May 16, 2023

Lu named 2023 Dean's Excellence Award Winner in Research

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Rui Lu 1 by 1

Rui Lu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicine's Division of Hematology and Oncology, is the 2023 junior faculty winner of the Dean's Excellence Award in Research.

Lu completed his graduate work in Developmental Biology and Embryology at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011 before beginning a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lu began his work in the UAB Department of Medicine in 2019.

Lu's research is focused on studying epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that drive leukemia and therapeutic resistance. He has made several seminal discoveries related to novel epigenetic dependencies in leukemia, supporting the discovery of new targets, and the development of innovative therapies. Additionally, Lu has developed several tools for cancer research that are in high demand by labs worldwide. His group has published a series of high-impact papers in top-tier journals such as Blood Advances, eLife, and Leukemia. Lu's multidisciplinary expertise in epigenetics and genomics has also generated numerous collaborations leading to high-quality publications.

Lu's excellence in research has been recognized with numerous awards and grants from organizations, including the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Hematology, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. Lu's research has contributed $7.7 million in extramural research support to UAB, including $3.3 million in direct costs to his lab.

Furthermore, Lu's strong record of service and teaching demonstrates his commitment to the scientific community. He serves on the admission committee for the UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences program and is involved in several internal and external committees. Lu lectures to graduate students and has mentored several successful trainees with first-author publications and competitive awards, further demonstrating his dedication to inspiring and nurturing the next generation of scientists.

"Dr. Lu's innovative, exciting, and transformative research in the field of epigenetics and leukemia makes him a most deserving candidate for this award," said Ravi Bhatia, M.D., professor of Medicine and director of the UAB Program in Stem Cell Biology.