Ray Lu

Email Address
[email protected]
Research Description

My lab has two main lines of research. One focuses on proteins that play key roles in animal stress responses, and that are linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and viral infection. The other one focuses on the molecular mechanisms of aging and their association with stress.

Research Summary

My lab focuses on two main axes of research:
1) Unfolded Protein Response and Human Diseases: We study proteins that play key roles in animal stress responses, specifically the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) that is caused by stress in the endoplasmic reticulum. The UPR has been linked to animal development, cell differentiation, as well as a variety of human diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and viral infection. Specifically, we look at: stress signaling mediated by these proteins (their upstream and downstream targets), and how it is related to cellular processes or animal diseases (lipid metabolism/obesity, hypoxia/cancer, glucose metabolism/diabetes, and inflammation); the molecular mechanism of how these genes/proteins are regulated during the stress response (e.g., transcriptional regulation, protein translational modification and trafficking etc).
2) Molecular Mechanisms of Aging: We are working to establish planarians as a new aging model to test the hypothesis that longevity requires multiplex resistance to stress. We hope to identify genes or alleles that confer such multiplex stress resistance and/or promote longevity.

Techniques Used

We use gene knockout mouse models, combined with molecular and cellular biology techniques.

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