Xin Luo of Pasadena, Calif., has joined the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech as an assistant professor of immunology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

Prior to joining the college, Luo was a postdoctoral Fellow and a research scientist at the California Institute of Technology’s Division of Biology. She previously held instructor and teaching assistant positions at Pennsylvania State University.

“Dr. Xin Lou has an incredible understanding of the immune system and its response to disease,” said Dr. S. Ansar Ahmed, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. “Dr. Luo brings outstanding skills for engineering hematopoietic stem cells that eventually become desired antibody-producing B cells. This approach now enables designing much-needed novel immunotherapies for a variety of immunological diseases.” 

Luo’s laboratory seeks to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation. In particular, it focuses on plasmacytoid dendritic cells, which produce a group of inflammatory molecules called interferons. She says she hopes to learn more about the mechanisms of interferon production and the roles of such inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. Luo’s research program also deals with antibody production from B cells and its possibly defective response against infections, overreaction to self-molecules, or various types of leukemia and lymphoma across multiple checkpoints.

Luo began her position at the veterinary college on Feb. 1. She completed a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Beijing University, where she was class president. Luo also earned a master’s degree in nutritional sciences and a doctorate in immunology and nutritional sciences from Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of the American Association of Immunologists.