Maolin Lu Laboratory
Dr. Maolin Lu, PhD
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology UT Tyler School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Center
The Lu Lab has a long-standing research interest in the fundamental understanding of pathogenesis, the spread of infectious diseases, and the scientific exploration of vaccine and drug design. HIV-1/AIDS and SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 are two of the most devastating pandemics in human history. The Lu Lab is a dedicated research group with a clear and overarching mission - to understand virus-host interactions of multiple viral pathogens, including HIV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV viruses. The Lu Lab aims to uncover valuable insights into the entry of viruses into host target cells, laying the groundwork for developing intervention strategies against viral infections. One line of the lab's research is to gain a mechanistic understanding of how conformational dynamics of vaccine and drug target–viral surface spike proteins govern static structures to bring viruses and cells in proximity for viral membrane fusion, leading to virus entry. The second line of research is to correlate structural dynamics with antibody recognition and immune evasion. The lab is affiliated with the Duke University Center for HIV Structural Biology.
Dr. Maolin Lu was awarded an R35 MIRA grant of $1.8 million by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health. This is the first R35 grant that UT Tyler has received. The R35 MIRA grant, or the “Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award,” is given to promising young investigators to provide them with a stable funding environment for ambitious, innovative research. Dr. Maolin Lu was also awarded an R01 grant of$2.3 million by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, to work on HIV-1 entry. Dr. Maolin Lu’s research has also been recognized with awards from The Foundation for AIDS Research, the Gilead Research program, the R56 bridge award from NIH, and the Duke Center for HIV-1 Structural Biology.
Dr. Lu and her laboratory have a strong research record in enveloped viruses. As the leading/corresponding author, Dr. Lu published in Nature, Cell Host & Microbe, Nat Struct Mol Biol, Cell Chem Biol, J Virol, mBio, Adv Virus Res, etc. She has been a peer reviewer for Nat Struct Mol Biol, Nat Commun, Science Advances, PLOS Biology, Scientific Reports, Viruses, etc.