Welcome to the Laboratory of Jia Luo, PhD

Potential Mechanisms Underlying Alcohol-induced Neurodegeneration

Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and the medical complications of excessive drinking are major world-wide health problems. It is important to understand the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms to develop effective prevention and therapeutic strategies. There are three long-term goals of my laboratory: 

  1. Alcohol exposure during development results in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and induces profound damages to the central nervous system (CNS). I am interested in elucidating cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced damage to the developing brain. Particularly I am interested in the interaction among oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy and how the interaction contributes to alcohol-induced CNS damage and neurodegeneration. Chronic and heavy alcohol abuse also causes neurodegeneration and thiamine deficiency (TD). I am interested in the interaction between TD and alcohol abuse in the context of neurodegeneration and behavioral deficits.
  2. Alcohol is a tumor promoter and enhances the progression of mammary tumor. I am interested in elucidating cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-promoted tumor progression, particularly the metastasis of breast cancer cells.
  3. Alcohol abuse is the major risk factor for pancreatitis. I am interested in elucidating the role of ER stress in alcohol-promoted pancreatitis.

Contact Information:

Office Phone: 319-335-2256
Lab Phone: 319-335-0725
1020 Medical Laboratories

Lab Members:

Hong Lin, Research Specialist

Hui Li, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist

Wen Wen, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist

Zuohui Zhang, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow

Di Hu, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow


List of publications

Graduate Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience