Yi Luo, MD, MS, PhD

Professor of Urology

Contact Information

3202 MERF
Iowa City, IA 52242


MD, Nanjing Medical University
MS, Immunobiochemistry, Nanjing Medical University
PhD, Molecular Biology, University of New Brunswick
Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Molecular Immunology
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Urology

Research Summary

Dr Luo's research focuses on urinary bladder immunology and immunotherapy, specifically, the interaction of the bladder (an anatomically unique organ) with the immune system. Due to lack of proper animal models, this field of study has been very challenging. His team recently developed a novel transgenic model that develops 'self' antigen-mediated bladder inflammation upon introduction of anti- specific T cells. This model system facilitates studies on the specific immune mechanisms of the bladder pertaining to T cell tolerance, activation, and autoimmune response. Using this model system, Dr. Luo and his colleagues found that the bladder epithelium is capable of presenting self-antigen to the immune system for induction of CD8 + T cell responses. This work may be beneficial and provide additional understanding of pathogenesis of bladder autoimmune diseases and developing effective interventions for these diseases. Their recent work focuses on the role of regulatory T cells in controlling spontaneous autoimmune cystitis and the characterization of the functional outcomes of this model. In addition, Dr. Luo's projects involve exploration of phage-derived peptides for bladder cancer treatment, development of recombinant BCGs, and establishment of bladder cancer models.


Bockholt, N. A., Knudson, M. J., Henning, J. R., Maymi, J. L., Weady, P., Smith, III, G. J., Eisenbraun, M. D., Fraser, J. D., O'Donnell, M. A. & Luo, Y. (2012). Anti-interleukin-10R1 monoclonal antibody enhances bacillus Calmette-Guérin induced T-helper type 1 immune responses and antitumor immunity in a mouse orthotopic model of bladder cancer. J Urol, 187, 2228-35.

Askeland, E. J., Newton, M. R., O'Donnell, M. A. & Luo, Y. (2012). Bladder cancer immunotherapy: BCG and beyond. Adv Urol. PMID: PMC3388311.

Luo, Y., Askeland, E. J., Newton, M. R. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2012). Role of IL-10 in urinary bladder carcinoma and bacillus Calmette-Guerin immunotherapy. Am J Immunol, 8, 1-9.

Kim, R., Liu, W., Chen, X., Kreder, K. & Luo, Y. (2011). Intravesical dimethyl sulfoxide inhibits acute and chronic bladder inflammation in transgenic experimental autoimmune cystitis models. J Biomed Biotechnol. PMID: PMC2989383.

Luo, Y., Henning, J. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2011). Th1 cytokine-secreting recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin and prospective use in immunotherapy of bladder cancer. Clin Dev Immunol. PMID: PMC3173967.

Liu, W., Chen, X., Evanoff, D. P. & Luo, Y. (2011). Urothelial antigen-specific CD4+ T cells function as direct effector cells and induce bladder autoimmune inflammation independent of CD8+ T cells. Mucosal Immunol, 4, 428-37. PMID: PMC3118865.

Luo, Y., Han, R., Evanoff, D. P. & Chen, X. (2010). Interleukin-10 inhibits Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-induced macrophage cytotoxicity against bladder cancer cells. Clin Exp Immunol, 160, 359-68. PMID: PMC2883106.

Luo, Y., Knudson, M. J. (2010). Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin-induced macrophage cytotoxicity against bladder cancer cells. Clin Dev Immunol. PMID: PMC2939389.

Liu, W., O'Donnell, M. A., Chen, X., Han, R. & Luo, Y. (2009). Recombinant bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) expressing interferon-alpha 2B enhances human mononuclear cell cytotoxicity against bladder cancer cell lines in vitro. Cancer Immunol Immunother, 58, 1647-55.

Liu, W., Deyoung, B., Chen, X., Evanoff, D. P. & Luo, Y. (2008). RDP58 inhibits T cell-mediated bladder inflammation in an autoimmune cystitis model. J Autoimmun, 30, 267-75.

Chen, X., O'Donnell, M. A. & Luo, Y. (2007). Dose-dependent synergy of Th1-stimulating cytokines on bacille Calmette-Guérin-induced interferon-? production by human mononuclear cells. Clin Exp Immunol, 149, 178-85.

Luo, Y., Chen, X. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2007). Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) induces human CC- and CXC-chemokines in vitro and in vivo. Clin Exp Immunol, 147, 370-8.

Luo, Y., Yamada, H., Evanoff, D. P. & Chen, X. (2007). Role of Th1-stimulating cytokines in bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-induced macrophage cytotoxicity against mouse bladder cancer MBT-2 cells. Clin Exp Immunol, 147, 370-8.

Liu, W., Evanoff, D. P., Chen, X. & Luo, Y. (2007). Urinary bladder epithelium antigen induces CD8+ T cell tolerance, activation and autoimmune response. J Immunol, 178, 539-546.

Yamada, H., Luo, Y., Matsumoto, T. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2005). A novel expression of macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) in human urinary bladder cancer. J Urol, 179, 1119-23.

Yamada, H., O'Donnell, M. A., Matsumoto, T. & Luo, Y. (2005). Interferon-? up-regulates Toll-like receptor 4 and cooperates with LPS to produce macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) and interferon-? inducible protein-10 (IP-10) in human urinary bladder cancer cell line RT4. J Urol, 174, 1119-23.

Luo, Y., Yamada, H., Chen, X., Ryan, A. A., Evanoff, D. P., Triccas, J. A. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2004). Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) expressing mouse IL-18 augments Th1 immunity and macrophage cytotoxicity. Clin Exp Immunol, 137, 24-34.

Ludwig, A. T., Moore, J. M., Luo, Y., Chen, X., Saltsgaver, N. A., O'Donnell, M. A. & Griffith, T. (2004). TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL/Apo-2L): a novel mechanism for BCG-induced anti-tumor activity. Cancer Res, 64, 3386-90.

Luo, Y., Chen, X. & O'Donnell, M. A. (2004). Use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) to measure bladder tumor growth in a mouse orthotopic model. J Urol, 172, 2414-20.