Dr Wei-Yu Lu

Dr  Wei-Yu Lu

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Medical School
B15 2TT

Wei-Yu Lu is a Birmingham Fellow working at the Centre for Liver and Gastroenterology Research and the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy. 

Research in Wei-Yu’s lab focus on the role of adaptive immune system in controlling cellular plasticity of the liver epithelium during regeneration. 


  • PhD in Regenerative Medicine 2014
  • BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences 2010


Wei-Yu obtained his BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in 2010. With the gracious support from the Edinburgh University Overseas Research Scholarship and the Charles Darwin Scholarship, he started his PhD training under Prof Stuart Forbes at the Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh, where he looked at the possibility of using liver progenitor cells for cellular therapy.

In 2104, Wei-Yu continued his postdoctoral training with Prof Forbes at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, where he investigated the plasticity of the biliary epithelium during liver regeneration, and the potential of human liver progenitor cell therapy with the support from the United Kingdom Regenerative Medicine Platform.

In 2018, Wei-Yu was awarded a Birmingham Fellowship to establish his own laboratory at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Wei-Yu welcomes both home and international students. For any doctoral research enquiries, please email: w.lu.3@bham.ac.uk


Wei-Yu’s lab focus on the role of adaptive immune system in affecting epithelium regeneration.

Immune-epithelial interaction during regeneration

The liver is an organ which can exert cellular plasticity upon injury. When the main regenerative mechanism is impaired, fully differentiated cells can convert into other cell type with different functions as a compensatory regenerative mechanism. During this regenerative process, immune cells such as macrophages and lymphocytes infiltrate the liver in a well-coordinated manner. Wei-Yu is interested in understanding how T lymphocytes communicate with the epithelium during this regenerative process and the importance of T lymphocytes in maintaining the balance between complete regeneration and tissue repair.

Role of T regulatory cells in Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is a disease affecting the bile ducts, causing obstructive flow of bile into the intestines. PSC is characterised by increased inflammation, scarring and reduced bile duct regeneration. The pathogenesis of PSC is poorly understood but has been suggested to be immune mediated. T regulatory cells (Treg), a cell type specialized in controlling immune response play an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune liver disease such as PSC. We aim to investigate the dynamics and functions of different Treg populations during PSC in order to understand the role of Treg in PSC disease progression and identify targets for potential treatments. We hope the study complement what is currently lacking in human PSC research.


Sofia Ferreira-Gonzalez, Wei-Yu Lu, Alexander Raven, Tak Yung Man, Luke Boulter, Eoghan O’Duibhir, Benjamin Dwyer, Tim J Kendal, Nuria Tarrats, Juan-Carlos Acosta, Stuart J Forbes. Paracrine cellular senescence exacerbates biliary injury and impairs regeneration. Nature Communication. 2018

Alexander Raven*, Wei-Yu Lu*, Tak Yung Man, Sofia Ferreira-Gonzalez, Eoghan O’Duibhir, Benjamin Dwyer, Charles ffrench-Constant, Luke Boulter, Stuart J Forbes. Cholangiocytes act as facultative liver stem cells during impaired hepatocyte regeneration. Nature, 2017. *Joint first author

Rachel V Guest, Luke Boulter, Timothy J Kendall, Wei-Yu Lu, Andrew J Robson, Mina Komuta, Jennifer P Morten, Alison McKinnon, Davina Wojtacha, Sarah E Minnis-Lyons, Tania Roskams, Stephen J Wigmore, Owen J Sansom, Stuart J Forbes. Endogenous Notch-driven tumorigenesis functions via Notch3 to promote PI3K/AKT-mediated cell survival in Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2016.  

Richard L. Gieseck III, Thirumalai R. Ramalingam, Kevin M. Hart, Kevin M. Vannella, David A. Cantu, Wei-Yu Lu, Sofía Ferreira-González, Stuart J. Forbes, Ludovic Vallier, & Thomas A. Wynn. IL-13 activates distinct cellular pathways leading to ductular reaction, steatosis, and fibrosis. Immunity, 2016.

Wei-Yu Lu*, Thomas G Bird*, Luke Boulter, Atsunori Tsuchiya, Alicia M Cole, Trevor Hay,Rachel V Guest, Davina Wojtacha, Tak Yung Man, Alison Mackinnon, Rachel A Ridgway, Timothy Kendall, Michael J Williams, Alex Raven, David C Hay, John P Iredale, Alan R Clarke, Owen J Sansom, Stuart J Forbes.Hepatic progenitor cells of biliary origin with liver repopulation capacity. Nature Cell Biology 2015. *Joint first author

Atsunori Tsuchiya, Wei-Yu Lu, Birgit Weinhold, Luke Boulter, Benjamin M Stutchfield, Michael J Williams, Rachel V Guest, Sarah E Minnis-Lyons, Alison C MacKinnon, David Schwarzer, Takafumi Ichida, Minoru Nomoto, Yutaka Aoyagi, Rita Gerardy-Schahn, Stuart J Forbes.  PolySia-NCAM modulates bile duct development and ductular reactions in liver injury. Hepatology 2014. 

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