Dr. Hu’s research has focused on diet/lifestyle, metabolic, and genetic determinants of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). He is the Principal Investigator of the diabetes component of the Nurses’ Health Study. He also leads two NIH-funded projects to study Mediterranean dietary interventions, plasma metabolites, and risk of diabetes and CVD in the PREDIMED trial. Dr. Hu’s group has conducted detailed analyses of many dietary and lifestyle factors and risk of diabetes and CVD, including sugar-sweetened beverages, coffee, red meat, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, iron, and dietary patterns. These findings have contributed to current public health recommendations and policies for prevention of chronic diseases. Dr. Hu’s group has also identified novel biomarkers (e.g., adipokines and nutrient metabolites) and gene-environment interactions in relation to risk of obesity and diabetes by integrating cutting-edge omics technologies into epidemiological studies (Systems Epidemiology approach). In addition, Dr. Hu has been collaborating with researchers from China to study nutrition transition, metabolic phenotypes, and cardiovascular disease in Chinese populations.
Dr. Hu served on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA/HHS. He is currently on the editorial board of Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Diabetes Care, and Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Hu was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the IOM) in 2015.