Professor Yong-Jie Lu

MBBS, MD, PhD
Professor of Molecular Oncology
Group Leader
Research Focus

We aim to identify genetic alterations that influence cancer development, progression and therapeutic responses, in particular for prostate cancer, and further develop them into biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and therapeutic stratification, with a current focus on circulating biomarkers.

Key Publications

Non-invasive Detection of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer Using Circulating Tumor Cells. J Urol (2020) 203(1):73-82. PMID: 31389764

The novel association of circulating tumor cells and circulating megakaryocytes with prostate cancer prognosis. Clin Cancer Res (2017) 23(17):5112-5122. PMID: 28615267

DNA replication-dependent induction of gene proximity by androgen. Hum Mol Genet (2015) 15;24(4):963-71. PMID: 25281662

Identification of ZDHHC14 as a novel human tumour suppressor gene. J Pathol (2014) 232(5):566-77. PMID: 24407904

Major Funding
  • 2021-2026 - Prostate Cancer UK, 'Circulating tumour cells as biomarkers for treatment stratification of localised prostate cancer,' £749,527 (leading Co-PI)
  • 2017-2022- Angle Europe PLC, "The prognostic value of circulating megakaryocytes for cancer patients" £278,000
  • 2020-2022- Orchid, "The Robert Lane Tissue Bank incorporating the Circulating Tumour Cell project" £283,547.46. (Co-PI)
Other Activities
  • Senior Editor: American Journal of Cancer Research
  • Member of prostate cancer ICGC consortium
  • Member of PRACTICAL prostate cancer predisposition study international consortium. 
Research

I have set up a research team devoted to cancer genetic studies and biomarker development, in particular in male urological cancers. The mission of the research team is to reduce mortality and morbidity of cancer patients by understanding cancer development and progression mechanisms and facilitating precision medicine through the development of efficient cancer detection, prognostic and treatment response prediction/monitoring biomarkers.

Our past work has been mainly focused on identification of genetic alterations and genetic mechanisms in cancer development, progression and therapeutic response. Recently, our research work moved into circulation biomarker development, including CTCs, exosome and other cells, for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and prediction/monitoring of cancer progression and therapeutic response.

There are currently two main research areas of interest:

  • Biomarker discovery and clinical applications, focusing on circulating biomarkers (CTCs, exosomes and other cancer associated circulating cells) for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and prediction/monitoring of cancer progression and therapeutic response.
  • Mechanisms of prostate cancer metastasis and therapeutic resistance.
Other Activities
  • Senior Editor: American Journal of Cancer Research
  • Editorial Board Member: The Open Breast Cancer Journal
  • Editorial Board Member: Journal of Cancer Research Updates
  • Scientific assessment committee member: France national cancer research programme Canceropole (2007-2014)
  • Research grant reviewer for funding bodies, such as British Medical Research Council (MRC), British National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Prostate Action, Prostate Cancer Research Charity, National Cancer Institute of France, International Association of Cancer Research, Hong Kong Research Grants Council
  • Referee of scientific journals such as Oncogene, J Path, Gene Chromosome Cancer, Br J Cancer, International J Cancer, Carcinogenesis, PloS One, BMC Cancer, Histopathology, Clinical Cancer Research and America Journal of Pathology
  • Member of prostate cancer ICGC consortium
    Member of PRACTICAL prostate cancer predisposition study international consortium
  • Active Member of American Association for Cancer Research
  • Honorable Professor, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
  • Honorable Professor, Naning Medical University, China
  • Visiting Professor, Zhengzhou University Medical College, China
Major Funding
  • 2021-2026 - Prostate Cancer UK, 'Circulating tumour cells as biomarkers for treatment stratification of localised prostate cancer,' £749,527 (leading Co-PI)
  • 2019-2021- CRUK Cancer Early Detection Primer award, 'Exploring platelet miRNA as a novel cost-effective non-invasive liquid biopsy approach to improve prostate cancer diagnosis,' £97,242
  • 2017-2022- Angle Europe PLC, "The prognostic value of circulating megakaryocytes for cancer patients" £278,000
  • 2020-2022- Orchid, "The Robert Lane Tissue Bank incorporating the Circulating Tumour Cell project" £283,547.46. (Co-PI)
  • 2008-2011- Medical Research Council, Associated genes in prostate cancer, £303,225

Recent Publications

Discovery and validation of bladder cancer related excreted nucleosides biomarkers by dilution approach in cell culture supernatant and urine using UHPLC-MS/MS Chang Q, Chen P, Yin J et al. Journal of Proteomics (2023) 270(7)

Hsa_circ_0094606 promotes malignant progression of prostate cancer by inducing M2 polarization of macrophages through PRMT1-mediated arginine methylation of ILF3. Zhang Y, Wang K, Yang D et al. Carcinogenesis (2022) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/36394342

Rare Germline Variants Are Associated with Rapid Biochemical Recurrence After Radical Prostate Cancer Treatment: A Pan Prostate Cancer Group Study Burns D, Anokian E, Saunders EJ et al. European Urology (2022) 82(7) 201-211

Prostate cancer risk stratification improvement across multiple ancestries with new polygenic hazard score. Huynh-Le M-P, Karunamuni R, Fan CC et al. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2022) 25(2) 755-761
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/35152271

Assessing the causal role of epigenetic clocks in the development of multiple cancers: a Mendelian randomization study. Morales Berstein F, McCartney DL, Lu AT et al. Elife (2022) 11(2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/35346416

Investigating the Fibrillar Ultrastructure and Mechanics in Keloid Scars Using In Situ Synchrotron X-ray Nanomechanical Imaging. Zhang Y, Hollis D, Ross R et al. Materials (Basel) (2022) 15(1)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/35269067

The interaction of p53 and DNA repair gene mutations and their impact on tumor mutation burden and immune response in human malignancies. Xue X, Dong L, Burke E et al. Am J Cancer Res (2022) 12(2) 1866-1883
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/35530277

Polygenic hazard score is associated with prostate cancer in multi-ethnic populations Huynh-Le MP, Fan CC, Karunamuni R et al. Nature Communications (2021) 12(7)

Facile One-Pot Nanoproteomics for Label-Free Proteome Profiling of 50-1000 Mammalian Cells Martin K, Zhang T, Lin TT et al. Journal of Proteome Research (2021) 20(7) 4452-4461

A Novel CpG Methylation Risk Indicator for Predicting Prognosis in Bladder Cancer Guo Y, Yin J, Dai Y et al. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (2021) 9(7)

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Postdoctoral Researchers

PhD Students

  • Caitlin Davis
  • Xueke Wang
  • Junjie Chai
  • Edwina Burke

Clinical Research Fellows

  • Tarek Al-Hammouri

Research Technician

  • Edwina Burke
Biography

Education

  • 1992-1995: Ph.D. student in Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) &  Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), Beijing. (Pathophysiology)
  • 1989-1992: Post-graduate student in Dept. of Biology, Harbin Medical University. (M.D. Medical Genetics.)
  • 1984-1989: Undergraduate medical student in Faculty of Medicine, Henan Medical University.

Appointments

  • Oct 2017-present: Professor of Molecular Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
  • July 2010-Sept 2017: Reader (Team Leader), Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
  • Jun 2003-July 2010: Senior Lecturer (Team Leader), Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL.
  • Oct 2001-Jun 2003: Research Associate (deputy Team Leader), Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Sutton, UK.
  • Apr 2000-Oct. 2001: Senior postdoctoral scientist, Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory, Section of Paediatrics (joint with Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis), ICR, Sutton, UK.
  • Apr 1997-Apr 2000: Postdoctoral scientist, Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory, Section of Cell Biology & Experimental Pathology, ICR, Sutton, UK.
  • Oct 1995-Jan 1997: Visiting Scholar, Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory, ICR, Sutton, UK.