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Jim Hu

Title: Senior Scientist, Translational Medicine
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-8412
Alternate Contact Name: Sara Chowns
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5130
Alternate Email: Sara Chowns
U of T Positions: Full Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology



Dr. Hu is a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Scientist in the Translational Medicine research program at SickKids Research Institute. He is well trained in the area of gene regulation at both the levels of gene transcription and RNA splicing and has a long-standing interest in developing therapeutic strategies for cystic fibrosis.

He made major contributions to CF lung gene therapy through designing and producing novel helper-dependent adenoviral vectors for airway CFTR expression as well as developing efficient delivery methods for lung gene delivery in large animal models. The viral vectors developed by his group have major advantages for CF gene replacement therapy as well as gene editing, such as high efficiency in airway transduction, large DNA carrying capacity and low toxicity.

Dr. Hu also has extensive experience in obtaining and managing research grants as well as in training post doctoral fellows and graduate students and collaborates locally, nationally and internationally with scientists around the world. He has been a highly productive investigator in the CF gene therapy field. Dr. Hu's major research goal is to develop novel gene therapy approaches to permanently correct genetic airway diseases through gene editing or gene integration in airway stem cells.


  • 19781982: B.Sc., Microbiology, Beijing Agricultural University, Beijing, China. 
  • 19821984: PhD, Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.
  • 19841990: PhD, Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. 
  • 19901995: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.  


  • 1991: MRC Postdoctoral Fellow of Canada
  • 19982000: Power of Dreams Research Award, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • 20002005: Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Scholarship
  • 20042007: Premier’s Research Excellence Award of Ontario
  • 20052006: Zellers Senior Scientist Award of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


  1. Jiang M, Fang Y, Li Y, Huang H, Wei Z, Gao X, Sung H-K, Hu J, Ruan QJ, Chen Q, Jiang D, Whitsett JA and J Que (2021). VEGF receptor 2 (KDR) protects airways from mucous metaplasia through a Sox9 dependent pathway. Developmental Cell. PMID:34010630
  2. Cao H, Ouyang H, Laselva O, Bartlett C, Zhou ZP*, Duan R, Gunawardena T, Avolio J. Bear CE, Gonska T, Hu J, and Moraes TJ. (2020). A helper dependent adenoviral vector rescues CFTR to wild type functional levels in CF epithelial cells harbouring class I mutations. European Respiratory Journal. 56(5): PMID: 32457197.
  3. Zhou Z*, Yang L*, Cao H, Chen Z*, Zhang Y*, Wen XY and Hu J. (2019). In vitro validation of a CRISPR-mediated CFTR correction strategy for preclinical translation in pigs. Hum Gene Ther. 30(9):1101-1116
  4. Xia E*, Duan R, Shi F*, Seigel KE*, Grasemann H, and Hu J. (2018). Overcoming the Undesirable CRISPR-Cas9 Expression in Gene Correction. Mol. Ther. Nucleic Acids. 13:699-709
  5. Cao H**, Ouyang H, Grasemann H, Bartlett C, Du K, Duan R, Shi F*, Estrada M, Seigel KE*, Coates AL, Yeger H, Bear CE, Gonska T, Moraes TJ, and Hu J. (2018). Transducing airway basal cells with a helper-dependent adenoviral vector for lung gene therapy. Hum Gene Ther. 29(6):643-652


  • 20202022: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    Development of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19
    Jun Liu (PI), Jim Hu
  • 20182023: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    Targeting airway cells for gene-editing to correct genetic diseases
  • 20182021: Cystic Fibrosis Canada
    Enhancing the efficiency of CRISPR-mediated gene correction for cystic fibrosis therapy
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