Developmental Therapeutics

Zhiwei Hu MD, PhD

Research Scientist

Biographical Info

Dr. Zhiwei Hu is a Research Scientist (Research Associate Professor) in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Hu received his M.D. and Dental degree with honors from Jiangxi Medical College, Nanchang, China in 1991 and his Master’s degree in Tumor Immunology from the same institution in 1994. In 1997 he received his Ph.D. degree in Tumor Immunobiology from Hunan Medical University, which was originally founded as Hsiang-ya Medical College in 1910’s by Yale missionaries known as Yale-China Association. During 1997-1999, he held an assistant professor and lecturer position at The Cancer Research Institute of Hunan Medical University. From 1998-2000 he was a postdoctoral associate at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (MB&B) of Yale School of Medicine, where he co-invented a neovascular- and cancer cell-targeted immunoconjugate, later called an Icon. In 2000 he was promoted to research faculty as Associate Research Scientist in the Yale Dept. MB&B, and then to Research Scientist in 2002. In October 2007 Hu lab moved to the Yale Dept. of Ob/Gyn.

Dr. Hu is one of first few scientists who proposed to target both the tumor cells and tumor neovasculature for development of novel dual neovascular- and cancer cell-targeted therapy for cancer. The Icon that Dr. Hu co-invented has been tested for immunotherapy of cancer, macular degeneration and endometriosis in preclinical studies as well as in Phase I clinical trial (for macular degeneration patients). Recently his laboratory developed another targeted therapeutics, namely factor VII (fVII)-targeted photodynamic therapy (PDT) using fVII peptides-conjugated photosensitizer verteporfin or Sn (IV) chlorin e6 for cancer (including chemoresistant breast cancer) and macular degeneration. As co-inventor Dr. Hu holds 4 US patents of Icon and its uses. Currently his laboratory is focusing on further elucidating the mechanisms of action and improving the efficacy of fVII-targeted immunotherapy and PDT for human cancers. His laboratory is also studying tumor angiogenesis, natural killer cells and cancer stem cells and their interaction in tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Hu is member of the Yale Cancer Center, American Association for Cancer Research, and The American Association of Immunologists. He is an Adjunct Professor of Sichuan University School of Medicine and Nanchang University School of Medicine in China, and a Scientific Advisor for Iconic Therapeutics Inc, a Yale startup biotech company in Atlanta, GA. In 2011 he was elected as Vice President of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology in Connecticut (CAST-CT). Dr. Hu is a peer reviewer for numerous scientific journals in immunology, photodynamic therapy and cancer research and serves as an editor or editorial (review)/board member of The Journal of Immune Based Therapies, Vaccines and Antimicrobials, The Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques, The Journal of Solid Tumors and Open Journal of Immunology. Starting February 2012, Dr. Hu serves as Editor-in-Chief ofThe Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques.

International Activity

  • Tissue factor-targeted photodynamic therapy for dual-targeting of tumor cells and tumor neovasculature
    Tsukuba, Japan (2012 - 2012)
    Invited Special Lecture at The 22th Annual Meeting of the Japan Photodynamic Association
  • Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer
    Doha, Qatar (2012)
    Grant review

Education & Training

Jiangxi Medical College (1991)
Jiangxi Medical College (1991)
Jiangxi Medical College (1994)
Hunan Medical University (1997)
Hunan Medical University (1997)
Postdoctoral associate
Yale University, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (1998 - 2000)

Honors & Recognition

  • Susan G. Komen Award
    The Susan G. Komen for The Cure, Texas, USA (2006-2008)
  • The C. G. Swebilius/Yale Cancer Center Translational Cancer Research Award
    The C. G. Swebilius Foundation/Yale Cancer Center (2002)
  • The C. G. Swebilius/Yale Cancer Center Translational Cancer Research Award
    The C. G. Swebilius Foundation/Yale Cancer Center (2003)

Professional Service

  • Editorial Review Board Member, The Journal of Solid Tumors (09/01/2011)
  • Co-editor of the special issue on Photodynamic Therapy-Cancer, The Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques (08/30/2011)
  • Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer, Qatar National Research Fund, Doha, State of Qatar (08/09/2012)
  • Editorial Board Member, The Open Journal of Immunology (06/01/2012)
  • Editorial Board Member, Advances in Breast Cancer Research (05/01/2012)
  • Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer, The Pennsylvania Department of Health (04/04/2012)
  • Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques (04/01/2010 - 01/30/2012)
  • Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Immune Based Therapies, Vaccines and Antimicrobials (03/01/2012)
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques (02/01/2012)

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