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Theresa T. Lu, MD, PhD

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Photo of Dr. Lu

Theresa T. Lu, MD, PhD

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Back in the Game Patient Stories

Research Description

The immune circuit in disease

The Lu Lab studies the immune circuit in autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions to understand how the immune system acts in tissue injury and protection. Upon injury or infection, the affected tissue sends signals to lymphoid tissues such as lymph nodes, which are the sites of T and B cell activation.  T and B cells are recruited to lymph nodes and become activated, causing lymph node swelling, and then migrate from the lymph nodes to the affected tissue to control the infection or otherwise protect the tissue.  Reduced activity of this circuit can result in an inability to fight infection, while overactivation of this circuit can result in autoimmune and inflammatory disease, where the immune cells destroy healthy tissue.  Dysfunction at any point in circuit can lead to disease, and we aim to better understand the circuit in order to better treat diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, and musculoskeletal conditions in children and adults.

We study the immune circuit from a number of perspectives, including 1) lymph node vascular-stromal microenvironment that controls T and B cells in autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions, 2) Langerhans (immune) cell protection of the skin in lupus photosensitivity ( a skin sensitivity to sunlight), 3) lymphatic dysfunction in disease, and the role of immune cells in tissue repair and regeneration in fibrosis.

 Our work has the potential to provide more insight into fundamental mechanisms of health and disease and to lead to better treatment of rheumatic and orthopedic conditions.

If you are interested in joining the Lu Lab, please send cover letter, CV, and contacts for 3 references to lut@hss.edu

Specialized Centers

Selected Publications

Benahmed F, Chyou S, Chen J, Dasoveanu D, Kumar, V, Iwakura Y, and Lu TT. Multiple CD11c+ cells collaboratively express IL-1ß to modulate stromal VEGF and lymph node vascular-stromal growth. Journal of Immunology. 2014. 192: 4153-63

Kumar V, Dasoveanu DC, Chyou S, Tzeng TC, Rozo C, Liang Y, Stohl W, Fu YX, Ruddle NH, and Lu TT. A dendritic cell-stromal axis maintains immune responses in lymph nodes. Immunity. 2015. 43:719-730. (Cover)

Chia JJ, Chyou S, Zhu T, Dasoveanu D, Carballo C, Tian S, Rodeo S, Spiera RF, Magro CM, Ruddle NH, McGraw TE, Browning JL, Lafyatis R, and Gordon JK, Lu TT. Dendritic cells maintain dermal adipose-derived stromal cells in skin fibrosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2016. 126:4331-4345.

Shipman, WD, Chyou S, Ramanathan A, Izmirly PM, Sharma S, Pannellini T, Dasoveanu DC, Qing X, Magro CM, Pamer E, Granstein RD, Lowes MA, Kaplan DH, Salmon JE, Mehrara BJ, Young JW, Clancy RM, Blobel CP, and Lu TT. A protective Langerhans cells-keratinocyte axis that is dysfunctional in photosensitivity. Science Translational Medicine. 2018. 10:eaap9527.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.

Professional Education by Dr. Lu on HSS.edu


Senior Scientist, Autoimmunity and Inflammation Program and Pediatric Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College


BS Yale University
MD, PhD Yale University

Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Pediatric Rheumatology, University of California, San Francisco

Board Certification
Pediatric Rheumatology

State Licensure
New York