Lu 2019Rank:
Assistant Professor

Hematology & Oncology

Campus Address:

WTI 510G

Mailing Address:
1720 2nd Avenue South, WTI 510G
Birmingham, AL 35294-3300

Phone: (205) 975-9878
Fax: (205) 975-5745
Lab: (205) 996-4085                

E-mail Address:


Departmental Affiliation(s):
Primary: Medicine, Hematology/Oncology

Professional Experience and Education:
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

Research/Interest Description:
The overall goal of Dr. Lu’s 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. Lu’s lab currently is focusing on understanding various epigenetic regulations in the development of blood cancers. Recent projects in Dr. Lu’s lab include the following directions: (1) understanding the molecular basis of driver mutations in cancer; (2) discovery of novel targets for cancer epigenetic therapies; (3) development of new epigenome editing tools to study gene regulation in normal and cancer cells.    

Selected Publications:
1. Zhang ZM*, Lu R*, Wang P, Yu Y, Liu S, Ji D, Gao L, Rothbart SB, Wang Y, Wang GG, Song J: Structural basis for DNMT3A-mediated de novo DNA methylation. Nature 2018, 554(7692):387-391. (*equal contribution)

2. Lu R, Wang P, Parton T, Zhou Y, Chrysovergis K, Rockowitz S, Chen W-Y, 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.

3. Lu R, Wang GG: Pharmacologic Targeting of Chromatin Modulators as Therapeutics of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Frontiers in Oncology 2017, 7:241.

4. Lu R, Wang GG: Gene enhancer deregulation and epigenetic vulnerability. Oncoscience 2016, 3(11-12):299-301.

5. Lu R, Wang GG: Tudor: a versatile family of histone methylation ‘readers’. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 2013, 38(11):546-555.

6. Cai L*, Rothbart SB*, Lu R*, Xu B, Chen W-Y, 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):571-582. (*equal contribution)

See a listing of publications on PubMed , a service of the National Library of Medicine.