Xunrong Luo, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Xunrong Luo is Associate Professor of Medicine, Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology in the Department of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Luo received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University in 1998, and completed her clinical medicine residency and transplant nephrology fellowship training at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Medical College in New York in 2005. Dr. Luo moved to Northwestern University in 2005 and currently serves as the medical director of the Human Islet Transplantation Programs of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She serves on the editorial board for the journal Transplantation. Dr. Luo's basic research efforts have focused on the tolerance strategies for allogeneic and xenogeneic islet cell transplantation. Current research focuses on developing strategies for donor-specific tolerance induction and elucidating mechanisms of tolerance in murine models of allogeneic and xenogeneic islet cell transplantation. Studies from Dr. Luo's laboratory have defined a novel and robust tolerance therapy using multiple infusions of donor splenocytes chemically modified with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide (ECDI) that results in indefinite islet allograft survival in pre-clinical models. In addition, studies from the Luo laboratory also demonstrated that locally delivered donor-specific regulatory T cells to the site of islet grafts provide sufficient protection to the islet grafts against immune attacks. This approach is particularly attractive for islets transplanted via bioengineered scaffold in search for an alternative site to the intra-portal route for islet transplantation. Current work in Dr. Luo's laboratory uses such multi-pronged approaches to design clinically relevant therapies that would allow long-term islet graft survival in diabetic patients in the absence of life-long immunosuppression.
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