November 11, 2022, Congratulations to Dr. Sharif Rahmy for successfully defending his thesis and officially becoming a PhD! Equally exciting, Dr. Rahmy started a job as a Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca. Lu lab wishes him and his family the best for all future endeavors!

Sharif Defense Flyer
Sharif Defense Celebration 1
Sharif Defense Celebration 2

November 2022, Lu lab invited two excellent professors in the field of prostate cancer, Dr. Xiaohong Li (University of Toledo) and Dr. Xiuping Yu (Louisiana State University), to give virtual seminars of the Cell Biology seminar series at Notre Dame. We learned a lot from Dr. Li and Dr. Yu!  Our graduate students, Guoqiang Liu and Loan Duong, gave the accompanying talks about their research.


Cell Seminar Flyer Oct 28

Cell Seminar Flyer Nov 4

October 27, 2022, Ariana and Eun Suh present in COS Fall Undergraduate Research Fair (FURF). Great job!

Eun Suh Presentation

Ariana Presentation

October 26, 2022, Congratulations to Dr. Yini Zhu for successfully defending his thesis and officially becoming a PhD! Dr. Zhu is going back to his home country and work as a senior scientist in a leading CRO company to contribute his expertise learned from Notre Dame to the biomedical world. Lu lab wishes him and his family the best for all future endeavors!

Yini Zhu Defense Flyer 
Yini Zhu Defense Celebration 1 
Yini Defense Celebration 2

Oct 2022, Guoqiang Liu gave oral presentation at IBMS retreat.

Ibms Award
Ibms Presentation

Oct 2022, Dr. Xin Lu was invited to give a talk at IUSCCC Cancer Research Day. Lu lab research was very well received by the IUSCCC community.  

Sept 2022, We welcome new graduate students in the lab:  Xuechun Wang (1st year BIOS, joined), Lynn Wang (1st year IBMS, rotation) and Ziyu Zeng (1st year BIOS, rotation). Welcome to Notre Dame, and welcome to Lu lab!

Aug 2022, Dr. Xin Lu is one of the two recipients of the inaugural BBA Reviews on Cancer Rising Star award. We deeply appreciate this major recognition of the research work from our lab from BBA Reviews on Cancer. Dr. Lu was also invited to write a review of Lu lab’s work (please read this review here). and join the editorial board of BBA Reviews on Cancer.

2022 Bba Rising Star Xin Lu

July 2022, Sean Murphy won the prestigious NIH Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00)! This is the first time that a graduate student in our lab won a federally funded fellowship. Sean is also among the very few graduate students at Notre Dame to win F99/K00 award from NIH/NCI. Congratulations to Sean! For more info, please see the report at College of Science:

June 2022, Dr. Lu joined a number of colleagues from Harper Cancer Research Institute visited the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. The goal is to help establish Biseach Initiative, a long-term strategy of faculty and student collaboration for the progression of cancer research. For more information see:

May 2022, Sean Murphy received coverage by his alma mater. Congratulations!

Sean Murphy Cover

May 2022,  Dr. Xin Lu was promoted to associate professor with tenure. With this milestone achieved, Dr. Lu and his lab are more motivated than ever to conduct cutting-edge cancer research with the goal to benefit patients.

May 2022,  Sean Murphy won the First Place Prize for his poster presentation in Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center 23rd Annual Scientific Retreat. Congratulations, Sean!

April 2022, Congratulations to Sean Murphy for receiving the 2022 Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Graduate Student Travel Award!  This award will support Sean to attend 2022 Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Graduate Student Travel Award 23rd Annual Scientific Retreat.

April 2022, Congratulations to Yuting Zhang for winning a BIPH 2022 Summer Fellowship. We appreciate the support from BIPH.

March 2022, Congratulations to Sean Murphy for receiving the Exceptional Community Service, receiving $400 Travel Grant and giving an oral presentation on the Harper Cancer Research Day. We appreciate the recognition from HCRI.

February 2022, Xin Lu was invited to give a virtual seminar at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

February 2022, Our project on a novel CAR-NK therapy is awarded with an Exceptional Project Grant from Breast Cancer Alliance.  The Breast Cancer Alliance is a non-profit organization that supports breast cancer research, breast cancer-related training for medical professionals and efforts to increase access to cancer screenings and treatment for low-income women. We appreciate the support from Breast Cancer Alliance!  Links: (1), (2)

February 2022, Our lab invited Dr. Qiufu Ma to give the Cell seminar.

Qiufu Ma

November, 2021, Dr. Xin Lu received the 2021 Young Investigator Award from Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR). SBUR, formed in 1986. is the pre-eminent US-based urologic research society. The SBUR Young Investigator Awards are given to SBUR members who are under the age of 45, within 5 years of their first faculty position, and have made significant contributions to Urologic Research. This award is presented annually at the fall meeting to 2-3 scientists. This year, Dr. Lu won the award together with Dr. Irfan Asangani from University of Pennsylvania. During the 2021 SBUR Annual Meeting (Nov 4-7, 2021), Dr. Lu presented an acceptance speech and a seminar entitled "Prostate cancer and penile cancer: Similarity in immunosuppression".  Dr. Lu’s laboratory is focused on identifying cancer cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of tumor escape of immune surveillance, particularly in metastatic prostate cancer, breast cancer, and rare cancers (VHL disease, penile cancer). Recent publications from Lu lab firmly establish that immunosuppressive neutrophils (also known as polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells, PMN-MDSCs), play the predominant role in inducing the exhaustion of effector T cells in the tumor microenvironment across multiple solid tumors. A number of mechanisms and targeting strategies of PMN-MDSCs have been reported by the Lu lab (such as CXCR1/2 inhibitor SX-682, tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib), which may open new avenues to sensitize advanced malignancies  to immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Dr. Lu also investigates and develops novel immunotherapeutics and molecularly-targeted therapeutics, including antibody-drug conjugates, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered NK cells and small molecules targeting transcription coactivators that promote metastasis. Dr. Lu’s research at Notre Dame is supported by federal and foundation funding agencies, such as NIH/NCI, Department of Defense, Boler Family Foundation, Walther Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Institute for Cancer Research, Elsa U. Pardee Foundation, Mary Kay Foundation, Indiana-CTSI, and internal funds from centers at Notre Dame such as Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, Harper Cancer Research Institute, and Warren Family Center for Drug Discovery.  

For more information about the award, please visit:

November, 2021, Dr. Xin Lu was invited to give a talk entitled “Prostate Cancer and Penile Cancer: Similarity in Immunosuppression” at the SBUR 2021 Annual Virtual Meeting (, November 4-7, 2021. Our graduate student Yini Zhu presented a poster in this meeting.

November, 2021, Welcome two rotation graduate students, Lauren Mayer and Samir El Idrissi from IBMS program

October, 29 2021, Lu lab Lu lab invited Dr. Cory Abate-Shen, a world-renowned cancer biologist, to give the virtual Cell seminar.

Cory Abate Shen

August 2021, Welcome two rotation students, Wei Ma and Xinrui Yang (both BIOS 1st year)!

July 2021, Congratulations to Loan Duong for receiving the WCF Interdisciplinary Interface Training Program (IITP) award to support her research on CAR-NK therapy for prostate cancer!

May 2021, in AACR Annual Meeting 2021 (virtual week 2), Dr. Lu co-chaired with Dr. Alana Welm (University of Utah) an AACR Tumor Microenvironment Working Group Networking Session “Lab goals and culture” (see info picture below). Dr. Lu serves on the steering committee of the AACR TME Working Group.

Aacr 2021 May

April 2021, in AACR Annual Meeting 2021 (virtual week 1), Dr. Lu co-chaired with Dr. Edna Cukierman (Fox Chase Cancer Center) the mini-symposium “Identifying the Puppet Master Cells That Orchestrate Tumor Microenvironmental Players” (MS.TB06.02). This mini-symposium introduced 7 outstanding studies that highlighted the intricate cell-cell interactions in the tumor microenvironment (see a summary slide below):

Aacr 2021

April 2021, Lu lab invited two outstanding professors in the field of myeloid cells, Dr. Hongbo R. Luo (Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital) and Dr. Paulo C Rodriguez (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center), to give virtual seminars of the Cell Biology seminar series at Notre Dame.

Hongbo Luo     Paulo Rodriguez

April 2021, Congratulations to Loan Duong for receiving the 2021 Leiva Graduate Summer Fellowship from Institute for Precision Health at Notre Dame. This fellowship will help Loan to carry out the project on creating novel CAR-NK therapy

March 2021, Louise Medina Bengtsson received 2021 John M. and Mary Jo Boler Rare Disease Research Award from Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases. Congratulations, Louise!

February 2021, Louise Medina Bengtsson received Undergraduate Research Program award from Eck Institute for Global Health. Congratulations, Louise!

January 2021, Our article “Effective combinatorial immunotherapy for penile squamous cell carcinoma” was featured on the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage of recent research called “Cancer”.

December 2020, Congratulations to Dr. Yun Zhao for his 2020 Early Career Investigator Award from METAvivor, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of advanced breast cancer and equity in research and patient support. Yun is among the 12 awardees nationwide for this prestigious award.

December 2020, The Lu lab and Dr. Feng Guo’s lab at Indiana University (Bloomington) received the Collaboration in Translational Research (CTR) award from Indiana CTSI. This award will help us explore the project - A Tumor-on-a-Chip Platform for Modeling Immuno-Oncology in Prostate Cancer.

October 2020, Lu Lab received an Investigator‐Initiated Grant from American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) to support the research on dietary modulation in cancer immunotherapy. AICR funds research that focuses on how nutrition and lifestyle affect the prevention, treatment, and survival of cancer. This work is mainly driven by Sean Murphy, a BIOS graduate student in Lu lab.

October 29, 2020, Dr. Xin Lu was invited to give a short talk on the VHL projects at the VHL Alliance 14th International Medical/Research Virtual Symposium.

October 15, 2020, Dr. Xin Lu was invited to give a virtual seminar about immunotherapy of genitourinary cancers at the 2020 Fall Seminar Series at Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

2020 Fall Seminar Series

October, 2020, Lu lab invited two assistant professors, Dr. Di Zhao and Dr. Yong Cheng, to give virtual seminars of the Cell & Developmental Biology seminar series at Notre Dame.

Di Zhao
Yong Cheng


September 2020, Dr. Xin Lu is highlighted by the Mary Kay Foundation through social media:

September 2020, Congratulations to Yanting Luo and Louise for publishing our lab’s first paper that was first-authored by undergraduate students. Their work was highlighted by CRND.

August 2020, Welcome rotation students in fall 2020: Theodore Reed (BIOS), Emilija Aleksandrovic (IBMS) and Loan Duong (IBMS)!

June 2020, Dr. Lu led a panel discussion for Rare Patient Advocacy Symposium.

June 2020, Our publication in Nature Communications is highlighted by College of Science and BIOS, University of Notre Dame.

April 2020  Our publication in Nature Communications is selected by the editors as the top one of the Editors’ Highlights for Therapeutics.

April 2020  Lu lab is excited to receive grants from both National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Department of Defense (DOD) to support our research in prostate cancer metastasis, therapeutics and immunotherapy. These grants will decisively promote our research efforts and bring potential benefits to the patient community. We are deeply grateful to these federal grant agencies.

April 2020  Congratulations to Yanting “Raven” Luo for receiving the Paul F. Ware, M.D. Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award from the Department of Biological Sciences. This award is given to the senior who has been an exemplary undergraduate researcher and has displayed the highest level of leadership and service in the department or college, while maintaining a 3.7 GPA or higher. It is the highest honor given to a graduating senior in the department. We also wish Raven the best for her upcoming exciting graduate studies at Duke University!

April 2020  Guoqiang Liu received the Chemistry-Biochemistry-Biology Interface (CBBI) fellowship, which will support his graduate study for up to 2 years. Both Dr. Xin Lu and Dr. Matthew Webber will provide mentorship to Guoqiang. We are grateful to the CBBI Program. Congratulations, Guoqiang!

March 2020  Our publication on VHL disease (Liu et al. BMC Med Genet. 2020. PMID: 32106822.) was featured and rated as STORY OF THE WEEK by VHL Alliance, the largest organization of the VHL community.

Feb 2020   Louise Medina Bengtsson wins 2020-2021 American Association for Cancer Research AACR Undergraduate Scholar Award. This meritorious award includes complimentary registration and a $1,500 stipend each year to support participation in the AACR Annual Meeting 2020 taking place April 24-29 2020, in San Diego, CA and the AACR Annual Meeting 2021, taking place April 10-14, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Feb 2020   Yanting “Raven” Luo is highlighted on College of Science website:

Jan 2020    Lu lab is very fortunate and excited to receive the Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS) to support our research in cancer immunotherapy. This grant is a significant recognition of our research efforts and tremendously promotes our research. We are deeply grateful to the support from ACS!

Dec 2019    Lu lab receives the Collaborative Project Grant from Warren Family Center for Drug Discovery & Development (WFCDD) to support Yuting Zhang’s project “High-Throughput Screening for “Killers” and “Silencers” of Polymorphonuclear Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (PMN-MDSCs)”. Congratulations to Yuting!

Nov 22-25, 2019    Lu lab attended the Autumn Immunology Conference (AIC) at Chicago. Tianhe Huang and Sharif Rahmy gave oral presentations on their research progress.

Nov 14-15, 2019    Lu lab attended the Midwest Metabolism Meeting at Van Andel Institute. Sean Murphy gave an oral presentation. Yanting Luo and Louise Medina Bengtsson (both are undergraduate students) gave a poster presentation.

Aug 2019    Sharif Rahmy received Walther Cancer Foundation Interdisciplinary Interface Training Program (IITP) award, which will support him for two years. Sharif has Dr. Lu and Dr. Brian Blagg as mentors for his project on combination immunotherapy. We are grateful to Harper Cancer Research Institute and WCF for this opportunity. Congratulations, Sharif!

Aug 2019    Our lab is awarded with the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation Research Grant to support a project to develop novel inhibitors to treat prostate cancer. We are deeply grateful to the support from Elsa U. Pardee Foundation!

July 2019    Our lab is awarded with the 2019 AD&T Discovery Fund to support our collaborative project on new methods of exosome purification for immunotherapy applications. Yini Zhu leads this project.

July 2019    Our lab is awarded with the Mary Kay Foundation Cancer Research Grant to support a project titled “Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate as Personalized Therapy for Metastatic Breast, Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers”. We express our greatest appreciation to Mary Kay Foundation!

July 2019    Welcome three iSURE students from top universities in China:Tianrui Zhang, Caiqin Wang, and Kaiwen Zhu! They will collaborate with lab members to work on exciting summer research projects.

June 2019    Yanting (Raven) Luo, junior undergraduate student with biology major in Honors Program, won SURF from Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases to support her summer research in the lab! Congratulations!

May 2019    Sharif Rahmy presented a poster “Identifying Functional Drivers for Immunotherapy Resistance” at the IUSCC Cancer Research Day, Indianapolis. Sharif’s presentation was highlighted on the IU website:

May 2019    Midwest Tumor Microenvironment Meeting was successfully held at University of Notre Dame. The meeting hosted over 130 researchers in the tumor microenvironment field in the Midwest. Dr. Xin Lu was a co-organizer.

Apr 2019    Dr. Xin Lu invited Dr. Hua Yu to give the Department Seminar titled “STAT3: from fundamental discoveries to clinical translation”. Dr. Yu is Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor of Tumor Immunotherapy at City of Hope National Medical Center.

Apr 2019    Dr. Xin Lu was invited as a Grand Rounds Speaker at University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Iowa City, IA. Dr. Lu gave a talk titled “Decipher and Targeting Immunosuppressive Myeloid Cells in Cancer”.

Apr 2019    Tianhe, Sharif and Yini present their posters in the Harper Cancer Research Day.

Jan 2019    Yanting (Raven) Luo, junior undergraduate student with biology major in Honors Program, won the Research Like A Champion award from Harper Cancer Research Institute! The $12,500 research award can be used to support summer student stipends, research supplies, and travel. Congratulations!

Nov 2018    ND press coverage of Shan and Xi’s PNAS paper

Oct 2018    ND press coverage of Dr. Lu’s winning of a prestigious Susan G. Komen grant

Oct 2018    Sharif gave an oral presentation in the 2018 IBUR-IUSCC Basic Urological Research Symposium (Purdue University).

Oct 2018    Welcome Fall 2018, 2nd round rotation students: Armando Marrufo (BIOS), Samantha Golomb (BIOS) and Yuting Zhang (IBMS)!

Oct 2018    Congratulations to Sharif Rahmy for receiving the Riley Graduate Fellowship!

Aug 2018    Congratulations to Shan Feng and Xi Cheng for their PNAS paper being accepted for publication! This is the first independent research publication from the Lu group.

July 2018    Welcome Fall 2018, 1st round rotation students: Guoqiang Liu (IBMS), Meidan Wang (BIOS), and Sean Murphy (BIOS), in order of arrival.

June 2018    Welcome Karolina I. Pellot Ortiz from the University of Puerto Rico and Yuting Yang from Sichuan University (China) as undergraduate researchers in the summer! They are supported through REU and iSURE, respectively.

May 2018    Congratulations to Jacqueline Weinrich, Xiao Han and Andrew Frear to receive COS-SURF, Harper SURF, and CRND SURF, respectively! They will be working in the summer for their undergraduate research projects.

5/18/2018    Congratulations to William Morgenlander and Sam Arroyo to graduate and get bachelor degrees from University of Notre Dame! Also congratulations to William for receiving the Outstanding Biological Scientist Award from the Department of Biological Sciences!

4/1/2018     Welcome Tianhe Huang to join lab as a visiting graduate student!

3/15/2018    Welcome Yini Zhu to join lab as the second Ph.D. student from IBMS program!

12/11/2017  The lab receives an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant through Harper Cancer Research Institute to support the protein nitration project, carried out by Dr. Shan Feng.

9/1/2017     Welcome Xi Cheng to join lab as a visiting graduate student!

7/27/2017   Dr. Lu’s work is highlighted by Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.

7/18/2017   Dr. Shan Feng is awarded with Walther Cancer Foundation Cancer Cure Ventures Grant for his study on novel antibody-drug conjugate. His project is based on collaboration between Lu lab and the Laboratory of Dr. Matt Webber. Congratulations to Shan! We appreciate funding from Harper Cancer Research Institute/Walther Cancer Foundation.

6/1/2017     Welcome Sharif to become our first PhD graduate student! Keep good coming, Sharif! 

5/2/2017     Sam Arroyo wins 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow to support his summer research. Project title: "Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells in Bone Metastasis of Prostate Cancer". Congratulations! More info here.

5/25/2017   Dr. Xin Lu wins 2017 Indiana CTSI Young Investigator Award. Project title "Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Personalized Therapy of Lethal Prostate Cancer". Congratulations! More info here.

4/10/2017   William and Nat won the Glynn Academic Year Funding for Science Students, which will support their summer salary for research. Congratulations!

2/1/2017     Grand opening of Lu Lab!