Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Chu has two lines of research, one involving educational informatics and use of technology in postgraduate medical education and another involving NIH-funded work in patient-oriented clinical research regarding opioid use and physiologic responses associated with acute and chronic exposure in humans.

His clinical research focuses on the study opiate-induced hyperalgesia in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Dr. Chu is currently conducting an NIH-funded five year double-blinded randomized controlled clinical study (NIGMS award 1K23GM071400-01) that prospectively examines the following hypotheses:

  1. Pain patients on chronic opioid therapy develop dose-dependent tolerance and/or hyperalgesia to these medications over time
  2. Opiate-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia develop differently with respect to various types of pain
  3. Opioid-induced hyperalgesia occurs independently of withdrawal phenomena
  4. Opiate-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia develop differently based on gender and/or ethnicity.

The study is the first quantitative and prospective examination of tolerance and hyperalgesia in pain patients and may have important implications for the rational use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain.