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Tony Hu - Tulane University. New Orleans, LA, US

Tony Hu

Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation | Tulane University


Tony Hu is a pioneer in developing advanced diagnostics for personalized medicine and COVID-19 research.



Hu joins Tulane University School of Medicine as the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation and will lead the school’s newly created Center of Cellular and Molecular Diagnosis. He exemplifies the interdisciplinary focus of the presidential professors with a primary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and secondary appointments in the School of Science and Engineering, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

Hu previously served as professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and at ASU’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. His research focuses on developing and validating highly sensitive blood tests that rely on nanotechnology-based strategies to find previously undetectable biomarkers of diseases. These diagnostics can also be used to develop personalized medicine tailored to a patient’s specific genetic strain of disease.

Hu’s research aims to fill current unmet clinical needs for early disease detection, better predictors of disease progression and real-time monitoring of therapy response to improve patient outcomes. He has assembled a diverse research team with backgrounds in biochemistry, mass spectrometry, nanofabrication and biomedical engineering to address these challenges.

Hu will establish the Center of Cellular and Molecular Diagnosis to leverage both new and existing platforms for the improved analysis of diagnostic factors found in liquid biopsy samples, including proteins, nucleic acids and extracellular vesicles, which are tiny particles of material released by living cells. The new center’s mission will be to promote interactions between diverse teams of researchers to accelerate the discovery and clinical development of more effective diagnostic biomarkers.

HU has published more than 70 journal articles and has received 10 U.S. and international patents in this area since his first faculty appointment in 2011. Three of his innovations have been licensed by US-based companies and are under development for commercialization. His research team has received grant support from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Gates, Johns Dunn and Kostas Cockrell family foundations.

Areas of Expertise (8)

COVID-10 (Coronavirus)


Biotechnology Innovation


Biomedical Engineering


Personalized Medicine

Analytical Chemistry

Education (4)

University of Texas-Austin: PhD, Biomedical engineering

University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston: Postdoctoral fellow, Nanomedicine

University of Texas-Austin: Master's Degree, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lanzhou University: B.A., Organic Chemistry

Media Appearances (6)

New Orleans hospitals are trying two experimental treatments for coronavirus patients

NOLA.com  online


“Remdesivir is right now showing better recovery. But it’s for a certain group of patients, not all of them,” said Tony Hu, a Tulane University biochemist studying personalized medicine. That’s because the coronavirus is affecting people very differently, even among those who get very sick.

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New lung cancer biomarker could significantly improve patient outcomes

The Science Advisory Board  online


"The goal of any cancer diagnosis and treatment is to catch it early," said Tony Hu, PhD, Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation at Tulane University School of Medicine, in a statement. "This information could help diagnose patients who are at high risk for having their cancer metastasize, and treatment could be tailored to account for that. Not all patients have the same type of tumor, and if you can target therapy to address a particular tumor, you can improve outcomes."

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New marker may predict whether NSCLC tumor is likely to metastasize

News Medical Life Sciences  online


The protein could be used as a biomarker to develop a rapid, minimally invasive test to catch these cancers early when they are more treatable, said study author Tony Hu, Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation at Tulane University School of Medicine.

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Tulane researchers developing rapid test for tuberculosis

New Orleans City Business  online


Led by Tony Hu, the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation at Tulane University School of Medicine, researchers at Tulane, Baylor College of Medicine and NanoPin Technologies, Inc. are now developing a rapid, reliable and highly specific test to allow rapid diagnosis of all forms of Tuberculosis (TB), the leading worldwide cause of death from infectious disease.

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Doctors say this is not the time to panic over coronavirus

4WWL  online


For fact not fear, we turned to two experts at Tulane, Dr. Maureen Lichtveld who worked at the CDC for 18 years and Dr. Tony Hu. He's working on a better test to know if people have the new coronavirus.

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Tulane University launches new, primate-based coronavirus research program for vaccine aid

Homeland Preparedness News  online


At the same time, other Tulane researchers will work to develop a rapid test for COVID-19 using advanced diagnostics created by Dr. Tony Hu, Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation. Hu’s project will use highly sensitive blood or saliva tests to hunt biomarkers of the disease.

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Articles (1)

Insights from nanomedicine into chloroquine efficacy against COVID-19

Nature Nanotechnology

2020 Recent multicentre clinical trials1 and cell culture studies suggest that the 70-year-old malaria drug, chloroquine, may potentially display therapeutic efficacy against COVID-19 (corona virus disease 2019), a rapidly spreading viral infection that can cause pneumonia-induced death in approximately 2.5% of infected individuals.

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