design more precise treatment to each individual patient.

    In conclusion, the research in our lab utilizes a broad range of advanced research techniques and experimental models to discover novel aspects of NF-κB regulation and new genes for drug resistance, with the hope of identifying innovative biomarkers, therapeutic targets in cancer and other NF-κB related diseases, and eventually, lead to the development of new medicines to treat these devastating diseases.

    RESEARCH FUNDING:

    NIH-NIGMS Grant # 1R01GM120156-01A1

    Role: Principle investigator

    Project Title: Gene-specific responses to NF-κB through lysine and arginine methylation of p65

    NIH-NCI Grant # 1 R03 CA223906-01

    Role: Leading Principle Investigator (with Dr. Harikrishna Nakshatri)

    Project Title: Impact of NF-κB methylation on chemoresistance and metastasis of breast cancer

    V Foundation Kay Yow Cancer Fund 4486242

    Role: Principle Investigator

    Project Title: Facing the challenge, a novel approach to combat carboplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

    100 VOH Grant # 2987613

    Role: Leading Principle Investigator (with Dr. Lang Li)

    Project Title: A novel approach to discover drug resistance genes in metastasized breast cancer cells

  • Professional Organizations
    American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
    American Heart Association (AHA)
    American Society for biochemistry and Molecular biology
    Cancer Epigenetics Society (CES)
    International Cytokine Society (ICS)
    International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research (ISICR)

Research Labs

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Faculty Labs