Dr Thomas Tu’s research is focused on the Hepatitis B virus – an incurable disease that infects 300 million people, killing 887,000 annually through liver cancer and cirrhosis. He is particularly passionate about understanding the virus as he himself lives with chronic Hepatitis B.
Dr. Tu has been involved in liver cancer and Hepatitis B virus research for his entire scientific career. He is now considered the world-leader in the sensitive and specific detection of Hepatitis B virus forms (down to single copies). He currently leads a research group at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in the Storr Liver Centre (2019-present). Here, he links molecular biology expertise with cell culture models and patient samples from the adjoining Westmead Hospital to answer clinically-relevant aspects of Hepatitis B pathogenesis. The two arms of Dr. Tu’s research program are: i) to develop a cure for chronic HBV infection; and ii) understand how it causes cancer.
Given his personal understanding of what it means to be infected, Dr. Tu is committed to research that is directed towards translatable, effective, and practical outcomes to the affected community. He believes that it is not enough that research be published; it must have an impact on society. He has started and runs an online global forum to support people with Hepatitis B (www.HepBcommunity.org) and to communicate the latest virology research directly to those affected.