Jianrong Lu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor



Research:  Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of cancer

Ph.D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2000


Contact Information:
     Office: 357 CGRC
     Lab: 385E CGRC
     Telephone: (352) 273-8200
     Email: jrlu@ufl.edu


Dr. Lu received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Fudan University (China) and Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. His graduate work was under the supervision of Dr. Eric N. Olson and focused on transcriptional regulation of muscle development and diseases. He then joined Dr. Philip Leder’s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he started his research on cancer. Dr. Lu joined the University of Florida faculty in 2005.


Our research is aimed at understanding epigenetic and metabolic regulation of tumor metastasis. Metastasis is a complex multistep process. Cancer cells need to acquire diverse malignant traits to perform all the steps required for successful metastasis. A central driver of tumor progression is intratumoral hypoxia, which is a hallmark of rapidly growing solid tumors. Hypoxia stimulates tumor neovascularization, invasion, and metabolic switch, all of which contribute to metastatic progression. We are elucidating transcriptional and epigenetic control of hypoxia-driven angiogenesis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated tumor invasiveness. We have also shown that altered cellular metabolism, in particular the Warburg effect, promotes tumor metastasis.

Selected publications:

Lu J, Tan M, Cai Q. (2014). The Warburg effect in tumor progression: Mitochondrial oxidative metabolism as an anti-metastasis mechanism. Cancer Lett, 2014 Apr 11. pii: S0304-3835(14)00207-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Tang M, et al (2013). The MBT domain protein SFMBT1 is an integral histone reader subunit of the LSD1 demethylase complex for chromatin association and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. J BiolChem, 288:27680-27691.

Kamarajugadda S, et al (2013). Manganese superoxide dismutase promotes anoikis resistance and tumor metastasis. Cell Death Dis 4:e504.

Cai Q, et al (2013). Regulation of glycolysis and the Warburg effect by estrogen-related receptors. Oncogene 32:2079-2086.

Kamarajugadda S, et al (2012). Glucose Oxidation Modulates Anoikis and Tumor Metastasis. Mol Cell Biol 32:1893-1907.

Tang M, et al (2011). Restraint of angiogenesis by zinc finger transcription factor CTCF-dependent chromatin insulation. ProcNatlAcadSci USA 108:15231-15236.

Lin T, et al (2010). Requirement of the histone demethylase LSD1 in Snail-mediated transcriptional repression during Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. Oncogene 29:4896-4904.

Ao A, et al (2008). Involvement of estrogen-related receptors in transcriptional response to hypoxia and growth of solid tumors. ProcNatlAcadSci USA 105:7821-7826.