Kar-Hai Chu, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Public Health

Kar-Hai ChuBiography

Kar-Hai joined MTH as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2016. He completed his BS in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University, MS in Computer Science from Columbia University, and PhD in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Hawaii. His interdisciplinary training focused on applying technology and social network analysis to different aspects of interactive online education. For the past several years, he has been a Research Scientist at the University of Southern California, studying various public health issues, including tobacco control, community health coalitions, and social mediabased health surveillance. Kar-Hai’s current research is focused on innovative methods of using online technologies to support health science.


MS (in progress), Clinical Research—University of Pittsburgh

PhD, Communications and Information Sciences—University of Hawaii

MS, Computer ScienceColumbia University

BS, Computer ScienceJohns Hopkins University


Title: Identifying Student Opinion Leaders to Lead E-cigarette Interventions
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Grant Number: P30CA047904
Years: 2019-2020

Title: Leveraging Mobile Applications to Maximize Tobacco Cessation
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: K07CA222338
Years: 2018-2022

Title: USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) for Vulnerable Population
Role: Subcontract/Pilot Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Southern California
Grant Number: P50CA18090
Years: 2017-2018

Title: Tobacco Cessation for Sexual Minorities
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Pittsburgh
Years: 2018-2019

Title: Leveraging Twitter to Monitor Nicotine and Tobacco-Related Cancer Communication
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: R01CA225773
Years: 2018-2022

Title: The University of Pittsburgh PCOR Career Development Program
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Grant Number: K12 HS022989
Years: 2014-2019

Title: Provost Personalized Education Program
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Pittsburgh
Years: 2018-2019

Complete Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications ( See More ) ​

  1. Chu K, Colditz JB, Primack BA, Shensa A, Allem JP, Miller E, Unger JB, Cruz TB. JUUL: Spreading online and offline. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2018;63(5):582-586. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.08.002

  2. Chu K, Valente TW. How Different Countries Addressed the Sudden Growth of Electronic Cigarettes in an Online Tobacco Control Community. BMJ Open. 2015 May 21;5(5):e007654. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007654

  3. Chu K, Unger J, Allem J, Pattarroyo M, Soto D, Cruz T, Yang H, Jiang L, Yang C. Diffusion of messages from an electronic cigarette brand to potential users through Twitter. PLoS ONE. 2015 Dec 18;10(12):e0145387.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145387

  4. Chu K, Allem J, Cruz T, Unger J. Vaping on Instagram: Cloud Chasing, Hand Checks, and Product Placement. Tob Control. 2016 Sep;26(5):575-578. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053052

  5. Chu K, Dyal S, Wipfli H, Valente T. Coding Communications Across Time: Documenting Changes in Interaction Patterns Across Adopter Categories. Network Science. 2017 Dec;5(4):441-460. doi:10.1017/nws.2017.28


Email: chuk@pitt.edu

Twitter: @karhai