After obtaining his MD and PhD degrees, Dr. Zu attended the University of Connecticut Health Center as a postdoctoral fellow and later remained there as an assistant professor. He then spent four years in pathology residency training at New York University, followed by a two-year hematopathology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zu joined the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital in 2004, where he currently serves as the Medical Director of the Hematopathology Section. He is also Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Zu is also the Director of the Cancer Pathology research laboratory at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. These combined positions enable him to address clinically-driven questions. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Zu has pioneered the translation of the oligonucleotide aptamers and nanotechnology into clinical applications, and his research is currently funded by multiple NIH and CPRIT grants.
Dr. Zu's clinical interests include diagnosis of hematopoietic and lymphoid disorders. His research centers on the development of novel diagnostics and treatments for these disorders. His laboratory was the first to use aptamer probes to enhance the diagnostic capabilities of multi-color flow cytometry amd immunohistochemical staining, and for rapid detection of circulating tumor cells in whole blood samples. By combining nanotechnology with aptamer technology, Dr. Zu's laboratory is also developing new multi-functional nanomedicine for specific tumor imaging and targeted therapy of several cancer types, including lymphomas, multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and hepatocellular (liver) carcinoma. Other directions of his laboratory include studies on the role of cancer stem cells in the development of multiple myeloma and elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the myelodysplastic syndrome.