Jianhua Luo, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of PathologyUniversity of Pittsburgh
Dr. Luo has been studying molecular mechanisms of human malignancies in the last 34 years. Currently, he is a Professor of Pathology and Director of High Throughput Genome Center at University of Pittsburgh. In the last 28 years, Dr. Luo has been largely focusing on the genetic and molecular mechanism of human prostate and hepatocellular cancers. In this period, his group has identified and characterized several genes that are related to prostate cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. He proposed prostate cancer field effect in 2002. He is one of the pioneers in utilizing high throughput gene expression and genome analyses to analyze field effects in prostate cancer and liver cancer. He is also the first in using methylation array and whole genome methylation sequencing to analyze prostate cancer. He and his colleague helped to develop an ultra-low error synthetic long-read sequencing technology called LOOPSeq that can be utilized to quantify mRNA isoforms and mutation isoform distributions. Recently, his group discovered 18 novel fusion genes in prostate, liver and colon cancers. Subsequently, his group discovered that many of these fusion genes are recurrent in many other types of human cancers. His group also developed a genome intervention strategy targeting at the chromosomal breakpoint of fusion gene to treat cancers. Overall, these findings advance our understanding of how cancer develops and behaves, and lay down the foundation for better future diagnosis and treatment for human malignancies.