Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute
Xunrong  Luo, MD, PhD

Xunrong Luo, MD, PhD

Director, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute (FCVRI) – Center for Kidney Research and Therapeutics

Professor of Medicine (Nephrology and Hypertension), Microbiology-Immunology and Surgery (Organ Transplantation)



NMH/Arkes Family Pavilion Suite 1900
676 N Saint Clair
Chicago IL 60611

Hospital Affiliations

I am on the medical staff at the following Feinberg-affiliated hospital(s)

Education and Certification

PhD: Duke University, Biochemistry (1995)
MD: Duke University (1998)
Residency: New York Presbyterian Hosp.-Cornell (2001)
Fellowship: New York Presbyterian Hosp.-Cornell (2003)
Board Certification: Nephrology


Description of Interests

Tolerance mechanisms for transplantation: We use rodent as well as non-human primate models. These models include allogeneic islet, heart and kidney, and xenogeneic islet transplantation. Transplant tolerance is induced by infusion of donor cells treated with the chemical cross-linker ethylcarbodiimide (ECDI). Using a stringent full MHC-mismatched strain combination, we have shown in an allogeneic islet cell transplant model that two infusions of ECDI-treated donor cells prior to and after transplantation led to indefinite graft survival in over 90% of the transplant recipients in the absence of any immunosuppression. This tolerance strategy takes advantage of the tolerogenic recognition of apoptotic donor cells by recipient CD11c dendritic cells, and is associated with up-regulation of Tregs and down-regulation of anti-donor T and B cell responses. The same strategy has been applied to allogeneic heart and kidney transplant, as well as xenogeneic islet transplant (rat-to-mouse, pig-to-mouse) with robust tolerance efficacy. We are currently applying the same strategy to monkey-to-monkey (allogeneic) and pig-to-monkey (xenogeneic) islet transplantation. Our ultimate goal is to test this tolerance strategy in human-to-human (allogeneic) and pig-to-human (xenogeneic) solid organ and/or tissue transplantation. Additional ongoing efforts in the lab also focus on: (1) understanding how viral infections at various stages (acute, chronic, latent) can influence tolerance efficacy and stability; (2) collaborating with Shea lab in designing nanoparticle-based cell-free tolerance strategies for allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantation.

Interests (Keywords)

Autoimmunity; Diabetes; Immune Regulation; Transplantation

Research and Publications

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