School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

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Zhengqing Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Educator track, full time
252.1 Lande Bldg.
550 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201
Office: 313 577 0594
Lab: 313-577-0675

Dr. Zhengqing Hu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  He received his M.D. from Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China in 1993.  From 1993 to 1999, Dr. Hu had his residency and fellowship training, together with a Ph.D. program focusing on neurotology and hearing research in HuaShan Hospital and EENT Hospital in Shanghai Medical University.  Dr. Hu became an Attending Doctor in RenJi Hospital, Shanghai Second University, Shanghai, China in 1999-2001.  He went to Karolinksa Institute, Sweden for his second Ph.D. program focusing on stem cell and cell replacement therapy for the inner ear, which was supported by the fellowships from Swedish Institute and Karolinska Institute – Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 2001-2005.  Dr. Hu attended University of Virginia for his postdoctoral training from 2005 to 2009.

Other Information

Ongoing Research Support

Zhengqing Hu - PI.  NIDCD/NIH (1R03DC011597) 09/21/2011-08/31/2015  Reconstruction of the ascending neural circuit from the spiral ganglion to the cochlear nucleus in the presence of neurotrophins    $456,000

Zhengqing Hu - PI.  NIDCD/NIH (1R01DC013275) 05/01/2014-04/30/2019  Regeneration of auditory synaptic contacts using stem cell based approaches   $1,615,000                           

Zhengqing Hu - PI.  Wayne State University Grants Plus Grant 01/01/2015-06/30/2016  Generation of functional human hair cells from inner ear progenitors via genome-wide demethylation $100,000

2011-2015 Funded Grants

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Innervation of in vitro-produced hair cell by neural progenitor-derived neurons
The Deafness Research Foundation Year 2 Research Grant.  Direct cost $22,500, indirect cost $2,500

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Regeneration of the central processes of spiral ganglion neurons using a cell-based replacement
The American Hearing Research Foundation Research Grant.  Direct cost $20,000, no indirect cost

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Innervation of In Vitro-produced Hair Cell by Neural Progenitor-derived Glutamatergic Neurons”
The Deafness Research Foundation Year 1 Research Grant.  Direct cost $22,500, indirect cost $2,500     

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Implantation of inner ear-derived neural stem cell into the adult inner ear
The American Academy of Audiology.  Direct cost $10,000, no indirect cost

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Regeneration of auditory synapses for the treatment of hearing loss in children
The Carls Endowment Trust.  Direct cost $40,000, no indirect cost

Zhengqing Hu - PI. Generation of inner ear hair cell progenitors via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

Wayne State University Grants Plus.  Direct cost $100,000, no indirect cost

Zhengqing Hu - Co-PI. A flexible cochlear implant for high-resolution functional stimulation and for tissue regeneration (PI: Cheng, Engineering)
Wayne State University Grants Plus.  Direct cost $100,000, no indirect cost

Grant Support:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Deafness Research Foundation
American Hearing Research Foundation
American Academy of Audiology
National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation
Grant Plus Program, Wayne State University
The Carls Foundation

Courses taught:

IBS7015 Interdisciplinary Molecular and Cellular Biology - Graduate course
PSL7700 Stem Cell Biology - Graduate course 
IBS7020 Cell Biology - Graduate course 
PSL7996 Arranged Research - PhD student rotation
PSL5010 Undergraduate Student Rotation 



The Hu lab explores stem cell-based biological and translational strategies to replace injured sensory cells to rescue hearing loss, one of the high-impact health problems. The lab focuses on inner ear developmental biology, stem cell biology and translational research in the inner ear. Dr. Hu uses in vitro models to understand the mechanism of proliferation and differentiation of stem cell, intracellular pathways regulating ototoxicity and cell fate determination, and the innervation of the newly-generated sensory cells. In the in vivo models, Dr. Hu investigates the survival, differentiation, migration, integration and function of the transplanted stem cell in the inner ear. The lab performs researches in cell culture, cell biology, molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, advanced microscopy, inner ear transplantation, and functional evaluation of the hearing. The long term aim of the lab is to establish a new Biological-EAR model, which will provide a new treatment option for hearing loss patients in the future.

Selected Publications

(last five years)

Zhou Y, Hu Z. 2016.  Epigenetic DNS Demethylation Causes Inner Ear Stem Cell Differentiation into Hair Cell-like Cells.  Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 10. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2016.00185.

Li X, Aleardi A,  Wang J, Zhou Y, Andrade R, Hu Z. 2016.  Differentiation of Spiral Ganglion-Derived Neural Stem Cells into Functional Synaptogenetic Neurons.  Stem Cells Dev, 25: 803-813. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2015.0345.

Zhou Y, Hu Z. 2015. Genome-wide demethylation by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine alters the cell fate of stem/progenitor cells. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. 11: 87-95. PMID: 25096638

Hu Z, Wang J. 2014. Histone deacetylase inhibitor induces the expression of select epithelial genes in mouse utricle sensory epithelia-derived progenitor cells. Cellular Reprogramming 16:266-275. PMID: 24945595.

Hu Z, B. Zhang, Luo X, Zhang L, Wang J, Bojrab D II * and Jiang H. 2014. The Astroglial Reaction along the Mouse Cochlear Nerve following Inner Ear Damage. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 150: 121-125.

Wang J, Zhang B, Jiang H, Zhang L, Liu D, Xiao X, Ma H, Luo X, Bojrab D II *, Hu Z.  2013. Myelination of the postnatal mouse cochlear nerve at the peripheral-central nervous system transitional zone. Front Pediatr. 1: 43.

Hu Z. 2013. Formation of the Peripheral-Central Transitional Zone in the Postnatal Mouse Cochlear Nerve. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg,  149: 296-300.

Hu Z, Luo X, Zhang L, Lu F, Dong F, Monsell E, Jiang H. 2012. Generation of human inner ear prosensory-like cells via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Regen Med 7:663-673

Zhang L, Hu Z. 2012. Sensory Epithelial Cells Acquire Features of Prosensory Cells Via Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition. Stem Cells Dev, 21:1812-1821

Zhang L, Jiang H, Hu Z. 2011. Concentration-dependent effect of NGF on cell fate determination of neural progenitor. Stem cells Dev, 20:1723-1731

Book Chapters

Hui Jiang, Xiaodong Sun, Lei Zhang, Mats Ulfendahl, Zhengqing Hu. A  cell replacement therapy for sensory system, in "Usher syndrome: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapy"