Dr. Jun Lu's Impact on Dermatology

Josh Pirtle
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Sep 17, 2020

Dr. Jun Lu is a practicing physician who specializes in dermatology. She is affiliated with UConn John Dempsey Hospital and Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System-West Haven. She is also an assistant professor and director of dermatology at the University of Connecticut. Her background in immunology brings new perspectives to her dermatology practice and has helped her form related clinical trials in both fields. 

Education and Early Career

Dr. Lu received her MD from China Medical University – Medicine in 1996 and went on to obtain her Ph.D. from the same school in 1999. She conducted her internship at the Mayo Clinic in the Internal Medicine department from 2005-2006. Her residency was also at the Mayo Clinic, in the Department of Dermatology. She was a research fellow with the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Immunology from 1999-2004. In 2004-2005 she was the Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Lu has a unique background that lends her expertise in immunology to the world of dermatology. Thanks to linking information in both specialty fields, she has uncovered new diagnostic methods that are adopted by doctors the world over. 

Sub Specialties

  • Connective Tissue Disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
  • Skin Cancers
  • Pediatric Dermatology
  • Teledermatology

Teledermatology Implementation

Dr. Jun Lu’s work has been instrumental in teledermatology, and in 2015 she shared her findings at Teledermatology Experience at Uconn as a speaker. She spoke both on store-and-forward teledermatology and live-video teledermatology. At the time, she had provided over 2,000 consults, at about 100-200 per week. 

UConn’s teledermatology program allows PCPs to consult with a dermatologist without having to send their patients to another appointment. In some cases, more information is needed or the patients need to come in for a face-to-face consult. For the most part, the program has cut costs for medical providers and patients who need to see a specialist for dermatology diagnosis. 

Clinical Trials and Research

Dr. Jun Lu’s clinical trials and research range from pediatric diagnostic practices to creating new molecular compounds. Her vast knowledge and extensive network allow her to bring new perspectives and critical insights to research projects.

Teledermatology: Kids are not just little people.

When it comes to telemedicine, children react differently than adults, which can lead to misdiagnosis or improper care in a teledermatology setting. Dr. Lu researched the commonalities of teledermatology as it relates to children, as all previous research for teledermatology was done on adults. The paper answers questions such as “Is there a need for teledermatology,” and “Does teledermatology diagnostic accuracy and reliability differ between children and adults?”

Synthesis of MAX Phases through Reaction in Molten Salts

Dr. Jun Lu partnered with great minds in China to publish “Synthesis of MAX phases Nb2CuC and Ti2(Al0.1Cu0.9)N by A-site replacement reaction in molten salts.” The research, and following publication aimed to synthesize MAX phases. Different compounds created within MAX phases are useful in increasing fatigue resistance and are used in creating high-efficiency engines. Dr. Jun Lu’s research and publication hope to use these compounds to help patients reap the benefits of MAX compounds, and create MAX phases in a lab setting.

The process of synthesizing MAX phases has been achieved through previous methods, which are costly and, at most times, inefficient. Being able to create MAX phases synthetically using molten salts will provide advances not only in the medical world but for engineering as well. The paper was published with Materials Research Letters and funded by multiple grants both from Medical and Engineering funds in Asia and Sweden.

Publications

With 1,365 publications to date, and over sixty-thousand citations, Dr. Lu’s research is shaping the world of dermatology. Her earlier releases combined research in dermatology and immunology, due to her research fellowship with Mayo Clinic’s Immunology clinic. 

Thanks to her start in China, and fluency in multiple languages, Dr. Lu is able to connect numerous cultures with her research and bring breakthroughs that wouldn’t be seen without multi-cultural collaboration. Her research has been funded by entities in the United States, Asia, and even Sweden.

Synthesis of Calcium Carbonate Nanoparticles in Erythrocytes Enables Efficient Removal of Extracellular Lead Ions

In August of 2019, Dr. Lu contributed to an article in Communications Chemistry, “Synthesis of Calcium Carbonate Nanoparticles in Erythrocytes Enables Efficient Removal of Extracellular Lead Ions.” Lead poisoning and our bodies' ability to fight off poisons depends on our ability to counteract and remove extracellular lead ions. With the use of cyborg erythrocytes, Dr. Lu and his team of dedicated researchers studied the efficiency of their new method for counteracting lead poisoning while using mice as test subjects. 

Cutaneous features and diagnosis of primary Sjögren syndrome: An update and review

Perhaps the best merger of her two specialties, this publication and research look at characteristics of the skin that can be markers for Sjogren syndrome, which is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases. While SS is one of the three most common autoimmune diseases, research into a proper diagnosis was widely lacking. 

The diagnosis of SS can be particularly tricky due to sharing symptoms with other autoimmune diseases. Thanks to this research, there are now markers that can lead to a diagnosis related to skin changes years before sicca symptoms are seen. Immunologists are now referring patients to a dermatologist to check for the markers of SS that Dr. Lu uncovered in her research of cutaneous features related to SS. 

Social Media Presence

To date, Dr. Jun Lu has achieved 844 social media mentions and is seen as an authority on dermatology. Her early work in immunology is still cited to this day and connects the skin to the more significant defenses and immunities within the body. 

Awards Received

  • Cutting-Edge Research Award from the American Society of Dermatology Surgery
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Award for Cancer Research from the Mayo Clinic
  • Young Investigator Award from the American Association of Cancer Research
  • Top Ten University Student in Liaoning Province

Dr. Jun Lu’s research and implementation connecting dermatology and immunology have opened the medical community’s eyes to cross-specialty consultation needs. Her research has been instrumental in faster diagnosis, and we hope to see more of her groundbreaking research in the future.