Meng Luo, PhD

Assistant Professor - Research

Medical Education Building
1901 Perdido Street, Room 3205T3
New Orleans, LA  70112
Phone:  (504) 568-4550

Microbial Genomics Resource Group Lab:
Medical Education Building
1901 Perdido Street, Room 3225A & 3225F1
New Orleans, LA  70112
Phone:  (504) 568-4550


MGRG: http://metagenomics.lsuhsc.edu/mgrg/


PhD in Crop Genetics and Breeding, 2001
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science
Beijing, China

MS in Microbiology, 1996
Inner Mongolia University

BS in Botany, 1987
Inner Mongolia University


Dr. Luo received his Ph.D. in 2001 from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, China. In 2002, he carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of Georgia, studying the effect of drought/high-temperature on Aspergillus infection and aflatoxin contamination in corn and peanuts using functional genomics techniques. In 2004, he was promoted to Research Assistant Scientist in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department. In 2008, he joined the Food and Feed Safety Institute as Postdoctoral Associate at the Southern Region Research Center of USDA-ARS, New Orleans to continue his interested studies using transcriptomics and proteomics techniques. 

Dr. Luo joined the LSUHSC in 2012 as Research Associate in the Genomics Core, and transferred to the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology as Instructor in 2013.

Research Interests

Expertise: Dr. Luo has years of experience on gene expression and regulation in the constitutive and induced resistance of corn and peanut against the pathogen Aspergillusflavus infection and aflatoxin production, especially on the cross-talking genes under biotic and abiotic stresses. He proved the stored RNAs' production in a specific phase during the hosts' development, and analyzed their function. Based on the stored RNAs, he developed a biomarker set to evaluate host’s genotype with eliminating aflatoxin production.  

Specialty: Dr. Luo introduced the single molecule tagging technology (UMI) to amplicon library’s construction in microbiome analysis. Based on UMI, each taxa’s absolute quantification in microbiota can be measured in the next generation sequencing (NGS) based on 16S rRNA gene or in the third generation sequencing (TGS) based on rrn operon. This technology changes the inaccurate description of relative abundance used in the traditional microbiome analysis, and makes the microbiome analysis possible to be as a clinical test in precision medicine. The UMI based absolute quantification has been also used in the miRNA analysis in his lab, and received a NIH R01 research fund based on this technology.

Collaboration interest: the bacterial signature’s identification in microbiota associated with human specific diseases, and their usage as biomarkers in the disease and health status' assessment; the prebiotics or herbal medicines in regulating specific bacterial growth to improve gut bacterial dysbiosis and chronic inflammation.

Professional service: Dr. Luo is in charge of the sequencing facility of Microbial Genomics Research Group (MGRG) to provide NGS service using Illumina platform. The services include shotgun whole genome DNA sequencing; amplicon’s sequencing of specific target genes such as 16S rRNA for bacteria, ITS for fungi, etc.; CHIP sequencing for DNA and protein interaction; RNA-Seq and small RNA sequencing mainly for human and trial animals. By the end of June 2023, MGRG has finished more than 180 projects and more than 17,000 samples. Recently, the long-read TGS platform of Nanopore (ONT) is available in MGRG to support faculty’s research. The current supporting studies using TGS include the pathogen's rapid identification of nontuberculous mycobacteria and bacterial signature identification at species or strain level. 


Teaching Activities

2019  Lecture: Metagenomics, a part of Genet 258 Advanced Genomics.

2022  Lecture: New Technologies to Study Bacterial Communities and Pathogenesis, a part of Micro 225 Advanced Bacterial Knowledge. 


Committees & Administrative Responsibilities

Equipment committee of the MIP in LSUHSC: 2018 ~ present

Director of Microbial Genomics Resource Group in LSUHSC: 2017~present

Selected Publications

  1. Luo, M., Brown, R. L., Chen, Z.Y., Menkir, A., Jiujiang Yu, J.J., Bhatnagar, D. 2011. Transcriptional profiles uncover Aspergillus flavus induced resistance in mature maize kernels. Toxins 3(7): 766-785. PMCID: PMC3202853.
  2. Wicks S, Taylor CM, Luo M, Blanchard IV E, Ribnicky D, Cefalu WT, Mynatt RL, Welsh DA. Artemisia supplementation differentially affects the mucosal and luminal ileal microbiota of diet-induced obese mice. Nutrition. 2014: S26-30. PMID: 24985102.
  3. Bruce-Keller AJ, Salbaum JM, Luo M, Blanchard E 4th, Taylor CM, Welsh DA, Berthoud HR. Reply to: High-Fat Diet-Induced Dysbiosis as a Cause of Neuroinflammation. Biol Psychiatry. 2015; pii: S0006-3223. PMID: 26774965.
  4. Samuelson DR, de la Rua NM, Charles TP, Ruan S, Taylor CM, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Ramsay AJ, Shellito JE, Welsh DA. Oral Immunization of Mice with Live Pneumocystis murina Protects against Pneumocystis Pneumonia. J Immunol. 2016. 196(6):2655-65. PMID: 26864029.
  5. He B, Hoang TK, Wang T, Ferris M, Taylor CM, Tian X, Luo M, Tran DQ, Zhou J, Tatevian N, Luo F, Molina JG, Blackburn MR, Gomez TH, Roos S, Rhoads JM, and Liu Y.  Resetting microbiota by Lactobacillus reuteri inhibits T reg deficiency-induced autoimmunity via adenosine A2A receptors. J. Exp. Med. 214 (1): 107-123, 2017. PMID: 27994068.
  6. Goldsmith F, Guice J, Page R, Welsh DA, Taylor CM, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Raggio AM, Stout RW, Carvajal-Aldaz D, Gaither A, Pelkman C, Ye J, Martin RJ, Geaghan J, Durham HA, Coulon D, Keenan MJ. Obese ZDF rats fermented resistant starch with effects on gut microbiota but no reduction in abdominal fat. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017. 61(1). PMID: 27234399.
  7. Muzny CA, Blanchard E, Taylor CM, Aaron KJ, Talluri R, Griswold ME, Redden DT, Luo M, Welsh DA, Van Der Pol WJ, Lefkowitz EJ, Martin DH, Schwebke JR. Identification of Key Bacteria Involved in the Induction of Incident Bacterial Vaginosis: A Prospective Study. J Infect Dis. 2018 Apr 28. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy243. PMID: 29718358.
  8. Wen ZT, Scott-Anne K, Liao S, De A, Luo M, Kovacs C, Narvaez BS, Faustoferri R, Yu Q, Taylor CM, Quivey RG. Deficiency of BrpA in Streptococcus mutans Reduces Virulence in Rat Caries Model. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2018 Jun 11. doi: 10.1111/omi.12230. PMID: 29888871
  9. Liu Y, Tian X, He B, Hoang TK, Taylor CM, Blanchard E, Freeborn J, Park S, Luo M, Couturier J, Tran DQ, Roos S, Wu G, Rhoads JM. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 feeding of healthy newborn mice regulates immune responses while modulating gut microbiota and boosting beneficial metabolites. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2019 Sep 4. doi:0.1152 /ajpgi. 00107.2019. PMID: 31482733.
  10. Guice J, Bendiks ZA, Coulon D, Raggio AM, Page RC, Carvajal-Aldaz DG, Luo M, Welsh DA, Marx BD, Taylor CM, Husseneder C, Marco ML, Keenan MJ. Differences in Capacity of High-Amylose Resistant Starch, Whole-Grain Flour, and a Combination of Both to Modify Intestinal Responses of Male Sprague Dawley Rats Fed Moderate and High Fat Diets. J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Dec 23;68(51):15176-15185. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c05285. Epub 2020 Dec 8. PMID: 33291872.
  11. Obanda DN, Keenan MJ, Page R, Raggio AM, Taylor CM, Marx BD, Stout RW, Guice J, Luo M, Welsh DA, Coulon D, Husseneder C. Gut Microbiota Composition and Predicted Microbial Metabolic Pathways of Obesity Prone and Obesity Resistant Outbred Sprague-Dawley CD Rats May Account for Differences in Their Phenotype. Front Nutr. 2021 Dec 7;8:746515. doi: 10.3389/fnut. PMID: 34950687.
  12. Gu M, Samuelson DR, de la Rua NM, Charles TP, Taylor CM, Luo M, Siggins RW, Shellito JE, Welsh DA. Host innate and adaptive immunity shapes the gut microbiota biogeography. Front Nutr.  2022 Jan 24. doi: 10.1111/1348-0421.12963. PMID: 35067963
  13. Bendiks ZA, Guice J, Coulon D, Raggio AM, Page RC, Carvajal-Aldaz DG, Luo M, Welsh DA, Marx BD, Taylor CM, Husseneder C, Keenan MJ, Marco ML. Resistant starch type 2 and whole grain maize flours enrich different intestinal bacteria and metatranscriptomes. Journal of Functional Foods. 2022 Feb 90:104982
  14. Scull CE, Luo M, Jennings S, Taylor CM, Wang G. Cftr deletion in mouse epithelial and immune cells differentially influence the intestinal microbiota. Commun Biol. 2022 Oct 26;5(1):1130. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-04101-5. PMID: 36289287
  15. Gafen HB, Liu CC, Ineck NE, Scully CM, Mironovich MA, Guarneri L, Taylor CM, Luo M, Leis ML, Scott EM, Carter RT, Lewin AC. Relative and Quantitative Characterization of the Bovine Bacterial Ocular Surface Microbiome in the Context of Suspected Ocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Animals 2023, 13(12), 1976; Jun 13;13(12):1976. doi: 10.3390/ani13121976. PMID: 37370486.  

Center of Excellence

2022   Chancellor’s excellence award