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New investigator: Guoku Hu, Ph.D.

Image with caption: Guoku Hu, Ph.D.

Guoku Hu, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2018 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist, Research Leadership and New Investigator Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Guoku Hu, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
  • Joined UNMC: 2010
  • Hometown: Shenyang, China

Research focus:
Substance use disorders

The goal of my research is: To explore the effects of noncoding RNAs, including lncRNA and miRNA, and their dysregulation during neuropathogenesis associated with drugs, such as morphine and cocaine. I also am interested in establishing extracellular vesicle (EV)-based methodology of RNA drug delivery for the treatment of central nervous system complications associated with drug abuse. My ultimate goal is to elucidate the functional aspects of EVs and ncRNAs in drug addiction and also to identify novel therapeutic strategies that could enhance neuronal function and survival in patients afflicted with these disorders.

My research will make a difference because: It will set a foundation for developing novel therapeutic strategies to alleviate the scourge of addiction, for which currently there is no treatment.

The best advice I've ever been given is: Never give up.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I had two dogs when I was a kid.
  • I have two kids with no dogs.
  • My wife joined UNMC much earlier than me.

Ceremony March 5

A campus ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. March 5 in the Durham Research Center Auditorium to recognize the scientist laureate, research leadership awardee, distinguished scientists and new investigators, as well as the winners of the Community Service to Research Award. A reception will follow.

Honorees include:
Scientist Laureate

  • Robert Lewis, Ph.D., Eppley Institute

Research Leadership

  • Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D., College of Public Health

Distinguished Scientists

  • David Dzewaltowski, Ph.D., College of Public Health
  • Corinne Hanson, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
  • Javeed Iqbal, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Pete Iwen, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Donald Klepser, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
  • Max Kurz, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Yulong Li, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Matthew Lunning, D.O., College of Medicine
  • Scot Ouellette, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Tony Wilson, Ph.D., College of Medicine

New Investigators

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