Welcome to the Laboratory of Jia Luo, PhD

Contact Information:

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

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.

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


Graduate Program Affiliations: Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience