Patrick J. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
- A.B. in Biology, Harvard University, 1985
- M.D./Ph.D., New York University School of Medicine, 1995
- Residency in Internal Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1995-8
- Fellowship in Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Harvard Medical School, 1998-2001
- Postdoctoral research, laboratory of Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 1999-2005
As a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the New York University School of Medicine, Patrick Hu studied mechanisms of growth factor receptor signaling in the laboratory of Joseph Schlessinger. His dissertation research involved the cloning and characterization of a human phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) involved in transducing signals from the platelet-derived growth factor receptor. Although the mechanisms of PI 3-kinase function had not been elucidated prior to that time, multiple lines of evidence suggested a strong link between PI 3-kinase activation and mitogenesis induced by growth factors and viral oncoproteins.
Together with his tenure in the Schlessinger lab, Hu's experience with cancer patients during his clinical rotations convinced him to pursue a career in oncology as a physician-scientist. "It became clear to me after a very short period of time in the clinic that patients with advanced cancer frequently do not have effective treatment options. I wanted to help change that."
After completing his studies at NYU, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Hu did a residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. There he pursued a unique opportunity to go from bedside to bench, spending time in the laboratory of endocrinologist Michael Levine to sequence the Gsα gene of a patient with McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS). "His clinical presentation was somewhat different from what is typically observed with MAS, so I was interested in finding out whether he may have had a new Gsα mutation." This experience solidified Hu's desire to pursue both clinical training and basic research.
Following residency, Hu completed a fellowship in adult oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. Returning to the bench, he was eager to continue his studies on PI 3-kinase and signal transduction. However, he also hoped to supplement his biochemistry expertise with training in genetics. Fortuitously, Gary Ruvkun's laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital had recently reported the discovery of a PI 3-kinase that regulates development, metabolism, and longevity in C. elegans. Hu did postdoctoral research in the Ruvkun lab, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Physicians and a K08 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. While at the Ruvkun lab he performed a genetic analysis of Akt/PKB signaling in C. elegans, identifying 7 novel components of insulin-like growth factor signaling. He also collaborated with Muneesh Tewari in Marc Vidal's laboratory at Dana-Farber on a functional genomic analysis of C. elegans TGF-β signaling.
Hu came to the University of Michigan and the Life Sciences Institute in July 2005. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Adult Oncology.