Dr. Ma Luo

Adjunct Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology
Research Scientist, HIV Host Genetics, National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratory, National Microbiology Laboratory

Degrees: M. Sc. (Chinese University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China 1982) PhD (University of Manitoba, 1987)

Mailing Address:
National Microbiology Laboratory, 1015 Arlington street , Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada R3E 3R2

Tel: (204) 789-5072 Fax: (204) 784-4835
E-mail: Ma_Luo@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Research Interests:
My major professional interest is to address important questions in the life sciences with the tools of genetic analysis, molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. My major focus in the recent years has been on uncovering the mechanism of resistance and susceptibility to HIV-1, to understand the interplay between host genetics, including human leukocyte antigens, KIR and other host genetic factors, with HIV virus, and to use this knowledge to develop vaccines and therapeutics.

Selected Recent Publications:

For a list of Dr. Luo's PubMed articles, please click here

1. Okada Y, Kim K, Han B, Pillai NE, Ong RT, Saw WY, Luo M, Jiang L, Yin J, Bang SY, Lee HS, Brown MA, Bae SC, Xu H, Teo YY, de Bakker PI, Raychaudhuri S., "Risk for ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis is driven by shared HLA amino acid polymorphisms in Asian and European populations.", Hum Mol Genet, 2014 Jul 28. pii: ddu387. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Raghavan Sampathkumar, Harold O. Peters, Lillian Mendoza, Thomas Bielawny, Elizabeth Ngugi, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Francis A Plummer, Ma Luo 2014 Influence of HLA class I haplotypes on HIV-1 seroconversion and disease progression in Pumwani sex worker cohort. PLoS One 9(7), e101475
3. Nisha Esakimuthu Pillai, Yukinori Okada, Woei-Yuh Saw, Rick Twee-Hee Ong, Xu Wang, Erwin Tantoso, Wenting Xu, Trevor A. Peterson, Thomas Bielawny, Mohammad Ali, Koon-Yong Tay, Wan-Ting Poh, Linda Wei-Lin Tan, Seok-Hwee Koo, Wei-Yen Lim, Richie Soong, Markus Wenk, Soumya Raychaudhuri, Peter Little, Francis A. Plummer, Edmund J. D. Lee, Kee-Seng Chia, Ma Luo, Paul I W de Bakker, Yik-Ying Teo 2014 Predicting HLA alleles from high-resolution SNP data in three Southeast Asian populations. Human Molecular Genetics 23(16), 4443-4451
4. Trevor A. Peterson, Thomas Bielawny, Philip Lacap, Rae-Anne Hardie, Christina Daniuk, Lillian Mendoza, Subotheni Thavaneswaran,Tony Kariri, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Maboku Kimani,Terry Blake Ball, Francis A. Plummer, Ma Luo 2014 Diversity and Frequencies of HLA Class I and Class II Genes of an East African Population. Open Journal of Genetics 2014, 4, 99-124
5. Xin Yong Yuan, Lewis Ruxi Liu, Adriana Krawchenko, James Sainsbury , Lei Zhao, Xiaoling Gao, Shuhe Wang, Frank Plummer, Xi Yang, Ma Luo. 2014 Development of monoclonal antibody panel for discriminating FREM1 splicing variants. Monoclonal Antibodies in Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy 33(2):129-40
6. Paul Jack Mclaren; Cédric Coulonges; Stephan Ripke; Leonard van den Berg; Susan Buchbinder; Mary Carrington; Andrea Cossarizza; Judith Dalmau; Steven G Deeks; Olivier Delaneau; Andrea De Luca; James J Goedert; David Haas; Josh T Herbeck; Sekar Kathiresan; Gregory D Kirk; Olivier Lambotte; Ma Luo; Simon Mallal; Daniëlle van Manen; Javier Martinez-Picado; Laurence Meyer; José Miro; James I Mullins; Niels Obel; Stephen J O'Brien; Florencia Pereyra; Francis A Plummer; Guido Poli; Ying Qi; Pierre Rucart; Manj S Sandhu; Patrick R Shea; Hanneke Schuitemaker; Ioannis Theodorou; Fredrik Vannberg; Jan Veldink; Bruce D Walker; Amy Weintrob; Cheryl A Winkler; Steven Wolinsky; Amalio Telenti; David B Goldstein; Paul IW de Bakker; Jean-François Zagury, Jacques Fellay (2013) Association Study of Common Genetic Variants and HIV-1 Acquisition in 6,300 Infected Cases and 7,200 Controls. PLoS Pathog 9(7): e1003515.
7. Nykoluk M, Bailey RC, Moses S, Plummer FA, Luo M. Identification of three novel human leukocyte antigen alleles, HLA-B*58:43, HLA-C*03:190, and HLA-DPA1*01:12, in an East African cohort. Tissue Antigens. 2013 Aug;82(2):131-3..
8. Luo M., Capina R., Daniuk C., Tuff J., La D., Bielawny T., Czarnecki C., Peters H., Kimani M., Wachihi C., Kimani J., Ball TB., Plummer FA. 2013 Immunogenicity of sequences around HIV-1 protease cleavage sites: Potential targets and population coverage analysis for a HIV vaccine targeting protease cleavage sites. Vaccine 2013 Jun 24;31(29):3000-8.
9. Trevor A. Peterson, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Thomas Bielawny, Lillian Mendoza, Subotheni Thavaneswaran, Tony Kariri, Binhua Liang, T. Blake Ball, Elizabeth N. Ngugi, Francis A. Plummer and Ma Luo, Association of HLA Class I with Resistance and Susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and Disease Progression in an East African Sex Worker Cohort. Tissue Antigens 2013 Feb; 81(2):93-107
10. Luo M., Czarnecki C., Ramdahin S., Embree J., Plummer FA. HLA-G and Mother-child Perinatal HIV Transmission. Human Immunology 2012 Dec. 10. S0198-8859(12)00630-1
11. TURK W., Kimani J., Bielawyny T., Wachihi C., Ball TB., Plummer FA., and Luo M. Associations of Human Leukocyte Antigen G with Resistance and Susceptibility to HIV-1 Infection in the Pumwani Sexworker Cohort. AIDS 2013 Jan 2;27(1):7-15
12. Luo M., Sainsbury J, Tuff J., Lacap P., Yuan XY, Hirbod T., Kimani J., Wachihi C., Ramdahin S., Bielawny T., Embree J., Broliden K., Ball TB., and Plummer FA. A genetic polymorphism of FREM1 is associated with resistance against HIV infection in the Pumwani Sex Worker Cohort. J. Virol. 2012 Nov;86(21):11899-905
13. McKinnon LR, Nagelkerke NJ, Kaul R, Shaw SY, Capina R, Luo M, Kariri A, Apidi W, Kimani M, Wachihi C, Jaoko W, Anzala AO, Kimani J, Ball TB, Plummer FA. HIV-1 clade D is associated with increased rates of CD4 decline in a Kenyan cohort. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49797
14. Buggert M, Norström MM, Czarnecki C, Tupin E, Luo M, Gyllensten K, Sönnerborg A, Lundegaard C, Lund O, Nielsen M, Karlsson AC. Characterization of HIV-Specific CD4+ T Cell Responses against Peptides Selected with Broad Population and Pathogen Coverage. PLoS One 2012;7(7):e39874.
15. Orysiuk D, Lawrence J, Prashar T, Spangelo L, Pilon R, Fournier J, Rud E, Sandstrom P, Plummer FA, Luo M. Evidence of recombination producing allelic diversity in MHC class I Mafa-B and -A alleles in cynomolgus macaques. Tissue Antigens. 2012 May;79(5):351-8.
16. Lawrence J, Orysiuk D, Prashar T, Pilon R, Fournier J, Rud E, Sandstrom P, Plummer FA, Luo M. Identification of 23 novel MHC class I alleles in cynomolgus macaques of Philippine and Philippine/Mauritius origins. Tissue Antigens. 2012 Apr;79(4):306-7.
17. Songok EM, Luo M, Liang B, Mclaren P, Kaefer N, Apidi W, Boucher G, Kimani J, Wachihi C, Sekaly R, Fowke K, Ball BT, Plummer FA. Microarray analysis of HIV resistant female sex workers reveal a gene expression signature pattern reminiscent of a lowered immune activation state. PLoS One. 2012; 7(1):e30048.
18. Sampathkumar R, Shadabi E, Luo M. Interplay between HIV-1 and Host Genetic Variation: A Snapshot into Its Impact on AIDS and Therapy Response. Adv Virol. 2012; 2012:508967.
19. David La, Chris Czarnecki, Hani El-Gabalawy, Anand Kumar, Adrienne F.A. Meyers, Nathalie Bastien, J. Neil Simonsen, Francis A. Plummer, Ma Luo Enrichment of Variations in KIR3DL1/S1 and KIR2DL2/L3 among H1N1/09 ICU Patients: an Exploratory Study. PLos One 2011;6(12):e29200.
20. Ma Luo, Christina S. Daniuk, Tamsir O. Diallo, Rupert E. Capina, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Makubo Kimani, Trevor Peterson, Thomas Bielawny, Mark G.R. Mendoza, Sandra Kiazyk, T. Blake Ball, Francis A. Plummer For protection from HIV-1 infection, more might not be better: a systematic analysis of HIV Gag epitopes of two alleles associated with different outcomes of HIV-1 infection. J Virol. 2012 Jan;86(2):1166-80.
21. Juno J, Tuff J, Choi R, Card C, Kimani J, Wachihi C, Koesters-Kiazyk S, Ball TB, Farquhar C, Plummer FA, John-Stewart G, Luo M, Fowke KR. The role of G protein gene GNB3 C825T polymorphism in HIV-1 acquisition, progression and immune activation. Retrovirology. 2012 Jan 3; 9:1
22. Liang B, Luo M, Scott-Herridge J, Semeniuk C, Mendoza M, Capina R, Sheardown B, Ji H, Kimani J, Ball BT, Van Domselaar G, Graham M, Tyler S, Jones SJ, Plummer FA. 2011 A Comparison of Parallel Pyrosequencing and Sanger Clone-Based Sequencing and Its Impact on the Characterization of the Genetic Diversity of HIV-1. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26745..
23. Laurent Abi-Rached, Matthew J Jobin, Subhash Kulkarni, Alasdair McWhinnie, Klara Dalva, Loren Gragert, Farbod Babrzadeh, Baback Gharizadeh, Ma Luo, Francis A Plummer, Joshua Kimani, Mary Carrington, Derek Middleton, Raja Rajalingam, Meral Beksac, Steven GE Marsh, Martin Maiers, Lisbeth A Guethlein, Sofia Tavoularis, Ann-Margaret Little, Richard E Green, Paul J Norman and Peter Parham 2011 The Shaping of Modern Human Immune Systems by Multiregional Admixture with Archaic Humans. Science. 2011 334:89-94
24. Marion C. Lanteri, Zhanna Kaidarova, Trevor Peterson, Steven Cate, Brian Custer, Shiquan Wu, Maria Agapova, Jacqueline P. Law, Thomas Bielawny, Frank Plummer, Leslie H. Tobler, Mark Loeb, Michael P. Busch, Jonathan Bramson, Ma Luo, and Philip J. Norris 2011 Association between HLA Class I and Class II Alleles and the Outcome of West Nile Virus Infection: An Exploratory Study. PLoS One 2011; 6(8): e22948.
25. Isabey EP, Pham HM, Peterson TA, Brunham RC, Luo M, Plummer FA 2011 Identification of a novel HLA-A allele, A*29:28, in an East African population. Tissue Antigens 2011 78:451-2.
26. Czarnecki C, Van Domselaar G, Embreé J, Brunham R, Plummer FA, Luo M. Identification of HLA-G*01:17, a new allele possibly generated by an interloci gene conversion event involving exon 3 of HLA-B. Hum Immunol. 2011 72:238-40.
27. Songok EM, Osero B, McKinnon L, Rono MK, Apidi W, Matey EJ, Meyers AF, Luo M, Kimani J, Wachihi C, Ball BT, Plummer FA, Mpoke S. CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase IV (CD26/DPPIV) is highly expressed in peripheral blood of HIV-1 exposed uninfected Female sex workers. Virol J. 2010 Nov 25;7:343.
28. Hardie RA, Czarnecki C, Ball TB, Plummer FA, Luo M. 2010 Identification of four novel KIR2DL2 alleles and two novel KIR2DL3 alleles in an East African population Hum Immunol. 2010 Dec;71(12):1251-4. Epub 2010 Sep 25
29. Chris Czarnecki, Ma Luo, Robert Brunham, Kristina Broliden, Annika C Karlsson, Francis A Plummer 2010 Identification of HLA-DPA1 020107 in an individual of Ugandan descent. Human Immunology 2010 Jul;71(7):733-5.
30. Heather Price, Philip Lacap, Jeff Tuff, Charles Wachihi, Joshua Kimani, Terry B. Ball, Ma Luo, Francis A. Plummer. 2010 A Trim5alpha Exon 2 Polymorphism is Associated with Protection from HIV-1 Infection in Pumwani Sexworker Cohort. AIDS 2010 Jul 31;24(12):1813-21
31. Rupert Kaul, Kelly S. MacDonald, Nico J. Nagelkerke, Joshua Kimani, Keith Fowke,T. Blake Ball, Ma Luo, Anthony Kariri, Walter Jaoko, Stephen Moses, Sarah Rowland-Jones, Francis A. Plummer. Clinical and immune outcomes in individuals with HIV-specific CD8+T cell responses prior to HIV acquisition. AIDS 2010 Jun 19;24(10):1449-54
32. Ben Binhua Liang, Ma Luo, Blake Ball, and Francis A. Plummer 2010 QUASI Analysis of Host Immune Responses to Gag proteins of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I by a Systematic Bioinformatics Approach. Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2010 Aug;88(4):671-81
33. Hollenbach JA, Meenagh A, Sleator C, Alaez C, Bengoche M, Canossi A, Contreras G, Creary L, Evseeva I, Gorodezky C, Hardie RA, Hemming Karlsen T, Lie B, Luo M, Martinetti M, Navarette C, de Oliveira DC, Ozzella G, Pasi A, Pavlova E, Pinto S, Porto LC, Santos P, Slavcev A, Srinak D, Tavoularis S, Tonks S, Trachtenberg E, Vejbaesya S, Middleton D. Report from the killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) anthropology component of the 15th International Histocompatibility Workshop: worldwide variation in the KIR loci and further evidence for the co-evolution of KIR and HLA Tissue Antigens. 2010 Jul; 76(1):9-17. Epub 2010 Mar 14
34. Semeniuk CA, Capina RE, Mendoza MG, Kimani J, Ball TB, Luo M, Plummer FA. 2010 Identification and characterization of HLA-A*0301 epitopes in HIV-1 gag proteins using a novel approach. J Immunol Methods. 352(1-2):118-25. Epub 2009 Nov 10.
35. McKinnon LR, Capina R, Peters H, Mendoza M, Kimani J, Wachihi C, Kariri A, Kimani M, Richmond M, Kiazyk SK, Fowke KR, Jaoko W, Luo M, Ball TB, Plummer FA. 2009 Clade-specific evolution mediated by HLA-B*57/5801 in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 clade A1 p24. J Virol. 83(23):12636-42
36. Lyle R. McKinnon, Xiaojuan Mao, Joshua Kimani, Charles, Wachihi, Christina Semeniuk, Mark Mendoza, Binhua Liang, Ma Luo, Keith R. Fowke, Francis A. Plummer, T. Blake Ball 2009 Epitope mapping of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in a cohort dominated by clade A1 infection. PLOS ONE 4(9):e6965.
37. Christina A. Semeniuk, Lyle McKinnon, Harold O. Peters, Michael Gubbins, Xiaojuan Mao, Terry B. Ball, Ma Luo, Francis A. Plummer 2009 Multiple T Cell Epitopes Overlap Positively Selected Residues in P1 Spacer Protein of HIV-1 gag. AIDS 23:771-777
38. Julius O. Oyugi, Françoise C. M. Vouriot, Judie Alimonti, Stephen Wayne, Ma Luo, Allison M. Land, Zhujun Ao, Xiaojian Yao, Rafick P. Sekaly, Lawrence J. Elliott, J. Neil Simonsen, T. Blake Ball+, Walter Jaoko, Joshua Kimani, Francis A. Plummer and Keith R. Fowke 2009 A common CD4 gene variant is associated with increased risk of HIV-1 infection in Kenyan female sex workers. J Infect Disease 199: 1327-34
39. Nico J Nagelkerke, Sake J de Vlas, Prabhat Jha, Ma Luo, Francis A Plummer, Rupert Kaul 2009 Heterogeneity in host HIV susceptibility as a potential contributor to recent HIV prevalence declines in Africa AIDS 23(1):125-30
40. Land AM, Luo M, Pilon R, Sandstrom P, Embree J, Wachihi C, Kimani J, Plummer FA, Ball TB. 2008 High prevalence of genetically similar HIV-1 recombinants among infected sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 24:1455-60
41. McKinnon LR, Ball TB, Wachihi C, Chinga N, Maingi A, Luo M, Fowke KR, Plummer FA. 2008 Substantial Intrapatient Differences in the Breadth and Specificity of HIV-Specific CD8+ T-Cell Interferon-gamma and Proliferation Responses. JAIDS 49(2):123-127
42. Rae_Anne Hardie, Erin Knight, Brigitte Bruneau, Christina Semeniuk, Kulvinder Gill, Nico J Nagelkerke, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Elizabeth N Ngugi, Ma Luo, Francis A Plummer 2008 A common DP genotype is associated with Resistance to HIV-1 Infection in Kenyan Sexworkers. AIDS, 122(15):2049-51
43. William J. R. Turk, and Xiao-Juan Mao, Thomas Bielawyny, Robert Brunham, Ma Luo, Frank Plummer 2008 Identification of Novel HLA-G Alleles in an East African Population by High Resolution Sequence-based Typing. Human Immunology 69(7):426-9
44. Land AM, Ball TB, Luo M, Pilon R, Sandstrom P, Embree JE, Wachihi C, Kimani J, Plummer FA (2008) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 proviral hypermutation correlates with CD4 count in HIV-infected women from Kenya. J. Virology. 82: 8172-8182
45. Land AM, Ball TB, Luo M, Rutherford J, Sarna C, Wachihi C, Kimani J, Plummer FA. Full-length HIV type 1 proviral sequencing of 10 highly exposed women from Nairobi, Kenya reveals a high proportion of intersubtype recombinants. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Jun;24(6):865-72.
46. Philip A. Lacap, Janis D. Huntington, Ma Luo, Nico J.D. Nagelkerke, Thomas Bielawny, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Elizabeth N. Ngugi, Francis A. Plummer 2008 Associations of HLA-DRB with resistance or susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in the Pumwani Sex Worker Cohort . AIDS May 31;22(9):1029-38
47. Binhua Liang, Ma Luo, T. Blake Ball, Xiaojian Yao, Gary Van Domselaar, Wilfred R. Cuff, Mary Cheang, Steven J.M. Jones, and Francis A. Plummer 2008 Systematic Analysis of Host Immunological Pressure on the Envelope Gene of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 by an Immunobioinformatics Approach. Current HIV Research Jun;6(4):370-9
48. Rae_Anne Hardie, Ma Luo, Brigitte Bruneau, Erin Knight, Nico J Nagelkerke, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Elizabeth N Ngugi, Francis A Plummer 2008 HLA-DQ Alleles and Haplotypes and Their Associations with Resistance and Susceptibility to HIV-1 Infection. AIDS, Apr 23;22(7):807-16
49. H. Peters, M. Mendoza, R. Capina, M. Luo, X. Mao, M. Gubbins, I. MacArthur, B. Sheardown, J. Kimani, C. Wachihi, S. Thavaneswaran, F.A. Plummer. 2008 An Integrative Bioinformatic Approach in Studying Escape Mutations in HIV-1 gag in the Pumwani Sex Worker Cohort. J. Virology 82(4): 1980-92
50. Joshua Kimani, Rupert Kaul, Nico J Nagelkerke, Ma Luo, Kelly S MacDonald, Elizabeth Ngugi, Keith R Fowke, Blake Ball, Anthony Kariri, Jeckoniah Ndinya-Achola, Francis A Plummer 2007 Reduced rates of HIV acquisition during unprotected sex by Kenyan female sex workers predating population declines in HIV prevalence. AIDS, 22(1)131-7
51. Ben Binhua Liang, Ma Luo, Blake Ball, and Francis A. Plummer 2007 QUASI Analysis of the HIV-1 Envelope Sequences in Los Alamos HIV Sequence Database: Pattern and Distribution of PS Sites and their Frequencies over Years. Biochemistry and Cell Biology 85(2):259-64
52. McKinnon LR, Ball TB, Wachihi C, McLaren PJ, Waruk JL, Mao X, Ramdahin S, Anzala AO, Kamene J, Luo M, Fowke KR, Plummer FA 2007 Epitope cross-reactivity frequently differs between central and effector memory HIV-specific CD8+ T cells. J Immunol. 2007 178(6):3750-6