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 R01 and SPORE grants from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health as well as grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and other private foundations.

Le Laboratory Website

Dr. Le's ORCID iD and Weblink


Other Post Graduate Training
University of California - Los Angeles (2002)
Graduate School
University of California - Los Angeles (2002), Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
Medical School
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Medical Center (2003)
Saint Mary's Medical Center-Long Beach (2004), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical School (2007), Dermatology
UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (2009), Cancer Biology

Research Interest

  • Cancer Biology
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Stem Cell Biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Treatment of indeterminate cell histiocytosis with pravastatin
Burns, M.V., Ahmed, A., Callahan, G., Le, L.Q., Cockerell, C. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2011 64(5):e85-6
Expert's Opinion on Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Lu Q. Le, MD, PhD DermQuest 2011
Cutaneous features predict paraspinal neurofibromas in Neurofibromatosis type 1
Brown, R., Klesse, L., Le, L.Q. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2010 130 (9) 2167-9
Genome-wide siRNAi-based Functional Genomics of Pigmentation Identifies Regulatory Networks Governing Melanogenesis in Human Cells
Ganesan, A., Ho, H., Bodemann, B., Petersen, S., Aruri, J., Koshy, S., Richardson, Z., Le, L.Q., Krasieva, T., Roth, M., Farmer, P., White, M. PLoS Genetics 2008 4(12): e1000298. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000298
A Case of Simultaneously Occurring Lichen Sclerosus and Segmental Vitiligo: Connecting the Underlined Autoimmune Pathogenesis
Weisberg, E.L., Le, L.Q., Cohen, J.B. Inter. Journal of Dermatology 2008 47(10): 1053-1055
Tumor Microenvironment and Neurofibromatosis Type I: Connecting the GAPs
Le, L.Q., Parada, L.F. Oncogene 2007 26(32) 4609-4616
Poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/hydroxyapatite delivery of BMP-2-producing cells: a regional gene therapy approach to bone regeneration
Laurencin,C.T., Attawia, M.A., Le, L.Q., Borden, M.D., Lu, H.H., Gorum, W.J., Lieberman, J.R. Biomaterials 2001 22(11):1271-1277
Direct genetic demonstration of G alpha 13 coupling to the orphan G protein-coupled receptor G2A leading to RhoA-dependent actin rearrangement
Kabarowski, J.H.S., Feramisco, J.D., Le, L.Q., Gu, J.L., Luoh, S-W., Simon, M.I., and Wite, O.N. Proc. Natil. Acad. Sci. USA 2000 97 12109 - 12114
A DNA Damage and Stress Inducible G Protein-Coupled Receptor Blocks cells in G2/M
Weng, Z., Fluckiger, A., Nisitani, S., Wahl, M.I., Le, L.Q., Hunter, C.A., Fernald, A.A., Le Beau, M.M., and Witte, O.N. Proc. Natil. Acad. Sci. USA 1998 95: 12334 ? 12339
Regional gene therapy with a BMP-2 producing murine stromal cell line induces heterotopic and orthotopic bone formation in rodents
Lieberman, J.R., Le, L.Q., Wu, L., Finerman, G.A.M., Berk, A., Witte, O.N., Stevenson, S. J. of Orthopedic Research 1998 16: 330-339

Honors & Awards

  • Elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
  • Thomas L. Shields, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Dermatology
  • Elisabeth Reed Wagner Fund for Research and Clinical Care in Neurofibromatosis and Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • U.S. Department of Defense-Investigator Initiated Research Program Awards
  • European Society for Dermatological Research/Society for Investigative Dermatology Collegiality Travel Awards
  • U.S. Department of Defense-Neurofibromatosis Research Program New Investigator Awards
  • Victor Newcomer Award from the Pacific Dermatologic Association
  • Outstanding Teaching Award from Dermatology residents
  • Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) Award
  • Career Awards for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund
  • President's Research Council Distinguished Young Researcher Award (UTSW)
  • The American Academy of Dermatology Young Investigator Award
  • The Dermatology Foundation Physician Scientist Career Development Award

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) (2015)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2013)
  • Leaders Society - Dermatology Foundation (2013)
  • Texas Dermatological Society
  • The American Academy of Dermatology
  • The Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • UCLA Association of Chemists and Biochemists