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Tony Hu is an associate professor in the School for Biological and Health Systems Engineering and the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Arizona State University. 

Hu's research focuses on developing and validating integrated nanotechnique-based strategies to perform marker discovery and molecular diagnostics from peripheral blood, and to provide a translatable solution for personalized medicine. His group's innovations aim to fill current gaps in real-time therapy monitoring, early detection, and effective prognostics. His team is diverse with backgrounds in biochemistry, mass spectrometry, nanofabrication and biomedical engineering to answer these needs.

Hu's research group has established and refined a biomarker detection platform to quantitate the peptidome of circulating mycobacterial antigen and validate its capacity to diagnose the species of mycobacterial infections and its response to therapeutic intervention. His experience and in-depth understanding of multiplex-detection method development for sample processing, mass spectrometry, biomarker identification and validation ideally positions him in a leading role to ensure optimal progress toward the clinical translation of a platform for improved and comprehensive analysis of blood-based biomarkers of mycobacterial infection, with potentially broad clinical applications. A multidisciplinary team has been assembled to accomplish the tasks laid out in the proposal, with wide-ranging and extensive experience in nanosensing, high-throughput peptidomic analysis, and medical bioinformatics and statistical analysis. Their collaborative strategy leverages the strengths of all of the group's co-investigators, and his team strongly believes that to be critical in the quest to change the clinical management of a devastating disease in an even more challenging cohort. The studies and reviews below are examples of the Hu lab's contributions on which he has served as communicating author.

  • Postdoctoral fellow.  Nanomedicine, University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston 2009-2011
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas-Austin 2009 
  • Master's degree. Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas-Austin 2004
  • Bachelor's degree. Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University 1999
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Research Interests: 

Tony Hu is an Associate 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.

Dr. Hu’s research focuses on developing and validating integrated nanotechnique-based strategies for marker discovery and molecular diagnostics in peripheral blood samples to provide a translatable solution for personalized medicine. His innovations aim to fill current gaps in early detection, real-time therapy monitoring and effective prognostics. He has assembled a diverse team with backgrounds in biochemistry, mass spectrometry, nanofabrication, and biomedical engineering to answer these needs.

Dr. Hu received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin where he focused on developing nanomaterials as biosensors for disease diagnosis. He has published more than 60 journal articles and has received five U.S. patents (issued and pending) on these subjects since his first faculty appointment in 2011. Dr. Hu has also published four nanomedicine-related book chapters, and has given more than 50 seminars and invited presentations at major international scientific conferences. His research team has a history of grants from the NCI, NIAID, NICHD and DOD and  awards from the Gates, Dunn, Kostas, and Cockrell family foundations. His team has in-depth knowledge of multiplex-detection method development for sample processing, mass spectrometry, biomarker identification and validation. This background ideally positions his team for a leadership role in these fields and for optimal clinical translation of their platforms for improved and comprehensive analysis of blood-based biomarkers that have broad potential clinical applications.

Dr. Hu's group is focused on developing and validating the integrated nanotechnique-based strategies to perform marker discovery and non-invasive clinical diagnostics from peripheral blood, and to provide a translatable and measurable solution for personalized medicine, cancer prevention and patients’ outcome. Our state-of-the-art research and innovations aim to fill the current diagnostic gap on risk assessment, screening, early detection, real-time therapeutic monitoring, and effective prognostics in the areas of cancer and infectious diseases. We have been making strong efforts in combining advanced engineering tools to facilitate biomedical studies and develop robust diagnostics for precision medicine initiatives. With such a focus, there are three underlying principles guiding our research concentration:

  1. Prioritize studies with high clinical impact. Instead of competing on lowering the detection limit of those known markers with poor specificity on disease diagnosis, our focus is to utilize nanotech-induced capabilities to discover those unknowns and to address major unsolved problems in oncology and infectious diseases, e.g., effective intervention strategies for treating metastatic diseases, and non-invasive blood-based tests for screening and early detection.
  2. Synergize with research partners on validated nanoplatforms. Our research articulates into highly synergistic projects, which may not be mutually dependent, in that they rely on our amply validated nanotechnologies. The technological affinities between ours and other research and clinical faculties’ platforms provide great potential for additional technological and programmatic collaborations.
  3. Uphold translational focus while balanced with fundamental discovery. The nanosensing-based platforms we developed are manufactured in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and with externally validated protocols, which are readily scalable for mass production. 
  1. Sun, D., Hu, Y. A low cost mobile phone-based dark-field microscope for nanoparticle-based quantitative studies. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 2017, 15;99:513-518.
  2. Rodrigues, M., Fan, J., Lyon, C. J., Hu, Y. Exosomes in infectious diseases: Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics. Theranostics 2018, in press (Cover Story).    
  3. Zhang, W., Shu, Q., Zhao, Z., Fan, J., Lyon, C. J., Zelazny, A., Hu, Y. Antigen 85B peptidomic analysis allows species-specific mycobacterial identification. Clinical Proteomics 2018, 15:1.
  4. Liu, C., Lyon, C. J., Deng, Z., Walters, E., Li, Y., Zhang, L., Hesseling, A., Hu, Y. Clinical evaluation of a blood assay to diagnose paucibacillary tuberculosis via bacterial antigens. Clinical Chemistry 2018, accepted (Cover Story).
  5. Fan, J., Zhang, H., Nguyen, D., Lyon, C. J., Mitchell, C. D., Zhao, Z., Graviss, E. A., Hu, Y. Rapid diagnosis of new and recurrent tuberculosis by quantification of circulating antigen in HIV-infected adults in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Medicine 2017, 15:188.
  6. Wu, B., Ouyang, Z., Lyon, C. J., Zhang, W., Clift, T., Bone, C., Zhao, Z., Kimata, J., Hu, Y. Plasma C4b peptide levels and HLA-B*57 genotype are associated with spontaneous HIV suppression in HIV-1-infected patients. ACS Infect. Dis. 2017, 3 (12): 880–885.
  7. Liu, C., Zhao, Z., Fan, J., Lyon, C. J., Wu, H., Nedelokv, D., Zelazny, A.M., Olivier, K.N., Cazares, L.H., Holland, S.H., Graviss, E. A., Hu, Y. Quantification of Circulating M. tuberculosis Antigens for Rapid Diagnosis and Real-time Treatment Monitoring. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A.  2017, 114(15):3969-3974. (Highlighted by New England Journal of Medicine)
  8. Liang K., Liu, F., Fan, J., Sun, D., Bernard, D. W., Li, Y., Yokoi, K., Katz, M. H., Koay, E. J., Zhao, Z., Hu, Y. Nanoplasmonic Quantification of Tumor-derived Extracellular Vesicles in Plasma Microsamples for Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2017, 1:0021. (Highlighted by Nature Review Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
  9. Liang, K., Wu, H., Hu, Y., Li, Y. Mesoporous silica chip: enabled peptide profiling as an effective platform for controlling bio-sample quality and optimizing handling procedure. Clinical Proteomics. 2017, 13(1), 34.
  10. Li, H., Yang, S., Yu, G., Shen, L., Fan, J., Xu, L., Zhang, H., Zhao, N., Zeng, Z. Hu, Y., Wen, J., Zu, Y. Aptamer internalization via endocytosis inducing S-phase arrest and priming Maver-1 lymphoma cells for cytarabine chemotherapy. Theranostics. 2017, 7(5): 1204-1213.
  11. Sun, D., Fan, J., Liu, C., Liu, Y., Bu, Y., Lyon, C. J., Hu, Y. A noise reduction method for quantifying nanoparticle light scattering in low magnification dark-field microscope far-field images. Anal. Chem. 2016, 88(24): 12001-12005.
  12. Li, Y., Hu, Y. Decoding the Blood Peptidome as a New Biomarker Resource for Cancer Detection. MOJ Proteomics Bioinform. 2016, 3(5):00099.
  13. Wang, J., Dong, A., Liu, G., Anderson, G.J., Hu, Y., Shi, J., Hu, Y., Nie G. Correlation of serum hepcidin levels with disease progression in hepatitis B virus-related disease assessed by nanopore film based assay. Sci. Rep. 2016, 6:34252.
  14. Zhu, L., Olsen, R., Horstmann, N., Shelburne, S., Fan, J., Hu, Y., Musser, J. Intergenic VNTR Polymorphism Upstream of rocA Alters Toxin Production and Enhances Virulence in Streptococcus pyogenes. Infect. Immun. 2016, 84(7): 2086-93.
  15. Qian, X., Nguyen, D.T.M., Li, Y., Lyu, J., Graviss, E.A., Hu, Y. * Predictive value of serum bradykinin and desArg9-bradykinin levels for chemotherapeutic responses in active tuberculosis patients: A retrospective case series. Tuberculosis. 2016, pii: S1472-9792 (16): 30407-3.
  16. Hu, Y. * Can Sugarcoated Fingerprints be used to Identify Lurking Viruses? Proteomics. 2016, 16: 1947-1948.
  17. Mi, Y., Mu, C., Wolfram, J., Deng, Z., Hu, Y., Liu, X., Blanco, E., Shen, H., Ferrari, M. A Micro/Nano Composite for Combination Treatment of Melanoma Lung Metastasis. Adv Healthc Mater. 2016, Apr; 5(8): 936-46.
  18. Ma, X., Chong, L., Tian, R., Shi, R., Hu, Y., Ouyang, Z., Xia, Y. Identification and quantitation of lipid C=C location isomers: a shotgun lipidomics approach coupled with photochemical reaction. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 2016 Mar 8; 113 (10): 2573-8.
  19. Fan, J., Tea, M., Ma, L., Meng, Q., Hu, Y. *, Singer, C., Ferrari, M. * Profiling of Cross-Functional Peptidases Regulated Circulating Peptides in BRCA1 Mutant Breast Cancer. J Proteomics Res 2016, 15(5): 1534-45.
  20. Ren, Y., Wang, R., Gao, L., Li, K., Zhou, X., Guo, H., Liu, C., Han, D., Tian, J., Ye, Q., Hu, Y., Sun, D., Yuan, X., Zhang, N. * Sequential co-delivery of miR-21 inhibitor followed by burst release doxorubicin using NIR-responsive hollow gold nanoparticle to enhance anticancer efficacy, Journal of Controlled Release. 2016, 228(28): 74-86.
  21. Du, Y., Hu, Y., Xia, Y., Ouyang, Z. Power Normalization for Mass Spectrometry Data Analysis and Analytical Method Assessment. Anal. Chem.2016, 88 (6), pp 3156–3163.
  22. Huang, H., Tao, L., Liu, F., Ji, L., Hu, Y., Cheng, M., Chen, P., Akinwande, D. Chemical-Sensitive Graphene Modulator with Memory Effect for Internet-of-Things Applications. Nature: Microsystems & Nanoengineering 2016, 2:16018.
  23. Khaled, S. Z., Cevenini, A., Yazdi, I. K., Parodi, A., Evangelopoulos, M., Corbo, C., Scaria, S., Hu, Y., Haddix, S. G., Corradetti, B. Salvatore, F., Tasciotti, E. One-pot synthesis of pH-responsive hybrid nanogel particles for the intracellular delivery of small interfering RNA. Biomaterials 2016, 87:57-68.
  24. Deng, Z., Li, Y., Fan, J., Wang G., Li, Y., Zhang Y., Cai G., Shen, H., Hu, Y. Circulating Peptidome to Indicate the Tumor-resident Proteolysis. Scientific Reports. 2015, 5:9327.
  25. Wang, J., Liu, G., Xu, Z., Dai, J., Song, P., Shi, J., Hu, Y., Hu, Z., Nie, G., Chan, Y., Zhao, Y. Hepcidin levels in hyperprolactinemic women monitored by nanopore thin film based assay: Correlation with pregnancy-associated hormone prolactin. Nanomedicine: NBM. 2015, 11(4): 871-878.
  26. Zhang P., Wei Y., Wang L., Debeb B. G., Yuan Y., Zhang J., Yuan J., Wang M., Chen D., Sun Y., Woodward W. A., Liu Y., Dean D. C., Liang H., Hu Y., Ang K. K., Hung M. C., Chen J., Ma L. ATM-mediated stabilization of ZEB1 promotes DNA damage response and radioresistance through CHK1, Nature Cell Bio. 2014, 16(9): 864-875.
  27. Zhang P., Wang L., Rodriguez-Aguayo C., Yuan Y., Debeb B. G., Chen D., Sun Y., You M. J., Liu Y., Dean D. C., Woodward W. A., Liang H., Yang X., Lopez-Berestein G., Sood A. K., Hu Y., Ang K. K., Chen J., Ma L. miR-205 acts as a tumor radiosensitizer by targeting ZEB1 and Ubc13, Nature Communications. 2014, 5:5671.
  28. Li Y., Li Y., Chen T., Kuklina A. S., Bernard P., Esteva F. J., Shen H., Hu Y. Circulating Proteolytic Products of Carboxypeptidase N for Early Detection of Breast Cancer. Clin. Chem. 2014, 60(1): 233-242. PMID: 24146311
  29. Zhao H., Li Y., Hu Y. * Nanotechnologies in Glycoproteomics. Clin. Proteomics. 2014, 11:21.
  30. Fan J., Niu S., Dong A., Shi J., Wu H. J., Fine D. H., Tian Y., Zhou C., Liu X., Sun T., Anderson G. J., Ferrari M., Nie G., Hu Y. *, Zhao Y. * Nanopore Film based Enrichment and Quantification of Low Abundance Hepcidin from Human Bodily Fluids. Nanomedicine: NBM. 2014; 10(5): 879-888. Highlighted by Science Translational Medicine
  31. Wu H. J., Li Y., Fan J., Deng Z., Hu Z., Liu X., Graviss E. A., Ma X., Hu Y. Antibody-Free Detection of M. tuberculosis Antigen Using Customized Nanotraps. Anal. Chem. 2014; 86 (4), pp 1988–1996. DOI10.1021/ac4027669
  32. Shah P., Zhu X., Chen C., Hu Y., Li C. Z. * Lab-on-chip device for single cell trapping and analysis.  Biomed. Microdevice. 2014; 16(1): 35-41. DOI 10.1007/s10544-013-9803-7.
  33. Huang H., Zhao P., Chen P., Ren Y., Liu X., Hu Y., Akinwande D. RFID Tag Helix Antenna Sensors for Wireless Drug Dosage Monitoring.  Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, IEEE Journal of, 2014, 2(1): 1-8.
  34. Wang Z., Wu H. J., Fine D., Schmulen J., Hu Y., Godin B., Zhang J. X., Liu X. Ciliated micropillars for the microfluidic-based isolation of nanoscale lipid vesicles. Lab Chip. 2013, 2879-2882 DOI: 10.1039/c3lc41343h
  35. Srinivasan S., Alexander J. F., Driessen W. H., Leonard F., Hu Y., Liu X., Arap W., Pasqualini R., Ferrari M., Godin B. * Bacteriophage Associated Silicon Particles: Design and Characterization of a Novel Theranostic Vector with Improved Payload Carrying Potential. J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1:5218-5229, DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20595A
  36. Fan J., Huang Y., Finoulst I., Wu H. J., Deng Z., Xu R., Xia X., Ferrari M., Shen H., Hu Y. Serum Peptidomic Biomarkers for Pulmonary Metastatic Melanoma Identified by means of a Nanopore-based Assay. Cancer Letters. 2013. Nov 27. pii:S0304-3835(12)00658-1. PMID: 23200677.
  37. Fan J., Deng X., Gallagher J. W., Huang H., Huang Y., Wen J., Ferrari M., Shen H., Hu Y.  Monitoring the progression of metastatic breast cancer on nanoporous silica chips. Phil. Trans. A RSC 2012, 1967:2433-2447. (* Shared corresponding authorship) DOI: 10.1098
  38. Fan J., Gallagher J. W., Wu H. J., Landry M. G., Sakamoto J., Hu Y. Low Molecular Weight Protein Enrichment on Mesoporous Silica Thin Films for Biomarker Discovery. J Vis Exp 2012 (62): e3876. DOI: 10.3791/3876.
  39. Zhang, W., Rosano-Ortega, G., Hu, Y., Bai, L., Qin, L. “New Investigation in PVP-Mediated Synthesis of Noble Metallic Nanomaterials” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 2012; 12(3): 2634-2639.
  40. Grattoni, A., Tasciotti, E., Fine, D., Fernandez-Moure, J., Sakamoto, J., Hu, Y., Ferrari, M., Parazynski, S. * “Nanotechnologies and Regenerative Medical Approaches for Space and Terrestrial Medicine.” Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine. 2012; 83(11):1-12.
  41. Huang H., Nieman K., Chen P. Y., Hu, Y., Akinwande D. Properties and Applications of Electrically Small Folded Ellipsoidal Helix Antenna. IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 2012, 11:678-681.
  42. Sharma T*, Hu Y*, Stoller M, Feldman M, Ruoff R S, Ferrari M, Zhang X.  Mesoporous Silica as Membrane for Ultra-Thin Implantable Direct Glucose Fuel Cells, Lab-on-a-chip, 2011, 11: 2460-2465. (* Shared first authorship) DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20119K
  43. Zhou M., Hu Y., Ferrari M., Xie Z. Self-Assembled Zinc/Copper Hydroxide Carbonates with Tunable Hierarchical Nanostructure, Journal of Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, 2011, 11: 1-5. (Cover story)  DOI: doi:10.1166/jnn.2011.4234
  44. Hu Y., Gopal A., Lin K., Peng Y., Tasciotti E., Zhang X., Ferrari M. High throughput enrichment of doi:10.1063/1.3528237 Small Proteins from Complex Biological Mixture Based on Porous Microchips. Biomicrofluidics, 2011, 5, 013410. doi:10.1063/1.3528237
  45. Hu, Y., Peng, Y., Lin, K., Shen, H., Brousseau, L.C., Sakamoto, J., Sun, T., Ferrari, M. Surface Engineering on Mesoporous Silica Chips for Enriching Low Molecular Weight Phosphorylated  Proteins, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 421-428  PMID: 21135976; doi: 10.1039/C0NR00720J
  46. Hu Y., Bouamrani A., Tasciotti E., Li L., Liu X., Ferrari M. Tailoring of the nanotexture of mesoporous silica films and their functionalized derivatives for selectively harvesting low molecular weight protein. ACS Nano. 2010 Jan 26; 4(1):439-451. PMC2814324; PMID: 20014864; doi: 10.1021/nn901322
  47. Bouamrani A.*, Hu Y.*, Tascioti E., Li L., Chiappini C., Liu X., Ferrari M. Mesoporous silica chips for selective enrichment and stabilization of low molecular weight proteome. Proteomics. 2010 Feb; 10(3):496-505. (* Shared first authorship)
    PMC2873235; PMID: 20013801; doi: 10.1002/pmic.200900a346
  48. Hu Y., Peng Y., Brousseau L., Bouamrani A., Liu X., Ferrari M. Nanotexture optimization by oxygen plasma of mesoporous silica thin film for enrichment of low molecular weight peptides captured from human serum. Science in China B. 2010, 53(11): 1-8.
  49. Blinka E., Loeffler K., Hu Y., Gopal A., Hoshino K., Lin K., Liu X., Ferrari M., Zhang J.X. Enhanced microcontact printing of proteins on nanoporous silica surface. Nanotechnology. 2010 Oct; 21(41): 415302.   PMID: 20834118; doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/41/415302.
  50. Fan J., Yin J., Ning B., Wu X., Hu Y., Ferrari M., Anderson G. J., Wei J., Zhao Y., Nie G. Direct evidence for catalase and peroxidase activities of ferritin-platinum nanoparticles. Biomaterials, 2010, 32(6): 1611-8.
  51. Fine D., Grattoni A., Goodall R., Bansal S. S., Chiappini C., Hosali S., van de Ven A. L., Srinivasan S., Liu X., Godin B., Brousseau L., Yazdi I. K., Fernandez-Moure J., Tasciotti E., Wu H. J., Hu Y., Klemm S., Ferrari M. Silicon Micro- and Nanofabrication for Medicine. Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2013; 2192-2659 DOI: 10.1002/adhm. 201200214.
  52. Grattoni A., Tasciotti  E., Fine D., Fernandez-Moure J. S., Sakamoto J., Hu Y., Weiner B., Ferrari M., Parazynski S. Nanotechnologies and Regenerative Medical Approaches for Space and Terrestrial Medicine. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2013 Volume 83, No. 11 pp 1-12. PMID: 23156089.
  53. Sakamoto J. H., van de Ven A. L., Godin B., Blanco E., Serda R. E., Grattoni A., Ziemys A., Bouamrani A., Hu Y., Ranganathan S. I., DeRosa E., Martinez J. O., Smid C. A., Buchanan R. M., Lee S-Y, Srinivasan S., Landry M., Meyn A., Tasciotti E., Liu X., Decuzzi P., Ferrari M. Enabling individualized therapy through nanotechnology [review]. Pharmacol Res. 2010 Aug;62(2):57-89.
  54. Hu Y., Fine D. H., Tasciotti E., Bouamrani A., Ferrari M. Nanodevices in diagnostics [overview]. Wiley Interdiscip Rev [WIRES] Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2010 Mar 12 [e-pub ahead of print]. NIHMS217748; NIHMS217647; PMID 20229595; doi: 10.1002/wnan.82.



  1. Hu, Y.  Multidisciplinary Efforts Driving Translational Theranostics. Theranostics. 2014; 4(12):1209-1210.
  2. Xu, Q., Hu, Y. Circulating peptidomics: a promising approach for the diagnosis and treatment of human cancers. Clin. Lab. Inter. 2015; April. 
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 598Special Topics
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
BDE 792Research
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
BME 111Engr Perspectives/Biologic Sys
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 340Thermodynamics for BME
BME 394Special Topics
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 792Research
BDE 792Research
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
Honors / Awards: 
  • 2018 Arizona Young Investigator Award
  • 2018 NACCCA Outstanding Research Award
  • 2015, MSACL Young Investigator Award
  • 2015, Methodist Cornerstone Award
  • 2014, Kostas Cardiovascular Nanomedicine Award
  • 2013, Golfer Against Cancer Award
  • 2013, Virginia and Ernest Cockrell Junior Faculty Award
  • 2012, President Award for Transformational Excellence, Houston Methodist Research Institute
  • 2009, Scholar Development Award, UT Austin