Cynthia T. Luk




Dr. Cynthia Luk’s interests stem from her love of discovery and clinical experience. Her work focuses on basic science research identifying novel links between obesity and diabetes, and determining the role of adipose tissue in metabolic syndrome. She studies fundamental cell death or related signaling pathways to determine their role in obesity, diabetes or related health problems, to help us better understand and address these conditions.

Dr. Luk is an endocrinologist and clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital.  She sees patients with the diabetes and lipid clinics.  She studied at the University of Alberta, McGill University, and University of Toronto.  She is also a graduate of the Eliot Phillipson Clinician-Scientist Training Program and Clinician Investigator Program.  She supervises graduate students with the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto.

Our lab is not recruiting summer students for 2021.

Recent Publications

  1. Luk, CT, Chan, CK, Chiu, F, Shi, SY, Misra, PS, Li, YZ et al.. Dual Role of Caspase 8 in Adipocyte Apoptosis and Metabolic Inflammation. Diabetes. 2023;72 (12):1751-1765. doi: 10.2337/db22-1033. PubMed PMID:37699387 .
  2. Han, DJ, Aslam, R, Misra, PS, Chiu, F, Ojha, T, Chowdhury, A et al.. Disruption of adipocyte YAP improves glucose homeostasis in mice and decreases adipose tissue fibrosis. Mol Metab. 2022;66 :101594. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2022.101594. PubMed PMID:36165813 PubMed Central PMC9551211.
  3. Desai, HR, Sivasubramaniyam, T, Revelo, XS, Schroer, SA, Luk, CT, Rikkala, PR et al.. Macrophage JAK2 deficiency protects against high-fat diet-induced inflammation. Sci Rep. 2017;7 (1):7653. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07923-0. PubMed PMID:28794431 PubMed Central PMC5550513.
  4. Sivasubramaniyam, T, Schroer, SA, Li, A, Luk, CT, Shi, SY, Besla, R et al.. Hepatic JAK2 protects against atherosclerosis through circulating IGF-1. JCI Insight. 2017;2 (14):. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.93735. PubMed PMID:28724798 PubMed Central PMC5518558.
  5. Luk, CT, Shi, SY, Cai, EP, Sivasubramaniyam, T, Krishnamurthy, M, Brunt, JJ et al.. FAK signalling controls insulin sensitivity through regulation of adipocyte survival. Nat Commun. 2017;8 :14360. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14360. PubMed PMID:28165007 PubMed Central PMC5303880.
  6. Shi, SY, Luk, CT, Schroer, SA, Kim, MJ, Dodington, DW, Sivasubramaniyam, T et al.. Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) Dissociates Hepatosteatosis from Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Mice. J Biol Chem. 2017;292 (9):3789-3799. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.752519. PubMed PMID:28100771 PubMed Central PMC5339761.
  7. Luk, CT, Schroer, SA, Woo, M. Methods for Assessing the In Vivo Role of PTEN in Glucose Homeostasis. Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1388 :75-91. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3299-3_7. PubMed PMID:27033072 .
  8. Shi, SY, Zhang, W, Luk, CT, Sivasubramaniyam, T, Brunt, JJ, Schroer, SA et al.. JAK2 promotes brown adipose tissue function and is required for diet- and cold-induced thermogenesis in mice. Diabetologia. 2016;59 (1):187-196. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3786-2. PubMed PMID:26515423 .
  9. Shi, SY, Lu, SY, Sivasubramaniyam, T, Revelo, XS, Cai, EP, Luk, CT et al.. DJ-1 links muscle ROS production with metabolic reprogramming and systemic energy homeostasis in mice. Nat Commun. 2015;6 :7415. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8415. PubMed PMID:26077864 PubMed Central PMC4490365.
  10. Luck, H, Tsai, S, Chung, J, Clemente-Casares, X, Ghazarian, M, Revelo, XS et al.. Regulation of obesity-related insulin resistance with gut anti-inflammatory agents. Cell Metab. 2015;21 (4):527-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.03.001. PubMed PMID:25863246 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto