Principal Investigators and Research Publications
David Mu, Ph.D. Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

David Mu, Ph.D.

Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Education and Training

  • Graduate Education

    Ph.D. Chemistry
    University of California at Berkeley

  • Postdoctoral Education

    Biochemistry & Biophysics, School of Medicine
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


David Mu, Ph.D., is a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology at the Leroy T. Canoles, Jr. Cancer Research Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Associate Dean for Research Administration. Before joining the staff at EVMS in the fall of 2012, Dr. Mu held The Associate Professorship of Pathology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University College of Medicine.

One of Dr. Mu’s leading research areas and discoveries has been the influence and identification of the Thyroid Transcription Factor-1, commonly referred to as the TTF-1 (or NKX2-1) gene. Dr. Mu and his research team have discovered that overproduction of the TTF-1 gene in lung cancer patients can give tumors a special edge to go malignant. However, research has also demonstrated that the proper amount of the TTF-1 gene has the ability to suppress tumors from forming or moving to a distant organ in the body.

This discovery of and knowing that the TTF-1 gene is multifunctional cancer prohibitory or a contributor has opened up new research directions aimed at helping doctors better treat patients whose lung cancer is positive for TTF-1.

Recent significant findings by Dr. Mu’s laboratory include the discovery of small microRNAs that interact with the TTF-1 lung cancer gene. These discoveries connect multiple cellular pathways to cancer-relevant activities of TTF-1. He is actively researching these links with the goal of gaining a fuller understanding of how this lung cancer gene drives lung cancer progression. Because of his biotech industry work experience, he is keenly aware of the importance of bringing meaningful benefits to patients and is mindful of translating laboratory findings into clinical practices.

In addition to all his contributions to cancer research, Dr. Mu has published forty-three original research articles and has accepted thirty speaking engagements at Universities, including Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, New York University, and Eastern Virginia Medical School during his career. He has received many awards and honors and has been key in helping young scientists and researchers gain staff experience through his acceptance of Federal stimulus money to create internships.

Publications and Projects

For a complete list of publications, visit Dr. Mu’s profile at Researchers@EVMS.

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