Edward Chu, MD, MMS

Edward  Chu

Dr. Edward Chu is director of the Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center (MECC), vice president of cancer medicine, Carol and Roger Einiger Professor of Cancer Medicine, and professor of Oncology, Medicine, and Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. One of the oldest National Cancer Instituted (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers in the U.S., the Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center is now in its 52nd year of NCI designation. Of note, Dr. Chu led the recent successful renewal and designation as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Chu has had a distinguished career as a physician-scientist, clinical investigator, educator/mentor, and senior leader at NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. in 1990, chu began his academic career at the nci, being appointed as senior staff fellow (1990-1992) and then senior clinical investigator (1993), receiving tenure in 1994. In 1996, he was recruited to the Yale Cancer Center (YCC) as a tenured associate professor of medicine and pharmacology and co-leader of the YCC Cancer Therapeutics Program. From 2004-2010, he held increasing leadership appointments at YCC, including chief of medical oncology, associate director of clinical/translational research and, subsequently, deputy director. In 2010, he was recruited to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (HCC) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as HCC deputy director, chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology, co-leader of the HCC Cancer Therapeutics Program, and leader of the HCC Phase I Program. In October 1, 2020, he was recruited to Montefiore Einstein as the MECC director and vice president of cancer medicine.

His basic research interests have focused on investigating the determinants of sensitivity and resistance to the antimetabolites, and he is considered one of the leading experts in the fluoropyrimidine field. His laboratory was the first to show that the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS), a key target for cancer chemotherapy, was controlled by a translational autoregulatory mechanism, and that in addition to its catalytic function, TS also functions as an RNA binding protein and binds to its own cognate TS mRNA.  His research group made the seminal discovery of translational autoregulation as a novel regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes for controlling the expression of the folate-dependent enzymes, thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase. More recently, his research lab has focused on identifying and developing Chinese herbal medicines as novel treatments for colorectal cancer and other GI cancers.

His clinical focus has been in the treatment of colorectal and GI cancers. His clinical and translational research efforts have focused on identifying novel drugs and combination regimens for colorectal cancer and other GI cancers. In particular, he has focused on developing early-phase I/II clinical trials that span classic cytotoxic agents, targeted agents, and immunotherapies. He has also had a very strong interest in integrating Chinese herbal medicine with standard cancer chemotherapy with the goal of enhancing clinical activity and reducing the toxicity associated with chemotherapy, and he was the Co-PI of an NCI-funded P01 grant that investigated the effects of a Chinese herbal medicine as a modulator of irinotecan-based chemotherapy. 

Dr. Chu has been funded by the NCI since 1997, serving as the PI of several R01 grants, two VA Merit Review grants, Co-PI of a P01 grant, PI of one U01, and PI of one UM1 ETCTN grant. While at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, he was the founding PI of the NCI-funded T32 Training Program in Cancer Therapeutics.

He is a member of several professional and scientific associations including American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society of Medical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and American College of Physicians (ACP), and he is a fellow of AAAS and ACP. 

At the national level, Dr. Chu has extensive experience as an NCI study section and NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) reviewer. He has served on several NCI review committees, including the NCI Experimental Therapeutics I Study Section (1996- 2000; Chair, 1997-2000), NCI Experimental Therapeutics I/II Study Section Special Emphasis Panel (Chair, 1997-2000), NCI Experimental Therapeutics Committee (2012-present), NCI Subcommittee F (2016-2020), and NCI Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee (2021-present). He served on NCI Subcommittee A for five years (Parent Committee, 2008-2013) and chaired the committee from 2011-2013. Moreover, since coming off the Parent Committee, he has continued to serve as chair of multiple NCI CCSG site visit reviews. 

Over the past 20 years, he has served on the external advisory boards (EABs) of 16 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and currently serves as a member of 12 EABs, including Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute, Yale Cancer Center, Dartmouth Cancer Center, Case Western Seidman Cancer Center, Duke Cancer Institute, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, UK Markey Cancer Center, the University of Arizona Cancer Center, and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center/Bowman Gray. He serves as chair of four EABs: the University of Arizona Cancer Center, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center.