After obtaining his MD and PhD, 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 a 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 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 and immunohistochemical staining for rapid detection of circulating tumor cells in whole-blood samples. By combining nanotechnology with aptamer technology, Dr. Zu's laboratory is developing new multi-functional nanomedicines for tumor-specific 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 areas of interest in his laboratory include the role of cancer stem cells in the development of multiple myeloma and the molecular mechanisms underlying myelodysplastic syndrome.