Lu Le, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Thomas L. Shields, M.D. Professorship in Dermatology
  • Dermatology - General
  • Treatment of Neurofibromatosis
  • Skin Disorders


Dr. Le received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (with Owen N. Witte), and a medical degree (M.D.) from the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  He completed an Internship in Internal Medicine at UCLA/St. Mary Medical Center, residency training in Dermatology and a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology (with Luis F. Parada) from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  He is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology.  Dr. Le sees patients in the Dermatology clinic and at the UTSW Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis clinic.

As a principal investigator in cancer biology, his laboratory investigates how genetic and tumor microenvironmental events interplay to regulate carcinogenesis.  His research group focuses on: (1) identifying the cells of origin of tumorigenesis (how do certain type of cancers originate and develop from adult stem/progenitor cells?); and (2) elucidating the roles of tumor microenvironment in cancer development (how do neighboring non-cancerous cells dictate cancer development and progression?). His laboratory dissects these cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis from the developmental perspective. They utilize Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1), a common tumor predisposition human genetic disorder, as a model to address these two fundamental questions in cancer biology as well as elucidating cutaneous nervous system development and regeneration.  His major research goals are to understand mechanisms that initiate Neurofibroma genesis and drive their malignant transformation as well as to develop novel therapeutic targets for Neurofibroma.  Research in Dr. Le's laboratory is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health as well as grants from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Le Laboratory Website

Education & Training
  • Graduate School - University of California - Los Angeles, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Cancer Biology
  • Internship - Saint Mary's Medical Center-Long Beach (2003-2004), Internal Medicine
  • Other Post Graduate Training - University of California - Los Angeles
  • Medical School - UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Medical Center (1996-2003)
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical School (2004-2007), Dermatology
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • UCLA Association of Chemists and Biochemists
  • The Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • The American Academy of Dermatology
  • Texas Dermatological Society
  • Leaders Society - Dermatology Foundation (2013)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2013)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) (2015)
Honors & Awards
  • The Dermatology Foundation Physician Scientist Career Development Award 2008
  • The American Academy of Dermatology Young Investigator Award 2008
  • President's Research Council Distinguished Young Researcher Award (UTSW) 2008
  • Career Awards for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2008
  • Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) Award 2009
  • Elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) 2015
  • Thomas L. Shields, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Dermatology 2015
  • Elisabeth Reed Wagner Fund for Research and Clinical Care in Neurofibromatosis and Cardiothoracic Surgery 2014
  • U.S. Department of Defense-Investigator Initiated Research Program Awards 2014
  • European Society for Dermatological Research/Society for Investigative Dermatology Collegiality Travel Awards 2012
  • Outstanding Teaching Award from Dermatology residents 2010
  • Victor Newcomer Award from the Pacific Dermatologic Association 2012
  • U.S. Department of Defense-Neurofibromatosis Research Program New Investigator Awards 2012
Books & Publications
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Cancer Biology

Clinical Focus

  • Treatment of Neurofibromatosis
  • Skin Disorders

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