Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Junxuan Lu, PhD

Junxuan Lu, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Next-Generation Therapies

Research Interests

Dr. Junxuan "Johnny" Lu's research interests and expertise include angiogenesis, apoptosis, autophagy, cell cycle regulation, senescence, prostate and mammary carcinogenesis models, androgen and estrogen receptor signaling; Proteomics-iTRAQ; transcriptomics; metabolomics; PK/PD; biomarkers; immunity and cancer; and clinical translation research.

The major areas of ongoing studies in the Lu lab include: 

  • Herbal compounds as novel cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic agents. The Lu lab faculty and associates discovered pyranocoumarins from Korean angelica as a novel class of anti-androgens. They are studying Korean angelica extract and compounds for anti-cancer efficacy and mechanisms using xenograft and transgenic models. They are planning clinical trials in prostate cancer patients with oncologists and urologists at Penn State Cancer Institute. 
  • Next-gen selenium compounds for cancer chemoprevention. The Lu lab has used cell culture models (cancer, vascular endothelial cells) to identify the lead Se compounds with cancer chemopreventive potential and their cellular and molecular mechanisms. They assess in vivo efficacy in animal models including xenografts, transgenic and conditional knockout mice models. The Lu lab collaborates with chemist colleagues in the department to study novel selenium hybrid drugs. 
  • Precision therapy of cancer. The Lu lab has contributed to the findings that hexokinase 2 (HK2) plays a crucial role in subsets of aggressive prostate cancer and the proof of principle that co-targeting HK2-mediated Warburg effect with 2-deoxyglucose and its ULK1-mediated anti-apoptotic autophagy with chloroquine remarkably regresses these cancers in mouse models. The lab is collaborating with oncologists to repurpose these drugs to cancer patients.
  • Neoplasms
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Apoptosis
  • Selenium
  • Growth
  • Prostate
  • methylselenic acid
  • Carcinogenesis
  • decursin
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Angelica

Recent Publications


Kim, S, Li, L, Zhang, J, Jiang, C & Lü, J 2022, 'Aqueous metabolome of tissue-specific conditional Pten-knockout mouse prostate cancer and TRAMP neuroendocrine carcinoma', Prostate, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 154-166.
Hati, S, Hu, Q, Huo, Z, Lu, J & Xing, C 2022, 'In vivo Structure-Activity Relationship of Dihydromethysticin in Reducing Nicotine-Derived Nitrosamine Ketone (NNK)-Induced Lung DNA Damage against Lung Carcinogenesis in A/J Mice', ChemMedChem, vol. 17, no. 7, e202100727.


Tang, SN, Jiang, P, Kim, S, Zhang, J, Jiang, C & Lu, J 2021, 'Interception targets of angelica gigas nakai root extract versus pyranocoumarins in prostate early lesions and neuroendocrine carcinomas in TRAMP Mice', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 635-648.
Karelia, DN, Kim, S, Pandey, MK, Plano, D, Amin, S, Lu, J & Sharma, AK 2021, 'Novel seleno-aspirinyl compound as-10 induces apoptosis, g1 arrest of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells, inhibits their nf-κb signaling, and synergizes with gemcitabine cytotoxicity', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 22, no. 9, 4966.


Bian, T, Corral, P, Wang, Y, Botello, J, Kingston, R, Daniels, T, Salloum, RG, Johnston, E, Huo, Z, Lu, J, Liu, AC & Xing, C 2020, 'Kava as a clinical nutrient: Promises and challenges', Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 10, 3044, pp. 1-35.
Hu, Q, Corral, P, Narayanapillai, SC, Leitzman, P, Upadhyaya, P, O'sullivan, MG, Hecht, SS, Lu, J & Xing, C 2020, 'Oral Dosing of Dihydromethysticin Ahead of Tobacco Carcinogen NNK Effectively Prevents Lung Tumorigenesis in A/J Mice', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 33, no. 7, pp. 1980-1988.
Wang, Y, Narayanapillai, SC, Tessier, KM, Strayer, LG, Upadhyaya, P, Hu, Q, Kingston, R, Salloum, RG, Lu, J, Hecht, SS, Hatsukami, DK, Fujioka, N & Xing, C 2020, 'The Impact of One-week Dietary Supplementation with Kava on Biomarkers of Tobacco Use and Nitrosamine-based Carcinogenesis Risk among Active Smokers', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 483-492.


Kim, S, Zhang, Y, Tang, S, Qin, C, Karelia, D, Sharma, A, Jiang, C & Lu, J 2019, 'Optimizing live-animal bioluminescence imaging prediction of tumor burden in human prostate cancer xenograft models in SCID-NSG mice', Prostate, vol. 79, no. 9, pp. 949-960.


Wu, W, Karelia, D, Pramanik, K, Amin, S, Sharma, A, Jiang, C & Lu, J 2018, 'Phenylbutyl isoselenocyanate induces reactive oxygen species to inhibit androgen receptor and to initiate p53-mediated apoptosis in LNCaP prostate cancer cells', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 57, no. 8, pp. 1055-1066.
Zhang, Y, Dong, Y, Melkus, MW, Yin, S, Tang, SN, Jiang, P, Pramanik, K, Wu, W, Kim, S, Ye, M, Hu, H, Lu, J & Jiang, C 2018, 'Role of p53-senescence induction in suppression of LNCaP prostate cancer growth by cardiotonic compound bufalin', Molecular cancer therapeutics, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 2341-2352.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)