Baoli Hu, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Director, Brain Tumor Evolution & Therapy Lab

Baoli Hu, PhD, joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in July of 2017.

Dr. Hu received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China in 2001. He earned his PhD degree in microbiology from Wuhan University in Wuhan, China in 2004 and completed his postdoctoral training in molecular oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla. in 2007.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Hu was a senior research scientist in the Department of Genomic Medicine and Cancer Biology at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2011-17, working in the lab of Ronald DePinho, MD. From 2007-11 he worked with Dr. DePinho as a research scientist in the Department of Medical Oncology and Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Hu’s research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of brain tumors evolution, including tumor progression and recurrence after the treatment; and developing new strategies for the treatment of these devastating diseases.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Oncobiology of glioma and medulloblastoma; cancer stem cells; functional cancer genomics; mechanisms of tumor initiation, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence; translational research in drugable targets and biomarkers discovery.

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Professional Organization Membership

American Association for Cancer Research
Society for Neuro-Oncology
Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC)

Education & Training

  • BS, Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, 1998
  • MS, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Northwest A&F University, 2001
  • PhD, Microbiology, Wuhan University, 2004
  • Fellow, Molecular Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 2007

Honors & Awards

  • Richard King Mellon Scholar, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • UPMC Competitive Medical Research Fund Award, 2018
  • B*CURED Brain Cancer Research Investigator Award, 2018
  • Caroline Ross Endowed Fellowship Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2017

Selected Publications

Wang Q, Hu B, Hu X, Kim H, Squatrito M, Scarpace L, deCarvalho AC, Lyu S, Li P, Li Y, Barthel F, Cho HJ, Lin YH, Satani N, Martinez-Ledesma E, Zheng S, Chang E, Sauvé CG, Olar A, Lan ZD, Finocchiaro G, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Gabrusiewicz KR, Wang G, Eskilsson E, Hu J, Mikkelsen T, DePinho RA, Muller F, Heimberger AB, Sulman EP, Nam DH, Verhaak RGW. Tumor Evolution of Glioma-Intrinsic Gene Expression Subtypes Associates with Immunological Changes in the Microenvironment. Cancer Cell, 10;32(1):42-56, 2017.

Ong DST, Hu B, Ho YW, Sauve, GC, Bristow CA, Wang Q, Multani SA, Chen P, Nezi L, Jiang S, Gorman CE, Monasterio, MM, Koul D, Marchesini M, Colla S, Jin EJ, Sulman EP, Lang FF, Spring DJ, Yung AW, Verhaak RGW, Chin L, Wang YA, and DePinho RA. PAF promotes stemness and radioresistance of glioma stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 114 (43) E9086-9095, 2017.

Shingu T, Ho A, Yuan L, Zhou X, Dai C, Zheng S, Wang Q, Zhong Y, Chang, Q, Horner J, Liebelt BD, Yao Y, Hu B, Chen Y, Fuller GN, Verhaak RGW, Heimberger AM, Hu J. QKI deficiency maintains stemness of glioma stem cells in suboptimal environment by downregulating endolysosomal degradation. Nature Genetics, 49(1):75-86, 2017.

Hu B, Wang Q, Wang YA, Hua S, Sauve, GC, Ong DS, Zheng, DL, Chang Q, Ho YW, Monasterio, MM, Lu X, Zhong Y, Zhang J, Deng P, Tan Z, Wang G, Liao, W, Corley LJ, Yan H, Zhang J, You, Y, Liu N, Cai L, Finocchiaro G, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Spring DJ, Hu J, Sulman EP, Fuller GN, Chin L, Verhaak RGW, DePinho RA. Epigenetic activation of WNT5A drives glioblastoma stem cell differentiation and invasive growth. Cell, 167 (5):1281-1295, 2016.

Muller FL, Colla S, Aquilanti E, Manzo VE, Genovese G, Lee J, Eisenson D, Narurkar R, Deng P, Nezi L, Lee MA, Hu B, Hu J, Sahin E, Ong D, Fletcher-Sananikone E, Ho D, Kwong L, Brennan C, Wang YA, Chin L, DePinho RA. Passenger deletions generate therapeutic vulnerabilities in cancer. Nature, 488(7411):337-42, 2012.

Chen AJ, Paik JH, Zhang H, Shukla SA, Mortensen R, Hu J, Ying H, Hu B, Hurt J, Farny N, Dong C, Xiao Y, Wang YA, Silver PA, Chin L, Vasudevan S, Depinho RA. STAR RNA-binding protein Quaking suppresses cancer via stabilization of specific miRNA. Genes Dev, 26(13):1459-72, 2012.

Hu J, Ho AL, Yuan L, Hu B, Hua S, Hwang SS, Zhang J, Hu T, Zheng H, Gan B, Wu G, Wang YA, Chin L, DePinho RA. From the Cover: Neutralization of terminal differentiation in gliomagenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 110(36):14520-7, 2013.

Hu B, Gilkes DM, Chen J. Efficient p53 activation and apoptosis by simultaneous disruption of binding to MDM2 and MDMX. Cancer Res, 67(18):8810-7, 2007.

Hu B, Gilkes DM, Farooqi B, Sebti SM, Chen J. MDMX overexpression prevents p53 activation by the MDM2 inhibitor Nutlin. J Biol Chem. 2006 281(44):33030-5.

Hu B, Zhu H, Qiu S, Su Y, Ling W, Xiao W, Qi Y. Enhanced TRAIL sensitivity by E1A expression in human cancer and normal cell lines: inhibition by adenovirus E1B19K and E3 proteins. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 325(4):1153-62, 2004.

A complete list of Dr. Hu's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database. 

Research Activities

Over the past year, the research efforts in the Brain Tumor Evolution Therapy Lab have mainly focused on the completion of two projects which include 1) understanding molecule mechanisms of the immune-suppressive microenvironment, and 2) studying metastatic dissemination of medulloblastoma. The results in these projects have been generated for research grants application and paper publications. Specifically, one research proposal was funded by the Walter L. Copeland Foundation, one research article was accepted for publication, and one United States patent application was filed. In addition, one manuscript is under preparation for submission. Lab members have presented results in four local virtual meetings, including the 2021 Cancer Biology Program Virtual Retreat at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and the Mellon Scholar Seminar at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. There were three undergraduate students and one medical student who have been mentored and trained.  Furthermore, along with other faculty members in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh brain tumor tissue bank has continued to grow and expand.