About Us

Qiuhua (Rachel) Hu

Qiuhua (Rachel) Hu


  • Research Associate, APCRC-Q (Adipokines, Cancer Plasticity)
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7281


MSc in Biomedical Engineering, University of Dundee: Dundee, Scotland, GB, 2012-2013

Bachelor of Engineering, Hons (Excellent): Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology: Shanghai, China, 2012

Bachelor of Engineering, Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology: Shanghai, China, 2008-2012


Mrs Qiuhua (Rachel) Hu is a research associate at the APCRC-Q. Throughout her studies, Mrs Hu honed her keen interest in biomedical engineering and built a strong biological, engineering, and preclinical skillset ranging from extracting compounds from Chinese medicine to visualising therapeutic resistance to cancer treatments.

Mrs Hu completed her Honours degree under the supervision of Prof Yaling Shen and Dr Xiaoyan Gong in the Key Laboratory of Bio-separation Engineering, China, investigating the feasibility and recovery rate of artemisinin extraction. Mrs Hu then completed her Master’s degree at the Institute for Medical Science and Technology, UK, under the supervision of Dr Christine Démoré, where she gained extensive hands-on research experience in ultrasound imaging. Here Mrs Hu investigated the feasibility and application of high frequency ultrasound scanning to visualise internal nerve structures and in guiding needle insertion into nerves ex vivo, which bolstered her interest in pursuing a career in biomedical science.

In August 2021, Mrs Hu submitted her PhD thesis to examination. During her PhD studies at the APCRC-Q, Queensland University of Technology, Mrs Hu gained greater expertise in ultrasound imaging and expanded her background in prostate cancer research. Mrs Hu’s PhD studies investigated the prostate tumour vasculature and oxygenation status of tumour xenografts in vivo using pre-clinical photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging, under the principal supervision of Dr Brett Hollier, and associate supervision of Dr Marianna Volpert, A/Prof Elizabeth Williams and Prof Colleen Nelson. Her study revealed potential new treatment targets for advanced prostate cancer, to be used alone or in combination with current standard of care androgen targeted therapies, which she elucidated from mechanisms underlying tumour microenvironment response to treatment. Her studies in preclinical modelling and imaging piqued her interest in prostate cancer research, and Mrs Hu is eager to validate the mechanisms of tumour adaption to androgen targeted therapies in prostate cancer xenografts using multiple techniques.

Mrs Hu’s vital cross-disciplinary skills and expertise gained throughout her research training across the fields of bioengineering and medical science have seen her become a valued team member of the APCRC-Q. Mrs Hu joined the APCRC-Q as a research associate in July 2021, under the mentorship of Prof Colleen Nelson and Dr Lisa Philp, where she will be instrumental in pre-clinical projects developing new therapeutics against disease.

Awards and grants

2015 - 2021

APCRC-Q Scholarship, Queensland University of Technology


Comprehensive Course Scholarships, First Level (Top 1%), East China University of Science and Technology, China


Outstanding Diploma Thesis (Top 10 out of 300), East China University of Science and Technology, China

Research interests

Prostate cancer, therapeutic resistance, tumour microenvironment, pre-clinical imaging, patient-derived xenograft models

Current research projects

Accelerated translation of novel therapeutics for castrate resistant prostate cancer

Preventing the respiratory failure causing COVID-19 mortality, potent new drugs targeting hyperinflammation

Top publications

Q. Hu, E. Ratther, K. Sweeney, P. J. Russell, C. C. Nelson, B. W. Tse, et al., "Abstract 2855: Monitoring tumor growth and oxygen distribution of prostate cancer xenografts in vivo using ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging," Cancer research, vol. 77, p. 2855, 2017.

E. Ratther, K. G. Sweeney, N. Stylianou, Q. Hu, G. Tevz, C. C. Nelson, et al., "Abstract 818: Unravelling the role of androgen targeted therapies in epithelial plasticity during prostate cancer progression," Cancer research, vol. 77, p. 818, 2017.


Professional memberships and associations


Australian Society of Molecular imaging (ASMI) Membership


Australasian Chapter of the International Metastasis Research Society (OzMRS) Membership


American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)