Professor Xin Lu

Department: Nuffield Department of Medicine

College appointment: Fellow by Special Election

Academic position: Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research



01865 617507


Professor Lu is the Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), Oxford Branch, co-Director of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Multi-Modal Cancer Therapies Theme Lead and Director of the Oxford Centre for Early Cancer Detection. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology, a Fellow by election of the Royal College of Pathologists, and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. Following her MSc in China, she received a research training fellowship from WHO and moved to the UK in 1986. She completed her PhD and postdoctoral training, and established her own research group at the LICR in 1993. She became the Director of the LICR’s London Branch in 2004 and in 2007 she established LICR Oxford. She was elected supernumerary fellow at Magdalen College in 2013.


Professor Lu’s group has long-standing research interests in tumour suppression. She was one of the first researchers to show that the tumour suppressor p53 responds to both oncogene activation and DNA damaging signals. Her group was one of the first to demonstrate how to selectively activate p53 to kill cancer cells, through identification and characterization of the evolutionarily conserved ASPP family of proteins. In addition to cancer, the ASPPs have now been implicated in the pathogenesis of other disorders, including sudden cardiac death and brain abnormalities.

The current research interests of the group are cellular plasticity and cell death, two fundamental biological processes that are important in development, regenerative medicine and cancer. In particular the group is studying how signals from cell surface are integrated into transcriptional target selection and cell fate determination, and investigating the influence of infection on cell plasticity and cancer (particularly Helicobacter pylori and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection).

Selected Publications