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Tianfu Wu, PhD

Assistant Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Wu earned his Ph.D. in Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. He became an assistant affiliated member of Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2014. Dr. Wu is an assistant Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. Dr. Wu is an editorial member of the Journal of Data Mining in Genomics & Proteomics.

Description of Research

During the past years, Dr. Wu's research has primarily focused on biomarker discovery, disease mechanism and therapeutic intervention of autoimmune lupus. Lupus is a genetically complex autoimmune disease, where autoreactive B cells and T cells are hyperproliferative and hyperactive. Subsequently, high titers of autoantibodies are produced to form immune complex, and proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules are produced to form an environment of inflammation to promote end-organ damage, such as kidney damage. Lupus nephritis and related kidney diseases have become a considerable socioeconomic burden; however, there is no cure for these diseases. Apparently, there is an urgent need for the diagnosis and therapeutic intervention for these diseases. Research goals are:

-To discover early biomarker and non-invasive biomarkers of lupus nephritis
-To uncover signaling pathways that might be directly involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory lupus
-To identify metabolic pathways associated with inflammatory kidney diseases

Areas Of Expertise

Inflammation Autoimmune Metabolomic analysis Proteomics
Education & Training

, Chinese Academy of Sciences
, Institut Pasteur Paris
, Max-Planck Institute of Bioinorganic Chemistry, Mulheim
, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Immunosensors for Biomarker Detection in Autoimmune Diseases
Zhang, X, Zambrano, A, Lin, ZT, Xing, Y, Rippy, J & Wu, T 2016, Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, pp. 1-11. DOI:

Heightened cleavage of Axl receptor tyrosine kinase by ADAM metalloproteases may contribute to disease pathogenesis in SLE
Orme, JJ, Du, Y, Vanarsa, K, Mayeux, J, Li, L, Mutwally, A, Arriens, C, Min, S, Hutcheson, J, Davis, LS, Chong, BF, Satterthwaite, AB, Wu, T & Mohan, C 2016, Clinical Immunology, vol 169, pp. 58-68. DOI:

Leukocyte beta-catenin expression is disturbed in systemic lupus erythematosus
Orme, JJ, Du, Y, Vanarsa, K, Wu, T, Satterthwaite, AB & Mohan, C 2016, PLoS ONE, vol 11, no. 8, e0161682. DOI:

A Hydrogel-Based Hybrid Theranostic Contact Lens for Fungal Keratitis
Huang, JF, Zhong, J, Chen, GP, Lin, ZT, Deng, Y, Liu, YL, Cao, PY, Wang, B, Wei, Y, Wu, T, Yuan, J & Jiang, GB 2016, ACS Nano, vol 10, no. 7, pp. 6464-6473. DOI:

Identification of apoptosis and macrophage migration events in paraquat-induced oxidative stress using a zebrafish model
Wang, Q, Liu, S, Hu, D, Wang, Z, Wang, L, Wu, T, Wu, Z, Mohan, C & Peng, A 2016, Life Sciences, vol 157, pp. 116-124. DOI:

Antibody-Array-Based Proteomic Screening of Serum Markers in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Discovery Study
Wu, T, Ding, H, Han, J, Arriens, C, Wei, C, Han, W, Pedroza, C, Jiang, S, Anolik, J, Petri, M, Sanz, I, Saxena, R & Mohan, C 2016, Journal of Proteome Research, vol 15, no. 7, pp. 2102-2114. DOI:

Protein arrays for biomarker discovery in lupus
Hinchliffe, TE, Lin, ZT & Wu, T 2016, Proteomics - Clinical Applications, vol 10, no. 6, pp. 625-634. DOI:

Hyperamylasemia as an early predictor of mortality in patients with acute paraquat poisoning
Liu, S, Wang, Q, Zhou, R, Li, C, Hu, D, Xue, W, Wu, T, Mohan, C & Peng, A 2016, Medical Science Monitor, vol 22, pp. 1342-1348. DOI:

Blockade of CD354 (TREM-1) Ameliorates Anti-GBM-Induced Nephritis
du, Y, Wu, T, Zhou, XJ, Davis, LS & Mohan, C 2016, Inflammation, pp. 1-8. DOI:

Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 as a novel biomarker for disease activity and renal pathology changes in lupus nephritis
Ding, H, Kharboutli, M, Saxena, R & Wu, T 2016, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, vol 184, no. 1, pp. 11-18. DOI:

Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-4 as a marker of chronic lupus nephritis
Wu, T, Xie, C, Han, J, Ye, Y, Singh, S, Zhou, J, Li, Y, Ding, H, Li, QZ, Zhou, X, Putterman, C, Saxena, R & Mohan, C 2016, PLoS ONE, vol 11, no. 3, e0151491. DOI:

Ornithine is a key mediator in hyperphosphatemia-mediated human umbilical vein endothelial cell apoptosis: Insights gained from metabolomics
Zhou, R, Kang, X, Tang, B, Mohan, C, Wu, T, Peng, A & Liu, JY 2016, Life Sciences, vol 146, pp. 73-80. DOI:

Diagnostic value of quantitative contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for early detection of renal hyperperfusion in diabetic kidney disease
Wang, L, Wu, J, Cheng, JF, Liu, XY, Ma, F, Guo, LH, Xu, JM, Wu, T, Mohan, C, Peng, A, Xu, HX & Song, YX 2015, Journal of Nephrology, vol 28, no. 6, pp. 669-678. DOI:

Paraquat Poisoning Followed by Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: A Report of Two Cases and Published Work Review
Xu, W, Wang, L, Wang, Q, Li, XH, Hu, D, Li, C, Wu, T, Mohan, C, Peng, A & Shi, Y 2015, Dermatology, vol 231, pp. 209-212. DOI:

Biomarkers of An Autoimmune Skin Disease-Psoriasis
Jiang, S, Hinchliffe, TE & Wu, T 2015, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics, vol 13, no. 4, 162, pp. 224-233. DOI:

Pneumomediastinum predicts early mortality in acute paraquat poisoning
Zhou, CY, Kang, X, Li, CB, Li, XH, Liu, Y, Wang, Z, Wang, L, Wu, T, Mohan, C, Hu, DY & Peng, A 2015, Clinical Toxicology, vol 53, no. 6, pp. 551-556. DOI:

Extracellular regulated protein kinases play a key role via bone morphogenetic protein 4 in high phosphate-induced endothelial cell apoptosis
Qin, L, Tang, B, Deng, B, Mohan, C, Wu, T & Peng, A 2015, Life Sciences, vol 131, pp. 37-43. DOI:

The volume ratio of ground glass opacity in early lung ct predicts mortality in acute paraquat poisoning
Kang, X, Hu, DY, Li, CB, Li, XH, Fan, SL, Liu, Y, Tang, GY, Ai, ZS, Wu, T, Mohan, C, Zhou, XJ, Liu, JY & Peng, A 2015, PLoS ONE, vol 10, no. 4, e0121691. DOI:

Resistin as a potential marker of renal disease in lupus nephritis
Hutcheson, J, Ye, Y, Han, J, Arriens, C, Saxena, R, Li, QZ, Mohan, C & Wu, T 2015, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, vol 179, no. 3, pp. 435-443. DOI:

PSTK is a novel gene associated with early lung injury in Paraquat Poisoning
Zheng, D, Li, C, Wang, S, Cang, Y, Song, Y, Liu, X, Li, X, Mohan, C, Wu, T, Hu, D & Peng, A 2015, Life Sciences, vol 123, pp. 9-17. DOI: