Lirong Qu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology

Dr. Qu is a member of the Institute for Transfusion Medicine.

Office Location:
University of Pittsburgh
Institute of Transfusion Medicine
3636 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-209-7428
Pager: 412-958-4246
Fax: 412-209-7325


  • MD - Huabei Medical College for the Coal Industry, Tangshan, Hebei, PR China, 1983
  • PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1994

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Qu has eight years of experience in clinical transfusion medicine. As an assistant medical director previously and an Interim Medical director as of November 2011, Dr. Qu oversees the daily operation of a large Centralized Transfusion Service (CTS) at The Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM). CTS serves four teaching hospitals and 10 community hospitals in the greater Pittsburgh area, transfusing more than 115K red cells and 100K platelets annually. Dr. Qu is the program director for the Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine Fellowship program at Department of Pathology at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Research Interests

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects and establishes life-long latency in B lymphocytes of the majority of adult population. EBV is the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis. It has also been implicated in the etiology of malignancies such as Burkitt's Lymphoma and lymphoproliferative diseases in the immunocompromised host, including post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) and AIDS-related lymphomas. In immunocompetent healthy individuals, EBV genomes can be detected in circulating peripheral blood B cells by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The frequency of EBV infected circulating B cells is estimated to be 1 in 105 to 1 in 106. Transfusion transmitted EBV from cellular blood components has been infrequently reported. Currently my research focuses are on the EBV viral load, viral genome stability, as well the viability of lymphocytes during the storage of blood components (red blood cell and platelets).

Human Herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is a gamma-herpesvirus that closely related to EBV, It causes Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and pleural effusion lymphomas (PELs). HHV-8 can be induced from PEL cell lines and PBMNCs from KS patients. Current research focuses on detection of HHV-8 genomes and induction of HHV-8 from PBMNCs from healthy blood donors.


  • ECFMG Certificate by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduate
  • Clinical Pathology: The American Board of Pathology
  • Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine: The American Board of Pathology


Clinical Pathology, Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine

Awards and Honors

  • 1995 - Outstanding Student Award, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1995 - Best Doctoral Dissertation of the Year, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2002 - Young Investigator Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists
  • 2007 - National Blood Foundation 1 year Grant award
  • 2008 - Nominated for Clinical Pathology Teaching Faculty of the Year, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pathology
  • 2010 - Nominated for Clinical Pathology Teaching Faculty of the Year, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pathology
  • 2011 - Nominated for Clinical Pathology Teaching Faculty of the Year, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pathology

Selected Publications

Dr. Qu's publications on PubMed

  • Qu L, Triulzi DJ. 2013. Platelet Transfusion: Prophylaxis for spontaneous bleeding (chapter 7). In: Sweeney JD, Lozano M, eds. Platelet Transfusion Therapy. Bethesda, MD: AABB Press.
  • Qu L, Kiss JE. 2013. Blood Utilization Review. In: Saxena S, ed. The Transfusion Committee: Putting Patient Safety First. 2nd edition. Bethesda, MD: AABB Press.
  • Anani W, Triulzi D, Yazer MH, Qu L. 2014. Relative IgA-deficient recipients have an increased risk of severe allergic transfusion reactions. Vox Sanguinis. 107:389-92.
  • Qu L, Triulzi DJ. 2015. Clinical effects of red blood cell storage. Cancer Control. 22:26-37.