Van B. Lu


Assistant Professor

PhD University of Alberta
BSc University of Alberta
Post-Doctoral Experience National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Cambridge
Office:  Medical Sciences Building
t. 519.661.2111 x.
f. 519.661.3827

I am interested in understanding how nutrients from the food we eat shapes gastrointestinal function and health. My lab is currently focused on nutrient-sensing G-protein coupled receptors on epithelial cells lining the gut and how they can alter gut hormone release and gastrointestinal inflammation. This work has implications in understanding the influence of gut microbiota in human health, and how the gut signals to the brain to control our eating habits.

Techniques in the lab: We use a combination of cutting-edge molecular approaches and classical electrophysiology techniques to investigate ion channel modulation by G-protein coupled receptors.

  1. Electrophysiology
  2. Calcium and cAMP imaging, confocal microscopy
  3. Intestinal organoids models
  4. CRISPR gene editing
  5. Molecular biology, RT-qPCR
  6. Bulk and single-cell transcriptomics
  7. Immunostaining, ELISA


Selected Recent Publications

Lu VB, Rievaj J, O'Flaherty EA, Smith CA, Pais R, Pattison LA, Tolhurst G, Leiter AB, Bulmer DC, Gribble FM, Reimann F, Adenosine triphosphate is co-secreted with glucagon-like peptide-1 to modulate intestinal enterocytes and afferent neurons. Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 4;10(1):1029. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09045-9. [PMID: 30833673]

Goldspink DA, Lu VB, Miedzybrodzka EL, Smith CA, Foreman RE, Billing LJ, Kay RG, Reimann F, Gribble FM, Labeling and Characterization of Human GLP-1-Secreting L-cells in Primary Ileal Organoid Culture. Cell Rep. 2020 Jun 30;31(13):107833. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107833. [PMID: 32610134]

Lu VB, Gribble FM, Reimann F, Free Fatty Acid Receptors in Enteroendocrine Cells. Endocrinology. 2018 Jul 1;159(7):2826-2835. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00261. [PMID: 29688303]

Goldspink DA, Lu VB, Billing LJ, Larraufie P, Tolhurst G, Gribble FM, Reimann F. Mechanistic insights into the detection of free fatty and bile acids by ileal glucagon-like peptide-1 secreting cells. Mol Metab. 2018 Jan;7:90-101. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.11.005. [PMID: 29167062]

Lu VB, Ikeda SR, Puhl HL 3rd, A 3.7 kb fragment of the mouse Scn10a gene promoter directs neural crest but not placodal lineage EGFP expression in a transgenic animal. J Neurosci. 2015 May 20;35(20):8021-34. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0214-15.2015. [PMID: 25995484]

Lu VB, Puhl HL 3rd, Ikeda SR, N-Arachidonyl glycine does not activate G protein-coupled receptor 18 signaling via canonical pathways. Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Jan;83(1):267-82. doi: 10.1124/mol.112.081182. [PMID: 23104136]