Dr. Lu studies stem cell coordination, regulation and malfunction from a single cell perspective, using mouse hematopoietic stem cells as a model system. Research in her laboratory is focused on understanding the differences between individual stem cells and how they are coordinated in sustaining the common blood supply.


Rong Lu (right) and Du Jiang (Photo by Gal Manella)

USC Stem Cell study shows how gene activity modulates the amount of immune cell production in mice

As people age or become ill, their immune systems can become exhausted and less capable of fighting off viruses such as the flu or COVID-19. In a new mouse study funded in …

At the lab bench (Photo by Chris Shinn)

Ten USC Stem Cell PhD students and recent graduates earn NIH fellowships

Ten USC Stem Cell PhD students and recent graduates have been awarded fellowships from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Known as F31 awards, these prestigious fellowships provide promising PhD students with …

From left, study authors Jiya Eerdeng, Ivon Garcia, Rong Lu, Charles Bramlett, Mary Vergel-Rodriguez, and Yeachan Lee (Photo by Bowen Wang)

Why does a leukemic mutation not always lead to leukemia? A new clue from a mouse study at USC

Why do some people with a genetic mutation associated with leukemia remain healthy, while others with the same mutation develop the blood cancer? In a new study published in Blood, scientists from …

Rong Lu Lab (Photo by Chris Shinn)

Why multipotent progenitor cells matter for patients receiving bone marrow transplants

When patients receive bone marrow transplants, they are infused with complex admixtures of many different cell types with the power to regenerate their blood and immune systems. In a new study in …

Kuo-Chang (Ted) Tseng from the Crump Lab and Michelle Hung from the Ichida Lab enjoy a beachside brainstorm.

Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

A pair of young scientists picked up a piece of driftwood and thoughtfully traced a series of letters in the wet sand of Ventura Beach. The word “microglia”—referring to the immune cells …

Rong Lu

USC faculty member Rong Lu: Providing insights into stem cell biology in the context of aging and disease

Rong Lu is an associate professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, biomedical engineering, medicine, and gerontology at USC. She joins George Shannon, faculty member and host of the podcast “Lessons …

Rong Lu

For USC Stem Cell faculty member Rong Lu, science is in her blood

When Rong Lu joined USC as an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in 2014, she knew that earning tenure would figuratively require blood, sweat and tears. But after …

Leukemia cells

How alike are the cancer cells from a single patient?

Even within a single patient with cancer, there is a vast diversity of individual tumor cells, which display distinct behaviors related to growth, metastasis, and responses to chemotherapy. To carry out these …

Rong Lu

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu wins an NIH Emerging Investigator Award

Millions of blood cells are regenerated every second. To study the unique properties of individual blood forming stem cells and how they contribute to aging, leukemia and other medical conditions, USC Stem …

Long Cai

The Broad Foundation brings together stem cell scientists, engineers and physicians at USC and beyond

Developing new stem cell therapies requires more than a solo biologist having a eureka moment alone in the lab. Real progress relies on collaborations between biologists, engineers and physicians. That’s why The …

Rong Lu (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar

Why do some leukemia patients have more aggressive disease, and why do some of their cancer cells resist treatment? USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu is tackling these critical questions with $550,000 …

Junior faculty (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC Stem Cell junior faculty balance babies with biomedical research

Growing stem cells isn’t just something junior faculty do in the lab. Eight of the junior faculty in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently welcomed new babies into …

The core research facilities at USC's stem cell research center serve the scientific community throughout Southern California. (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC Stem Cell acquires two instruments to advance state-of-the-art cell sorting

When it comes to sorting cells or other small particles, there’s no better place to do so than USC. The university’s Flow Cytometry Facility recently acquired two top-of-the-line cell sorters, the BD …

After radiation, a small number of blood stem cells make an outsized contribution to reconstituting the blood and immune system. (Figure by Jiya Eerdeng/Rong Lu Lab)

Stem cell study offers clues for optimizing bone marrow transplants and more

Bone marrow transplants, which involve transplanting healthy blood stem cells, offer the best treatment for many types of cancers, blood disorders and immune diseases. Even though 22,000 of these procedures are performed …

The Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium sparked collaborations. (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC researchers converge at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium

“The field of stem cell biology is one of our great convergence opportunities,” said USC Provost Michael Quick, addressing an audience of biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, clinicians and many others. This diverse …

Erasing the distance (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC Stem Cell and BCRegMed Virtual Symposium brings Canada to California

It didn’t require plane tickets to bring together scientists from USC Stem Cell in Los Angeles and BCRegMed in Vancouver. During October’s Virtual Symposium, videoconferencing technology enabled these scientists to share ideas …

Kim Babos

CIRM Stem Cell Awareness Day: Science Career Videos

In honor of CIRM’s Stem Cell Awareness Day, USC Stem Cell invites you to explore careers in science. Meet progressive master’s student Carina Seah, PhD student Kimberley Babos, postdoc Jorge Contreras and clinical fellow Abigail Zamora.

Note to self (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

At the retreat for USC’s stem cell department, the students become the masters

Students and trainees took center stage at the annual retreat for USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. They presented their latest research to the 180 stem cell scientists who …

A healthy T cell (Image courtesy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

When it comes to balancing the immune system, some blood stem cells are better than others

In your body, blood stem cells produce approximately 10 billion new white blood cells, which are also known as immune cells, each and every day. Even more remarkably, if some of these …

From left, Rong Lu and Qi-Long Ying (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Broad Innovation Award winners work to develop cancer immunotherapy

Imagine an ever-renewing source of immune cells that can be engineered to attack cancer and infections. The winners of this year’s Eli and Edythe Broad Innovation Award at USC are already striving …

Rong Lu, PhD