James Lo, MD, PhD is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and Assistant Attending Physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Lo earned his Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Chicago. He stayed at the University of Chicago with a MSTP fellowship to obtain his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. In his graduate work, he worked in the lab of Yang-Xin Fu and studied the lymphotoxin cytokine pathway in peripheral immune responses and control of lipid metabolism. He subsequently completed internal medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and cardiovascular medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. For his postdoctoral work, he studied adipose tissue biology in the lab of Bruce Spiegelman at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.
The Lo lab has found that the adipokine adipsin prevents beta cell failure in mouse models of type 2 diabetes and associates with protection from diabetes in humans. The group also established that hyperglycemia in acute Covid-19 infection is predominantly caused by insulin resistance. His lab was the first to show that SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect adipocytes, demonstrating another mechanism by which Covid-19 induces metabolic dysfunction. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infects adipose tissues in vivo leading to adipocyte dysfunction and decreased secretion of the insulin sensitizing adipokine adiponectin. Overall, the lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating cardiometabolic diseases.