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Christopher I. McHugh, MD, PhD

Dr. Christopher McHugh portrait

Originally from Livonia, Michigan, Dr. Christopher McHugh attended the University of Michigan where he received his degree in biochemistry. Following his undergraduate studies, he enrolled in the combined MD/PhD program at Wayne State University. 

As a graduate student, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Shields and studied the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging as a method for monitoring the response of cancer to chemotherapy. The focus of his dissertation was on the utilization of a thymidine analog PET tracer to image the suppressive effect of glucocorticoids in non-small cell lung cancer. During his medical training he participated in medical mission trips to Peru and Ecuador, and spent a month working in clinics in rural Bolivia. 

Dr. McHugh’s current research interests include intraoperative imaging and the development of sustainable models for international medical relief.


Undergraduate School
University of Michigan (Biochemistry)

Medical School
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Graduate School
Wayne State University School of Medicine (PhD in Cancer Biology)


Utilizing radiolabeled 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]fluorothymidine with positron emission tomography to monitor the effect of dexamethasone on non-small cell lung cancer. McHugh CI, Thipparthi M, Polin L, Lawhorn-Crews JM, Gadgeel S, Akoury J, Patki M, Douglas KA, Mangner TJ, Li J, Matherly LH, Ratnam M, Shields AF. J Nucl Med. 2018 April 19. 

Effects of capecitabine treatment on the uptake of thymidine analogs using exploratory PET imaging agents: 18F-FAU, 18F-FMAU, and 18F-FLT. McHugh CI, Lawhorn-Crews JM, Douglas KA, Modi D, Jones SK, Mangner TJ, Collins JM, Shields AF. Cancer Imaging. 2016;16(1):34. 

Integrating dynamic positron emission tomography and conventional pharmacokinetic studies to delineate plasma and tumor pharmacokinetics of FAU, a prodrug bioactivated by thymidylate synthase. Li J, Kim S, Shields AF, Douglas KA, McHugh CI, Lawhorn-Crews JM, Wu J, Mangner TJ, LoRusso PM. J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;56(11):1433–1447.