Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Edward Chu, MD


Professor of Medicine

Professor of Pharmacology&Chemical Biology

Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology

Associate Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Associate Director, Drug Discovery Institute


Phone: 412-648-6589

Office: 5150 Centre Avenue
Fifth Floor, Room 571
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-648-6589
Fax: 412-648-6579
Administrative Assistant:
Lois Malehorn
Address: 5150 Centre Avenue, 5th floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-648-6589
Education and Training
BS, Brown University, 1980
M.M.S., Brown University, 1983
M.D., Brown University, 1983
Internship in Internal Medicine, Brown University, 1983
Residency in Internal Medicine, Brown University, 1984
Residency in Internal Medicine, Brown University, 1985
Chief Resident in Internal Medicine, Brown University, 1986
Medical Oncology Fellowship, National Cancer Institute, 1989
Research Interest
Dr. Edward Chu is involved in basic, clinical, and translational cancer research. His basic research interests have focused on characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of cellular drug resistance, especially as it relates to the fluoropyrimidine class of anticancer agents. His research group was the first to identify translational autoregulation as a novel regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes for controlling the expression of the folate-dependent enzymes, thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase. His clinical translational research efforts have focused on identifying novel drugs and treatment strategies for colorectal cancer and other GI cancers and in developing early-phase I/II clinical trials. He has a strong interest in integrating Chinese herbal medicine with standard cancer chemotherapy with the goal of enhancing clinical activity and reducing the toxicity associated with chemotherapy.
The Chu lab has been investigating the potential role of antisense and siRNA’s as novel therapeutic molecules for the treatment of colorectal cancer. The goal of these studies is to identify novel molecules to prevent and/or overcome the development of cellular drug resistance to inhibitor compounds that target thymidylate synthase, a well-established target for cancer chemotherapy. The Chu lab observed that siRNA’s were significantly more potent and specific in their ability to repress TS mRNA translation, resulting in potent inhibition of TS synthesis. Moreover, they were able to completely restore chemosensitivity to anticancer agents that target TS, including the fluoropyrimidines and TS antifolate inhibitors
Clinical Interest
Dr. Chu has been actively involved in the conduct of phase I and phase II clinical trials for GI cancers as well as other solid tumors. These early-phase clinical trials are testing standard anticancer agents as well as novel targeted therapies, and they incorporate translational pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics biomarkers. He has a broad background in cancer pharmacology, cancer drug development, and clinical investigations, with a particular focus in colorectal cancer and other GI cancers. My main research efforts have focused on the design and development of novel agents and treatment approaches for the treatment of colorectal cancer and other GI cancers, as well as in the early-phase I and II clinical development of novel small molecules for non-GI cancers as well as other solid tumors. For 14 years at the Yale Cancer Center, I served as Co-Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program. Since my recruitment to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) in September 2010, I have served as Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Therapeutics Program, Leader of the Phase I Drug Development Program, and PI of our NCI-UM1 Phase I grant. I am also the Co-PI of an NCI-P01 grant that is focused on the development of a Chinese herbal medicine, PHY906, as a modulator of irinotecan-based chemotherapy in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer
Educational Interest
Training of physician-scientists in both pre-clinical and clinical/translational science will greatly advance the field of cancer therapeutics with the eventual goal of developing novel agents and treatment regimens that can make a real difference in the lives of cancer patients. The successful treatment of human cancer requires an integrated multi- and inter-disciplinary approach. The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and the Division of Hematology-Oncology are deeply committed to developing novel cancer therapeutics that span the entire range of classic cytotoxic chemotherapy agents, targeted therapies, immunologic agents, and biologic agents. As PI of NCI training Grant, we are able to bring together an outstanding group of investigators from the Division of Hematology-Oncology and from six other departments of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the scientific expertise of the training faculy includes the entire continuum of pre-clinical, translational, and clinical cancer therapeutics research.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Lee JJ, Seraj J, Yoshida K, Mizuguchi H, Strychor S, Fiejdasz J, Faulkner T, Pollice L, Mason S, Croft M, Nugteren J, Tedder C, Sun W, Chu E, Beumer JH. Human mass balance study of TAS-102 using 14C analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry. Cancer Cehmotherapy Pharmacology. 2016; in press.
Lee JJ, Beumer JH, Chu E. Therapeutic drug monitoring of 5-fluorouracil. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. Chemotherapeutic Pharmacology. 2016; in press.
Appleman LJ, Balasubramaniam S, Parise RA, Bryla C, Redon CE, Nakamura AJ, Booner WM, Wright JJ, Piekarz R, Kohler DR, Jiang Y, Belani CP, Eiseman J, Chu E, Beumer JH, Bates SE. A phase I study of DMS612, a novel bifunctional alklyating agent. 16. 2014; 21: 721-729.
Kummar S, Copur MS, Rose M, Wadler S, Stephenson J, O'Rourke M, Breckman W, Tilton R, Liu SH, Jiang Z, Su T, Cheng YC, Chu E. A phase I study of the Chinese herbal medicine PHY906 as a modulator of irinotecan-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Clinical Colorectal Cancer. 2011; 10: 85-96.
Vater LB, Donohue JM, Arnold R, White DB, Chu E, Schenker Y. What are cancer centers advertising to the public?: a content analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014; 160: 813-820.
Wu S, Guo Z, Hopkins CD, Wei N, Wipf P, Chu E, Schmitz JC. Bis-cyclopropane analog of disorazole C1 is a microtubule-destabilizing agent active in ABCB1-overexpressing human colon cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2015; 6: 40866-79.
Wei N, Chu E, Wu SY, Wipf P, Schmitz JC. The cytotoxic effects of regorafenib in combination with protein kinase D in human colorectal cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2015; 6: 4745-4756.
Wei N, Chu E, Wipf P, Schmitz JC. Protein kinase D as a potential chemotherapeutic target for colorectal cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2014; 13: 1130-1141.
Liu H, Schmitz JC, Wei J, Cao S, Beumer JH, Strychar S, Cheng L, Liu M, Wang C, Chu E, Lin X. Clove extract inhibits tumor growth and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Oncology Research. 2014; 21: 247-259.
Schmitz JC, Chu E. Effect of small interfering RNA 3’-end overhangs on chemosensitivity to thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Silence. 2011; 21: 1-6.
Notable Achievements
Castle Connolly American's Top Doctor for Cancer, 2005-present
US News & World Report Top Doctor for Cancer, 2012-present
Chao Foundation Asian Leadership Award, 2013
UPCI Merrill J. Egorin Excellence in Scientific Leadership Award, 2014
Scott Wadler Memorial Lectureship, Visiting Proefssor, Weill Cornell Cancer Cancer, 2014
Visiting Professor, Peking University Cancer Hospital, 2014
Visiting Professor, Shanghai University Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, 2014
Fellow, American College of Physician, 2016