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2018 Sontag Award Recipient

"The Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award supports my work defining ion channel functions in brain cancer. We believe this work will lead to the development of novel therapeutics for patients."

About DSA-Funded Research

The Hu Lab studies physical properties and mechano-electrical-chemical signaling in cancer. While extensive research has informed genetics and biochemical mechanisms in tumorigenesis, how mechanical and electrical signaling regulate cancer is less defined. Ion channels govern cell behaviors by perceiving physicochemical cues (mechanical force, membrane voltage, temperature, pH etc.) to control ion flux across membranes. Using multi-disciplinary approaches in bioinformatics, Drosophila and mouse genetics, xenograft modeling, advanced imaging, electrophysiology, and bioengineering, they discover disease mechanisms and therapeutic vulnerabilities at the interface of cancer biology, neuroscience, and mechanobiology.

Current Appointment(s)
  • Canada Research Chair; Cancer Biophysics
  • Senior Scientist; Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Senior Scientist; Arthur & Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Assistant Professor; Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
  • Xiamen University, B.S., Biological Sciences
  • Vanderbilt University, Ph.D., Developmental Biology
  • University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral fellowship, Ion channel physiology and Cancer Biology