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Hong S. Lu, MD, PhD


741 South Limestone Street, Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building, Rm: B249, Lexington, KY 40536-0509


  • Associate Professor

College Unit(s)

Other Affiliation(s)
  • CVRC - Core Faculty
  • Nutritional Sciences Graduate Faculty

Biography and Education



09/1988-07/1993: MD, Zhejiang University College of Medicine, Hangzhou, China

04/2000-03/2003: PhD, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa, Japan

04/2003-09/2007: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the nation and industrialized nations, accounting for nearly 50% of all deaths. Particularly, atherosclerosis is associated with significantly accelerated rates of cardiovascular complications. With the recognition of this evidence, understanding the mechanisms leading to these vascular diseases has become a focus of my research work. One promising medical therapy of atherosclerosis is the pharmacological inhibition of the renin angiotensin system. I am particularly interested in characterizing the renin angiotensin system by which mechanisms this system initiates and promotes the development of atherosclerosis in a hypercholesterolemic mouse model. While my research work has primarily focused on understanding the renin angiotensin system related mechanisms of atherosclerosis, I am also interested in the effects of the renin angiotensin system on aneurysm, which is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. Understanding these mechanisms is of considerable interest as many members of the renin angiotensin system can be pharmacologically inhibited by agents already clinically used to treat hypertension in clinical patients. Since these drugs are currently being further investigated in large randomized trials for their efficacy to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, my research might point to molecular mechanisms by which these agents prevent the development of atherosclerosis and aneurysms.

Selected Publications

1. Lu H, Rateri DL, Feldman DL, Charnigo RJ, Fukamizu A, Ishida J, Oesterling EG, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. Renin inhibition reduces hypercholesterolemia-induced atherosclerosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2008; 118: 984-993.

2. Lu H, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. The role of the renin-angiotensin system in vascular aneurysm formation. Current Hypertension Reports 2008; 10: 99 - 106.

3. Wu CQ, Lu H, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. Molecular and pathophysiological features of angiotensinogen: a mini review. North America Journal of Medical Sciences 2011; 4: 196-203.

4. Lu H, Balakrishnan A, Howatt DA, Charnigo RJ, Liau G, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. Comparative effects of different modes of renin angiotensin system inhibition on hypercholesterolemia-induced atherosclerosis. British Journal of Pharmacology 2012; 165: 2000-2008.

5. Lu H, Rateri DL, Bruemmer D, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. Involvement of the renin-angiotensin system in abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. Clinical Science 2012; 123: 531-543.

6. Lu H, Wu CQ, Howatt DA, Balakrishnan A, Charnigo RJ, Cassis LA, Daugherty A. Differential effects of dietary sodium intake on blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2013; 24: 49-53.

7. Lu H, Howatt D, Balakrishnan A, Moorleghen J, Rateri D, Daugherty A. Subcutaneous angiotensin II infusion using osmotic pumps induces aortic aneurysms in mice. Journal of Visualized Experiments 2015; 103.

8. Chen X, Howatt DA, Balakrishnan A, Moorleghen JJ, Wu C, Cassis LA, Daugherty A, Lu H. Angiotensin-conveting enzyme in smooth muscle cells promotes atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 2016; 36: 1085-1089.

9. Lu H, Howatt DA, Balakrishnan A, Graham MJ, Mullick AE, Daugherty A. Hypercholesterolemia induced by a PCSK9 gain-of-function mutation augments angiotensin II-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms in C57BL/6 mice. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 2016; 36: 1753-1757.

10. Howatt DA, Dajee M, Xie X, Moorleghen JJ, Rateri DL, Balakrishnan A, Da Cunha V, Johns DG, Gutstein DE, Daugherty A, Lu H*. Relaxin and Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in Angiotensin II-induced Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Circulation Journal. 2017; 81: 888-890.…

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