Tony Hu

Tony Hu

Associate Professor, Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics


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 50 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 40 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.