The NIHR Oxford BRC’s Theme Lead for Cancer, Professor Xin Lu, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of her contribution to cancer biology.
As well as her role with the Oxford BRC, Xin Lu is Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Oxford Branch in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, co-Director of the CRUK Oxford Centre, and Director of the Oxford Centre for Early Cancer Detection.
Prof Xin Lu said: “I am humbled to receive this honour from the Royal Society. As someone who barely spoke English at the beginning of my scientific career, I am hugely grateful for all the support I have received from my supervisors and mentors.
“My appreciation also goes to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research for its long-term research funding and to the Department, College and University for a supportive and creative environment. Most important of all, my deep gratitude goes to the fantastic scientists in my laboratory, and colleagues I’ve had the privilege to work with throughout my career to date, without whom this recognition would not have been possible.”
Xin Lu is a cancer biologist distinguished by her contributions to understanding cellular pathways that control cell fate in development and disease, particularly cancer. She has a long-standing interest in how to selectively kill cancer cells, and her major research advances have provided insights into how p53, the most mutated or inactivated tumour suppressor in human cancers, can make life or death decisions for a cell.
Xin’s early work showed how p53 responds to activation of cancer-causing genes and DNA damage. She then discovered the ASPP family of proteins as molecular switches that control p53-mediated cell killing. In addition to cancer, the ASPPs have now been implicated in the pathogenesis of other disorders, including sudden cardiac death and brain abnormalities. Xin has also made contributions to our understanding of fundamental cell biology through her ongoing research on the role of cell plasticity in cancer.