James C. Lo   Assistant Professor of Medicine


The rising prevalence of obesity worldwide and its associated metabolic derangements, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, pose an enormous public health challenge. Dr. James Lo is a physician-scientist, specializing in cardiovascular medicine and directing a basic research lab. The primary focus of the lab is to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cardiometabolic diseases with the ultimate goal of developing novel treatments directed against them.

Recently, our work has led to the identification of adipsin as a critical molecular link connecting obesity and adipose tissue homeostasis to pancreatic beta cell function in type II diabetes. Adipsin, also known as complement factor D, is an adipokine secreted by adipocytes and is decreased in models of obesity and diabetes. We showed that C3a, a complement peptide downstream of adipsin is a novel insulin secretagogue, augmenting pancreatic beta cell function. Our study demonstrates that the adipsin/C3a pathway is critical for islet function under metabolic stress and suggests that manipulation of this pathway may represent a novel therapy for cardiometabolic diseases.

The Lo Laboratory is investigating the determinants of metabolic health using state-of-the-art molecular approaches. There are a number of different active projects available including some centered on mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, adipose biology and pancreatic islet function.

We encourage talented and enthusiastic individuals to apply, regardless of previous research experience. Please send a CV (no more than three pages), a description of prior research experience and accomplishments, future research interests and career goals in a single PDF file to James Lo, MD, PhD, at jal2063@med.cornell.edu.


Selected Publications:

Lo JC, Ljubicic S, Leibiger B, Kern M, Leibiger IB, Moede T, Kelly ME, Chatterjee-Bhowmick D, Murano I, Cohen P, Banks AS, Khandekar MJ, Dietrich A, Flier JS, Cinti S, Blüher M, Danial NN, Berggren P-O, Spiegelman, BM. (2014). Adipsin is an adipokine that improves b cell function in diabetes. Cell 158: 41-53.

Cohen P, Levy JD, Zhang Y, Frontini A, Kolodin DP, Svensson KJ, Lo JC, Zeng X, Ye L, Khandekar MJ, Wu J, Gunawardana SC, Banks AS, Camporez JPG, Jurczak MJ, Kajimura S, Piston DW, Mathis D, Cinti S, Shulman GI, Seale P, Spiegelman BM. (2014). Ablation of PRDM16 and beige adipose causes metabolic dysfunction and a subcutaneous to visceral fat switch. Cell 156: 304-16.

Rao RR, Long JZ, White JP, Svensson KJ, Lou J, Lokurkar I, Jedrychowski MP, Ruas JL, Wrann CD, Lo JC, Camera DM, Lachey J, Gygi SP, Seehra J, Hawley JA, Spiegelman BM. (2014). Meteorin-like is a hormone that regulates immune-adipose interactions to increase beige fat thermogenesis. Cell 157: 1279-1291.

Kong X, Banks AS, Liu T, Kazak L, Rao RR, Cohen P, Wang X, Yu S, Lo JC, Tseng Y-H, Cypess AM, Xue R, Kleiner S, Kang S, Spiegelman BM, Rosen ED. (2014). IRF4 is a key thermogenic transcriptional partner of PGC-1α. Cell 158: 69-83.

Lo JC, Wang Y, Tumanov AV, Bamji M, Yao Z, Reardon CA, Getz GS, Fu YX. (2007). Lymphotoxin β receptor-dependent control of lipid homeostasis. Science 316: 285-8.

Lo JC, Basak S, James ES, Quiambo R, Kinsella MC, Alegre ML, Weih F, Franzoso G, Hoffmann A, Fu YX. (2006). Coordination between NF-kB family members p50 and p52 is essential for mediating LTβR signals in the development and organization of secondary lymphoid tissues. Blood 107: 1048-55.


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Primary Email

  • jal2063@med.cornell.edu