Lirong Qu, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Pathology, Division of Transfusion Medicine

Dr. Qu is a faculty member of the Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Pathology, and Co-Medical Director, Clinical Services Vitalant - Pittsburgh. Dr. Qu is the program director of the Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine Fellowship program at Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Qu is the course director of the Laboratory Medicine elective, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Qu has fifteen years of experience in clinical transfusion medicine with particular expertise in the transfusion supports in the settings of trauma, hematology-oncology, solid organ and stem cell transplantation. As co-Medical director of Clinical Services Vitalant - Pittsburgh (formerly the Institute for Transfusion Medicine - ITxM), Dr. Qu provides transfusion services to 24 hospitals including both academic teaching hospitals and community hospitals in the greater Pittsburgh area.


  • 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
Education & Training
MD - Huabei Medical College for the Coal Industry, Tangshan, Hebei, PR China, 1983
PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1994
Residency - Clinical Pathology, University of Pittsburgh 2003
Fellowship - Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine, University of Pittsburgh 2004
Research Interests

Dr. Qu has had a long time focus on virology specifically with the herpes virus family of viruses particularly Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV 8). Her experience and expertise in analyzing EBV viral genomes from peripheral blood lymphocytes and other molecular biology analytical tool-kits led to a project analyzing the HHV 8 in blood donors. She was awarded a grant from National Blood Foundation (NBF) to study HHV 8 in the US blood donors and was awarded NBF scholar status in October 2013.

Since 2014, Dr. Qu has served as the Pittsburgh site PI for the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation (REDS)-III Study: Red Cells in Outpatients Transfusion Outcomes (RETRO) study, and oversees every aspects of the study at the Pittsburgh site.

Representative Publications

View Dr. Qu's publications on PubMed

  • 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. PMID: 25220631.
  • Qu L. Triulzi DJ. 2015. Clinical effects of red blood cell storage. Cancer Control. 22:26-37. PMID: 25504276.
  • Qu L, Triulzi DJ. 2016. Blood Transfusion Therapy. In: Webb A, Angus D, Finfer S. Gattinoni L, Singer M, eds. The Oxford Textbook of Critical Care. 2nd edition.
  • Qu L. Triulzi DJ. 2017. Purported adverse effects of 'old blood'. In: Murphy M, Roberts D, Yazer M, eds. Practical Transfusion Medicine. 5th Edition.
  • Qu L, Triulzi DJ. 2017. Blood Transfusion Therapy. In: Ronco C, Bellomo R, Kellum J, Ricci Z, eds. Critical Care Nephrology. 3nd edition.
  • St. Lezin E, Karafin M, Bruhn R, Chowdhury D, Qu L, Bialkowski W, Merenda S, D'Andrea P, McCalla A, Anderson L, Keating S, Stone M, Snyder E, Brambilla D, Murphy E, Norris P, Hilton J, Spencer B, Kleinman S, Carson J, for the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS)-III Program. 2019. Therapeutic Impact of Red Blood Cell Transfusion on Anemic Outpatients: the RETRO Study. Transfusion. 59:1934-43. PMID: 30882919.
  • Karafin M, Bruhn R, Roubinian NH, Chowdhury D, Qu L, Snyder E, Murphy E, Brambilla D, Cable R, Hilton J, St. Lezin E. for the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation (REDS)-III Study. 2019. The impact of recipient factors on the lower than expected hemoglobin increment in transfused outpatients with hematologic diseases. Transfusion. Manuscript published online. PMID: 31270827.