2008 Outstanding Career Achievement: Lu Cai

Lu Cai received his MD in 1983, and Ph.D. in 1990 from Jilin University in China, followed by a postdoctoral training at University of Western Ontario in 1993, and McGill University in 1995, Canada. He is currently an Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Radiation Oncology, the University of Louisville, and also Visiting Professor and Director, Chinese-American Institute for Diabetic Complications, Wenzhou Medical College, China.

Since 1990, Lu has concentrated his interests in the biological effect of low-dose radiation (LDR) under the supervision of Dr. Shuzheng Liu, a well-known Chinese Radio-Biologist. The unique feature of Lu’s interests in LDR effect is its impact on public health and medical application. Lu is one of the first persons to investigate whether LDR adaptive response occurs in male germ cells in vivo (Int J Radiat Biol 1990), which was followed by several other important papers in the same field (Mutation Res 1993,1994; Mutagenesis 1995; Radiation Res 2006; Critical Review in Toxicology 2007). Later, he further extended LDR-induced hormesis and adaptive responses into hematology, showing the induction of hormetic and adaptive response in the hemapoietic system, with several important publications in Radiation Res (1995) and Toxicological Sciences (2000). The studies demonstrated for the first time that LDR can partially replace stem cell stimulating factor, G-CSF, to stimulate and mobilize hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) into peripheral blood, and they further proved that the mobilized HPCs are able to rescue lethally irradiated recipient mice (Exp Hematology 2004). More recently, the studies further demonstrated the significant difference of normal human tissues from human tumor cells in response to LDR in vitro and in vivo (Radiation Res 2008, in press; J Radiation Res 2008, in press). Meanwhile, Dr. Cai is also pursuing to apply LDR’s hormestic and adaptive mechanisms into prevention or intervention of diabetes and diabetic complications. His work on diabetic complications has made a great contribution to the field of diabetes research, publishing several important papers in JBC (2000), Diabetes (2002, 2005), Am J Pathol (2004,2005), J Am Coll Cardiol (2006, 2008), Free Rad Biol Med (2006) and Circulation (2006).