April Z. Gu, PhD

Associate Professor

435 Snell Engineering Center, Northeastern University
Phone: +1 617 373 3631 (Office)
E-mail: april@coe.neu.edu

PhD(2003), Civil and Environ. Engineering and Science (jointly with Microbiology) , University of Washington
MS(1997), Civil and Environ. Engineering, Northeastern University
BS(1993), Sanitary and Environ. Engineering, TsingHua University

Printable CV

Research Area

  • Toxicity Assessment of Emerging Contaminants
  • Ecotoxicology of nanomaterial
  • Biological Water and Waste Water Treatment
  • Biological Nutrient Removal
  • Microbial Population Dynamics and Ecology in Natural and Engineered Biological Systems
  • Bioremediation
  • Environmental Biosensors


    57. Gao Ce, Weisman David, Lan JiaQi, Gou Na and Gu April Z. (2015). Toxicity Mechanisms Identification via Gene Set Enrichment Analysis of Time-Series Toxicogenomics Data: Impact of Time and Concentration Environmental Science & Technology.


    56. Carla Cherchi, Milos Miljkovic, Max Diem and April Z. Gu, “nTiO2 Induced Changes in Intracellular Composition and Nutrient Stoichiometry in Primary Producer-Cyanobacteria” The Science of the total environment, 512–513, 15 April, 2015, Pages 345 –352


    55. Qin C, Liu H, Liu L, Smith S, Sedlak DL, Gu AZ “Bioavailability and characterization of dissolved organic nitrogen and dissolved organic phosphorus in wastewater effluents.” The Science of the total environment. 2014, 511C: 47-53


    54. N.Yildirim, F. Long,C.Gao, M. He, H-Cg Shi and A. Z. Gu. A rapid and reusable DNAzyme-based optical biosensor for highly sensitive and selective detection of lead (II) in wastewater. Talanta 129 (2014), 617–622.


    53. N.Yildirim, F. Long, M. He, H-Cg Shi and A. Z. Gu. A Portable Optic Fiber Aptasensor for Sensitive, Specific and Rapid Detection of Bisphenol-A in Water Samples. Environ Sci Process Impacts. 2014 May, 16(6):1379-86


    52. Jiaqi Lan, Na Gou, Ce Gao, Miao He, and A. Z. Gu, “Comparative and Mechanistic Genotoxicity Assessment of Nanomaterials via A Quantitative Toxicogenomics Approach Across Multiple Species” Environmental Science & Technology, 2014, 48 (21), pp 12937–12945.


    51. Na Gou, Songhu Yuan, Jiaqi Lan, Ce Gao, Akram N. Alshawabkeh, and A.Z. Gu “Quantitative Toxicogenomics Assay Reveals the Evolution and Nature of Toxicity during Environmental Pollutants Transformation”. Environmental Science and Technology, 2014:48(15) 8855-8863.


    50. Yueyun Li*, Xin Wang*, Annalisa Onnis-Hayden*, Kai-Tak Wan and April Z. Gu. “ Universal Quantifier Derived from AFM Analysis Links Cellular Mechanical Properties and Cell-Surface Integration Forces with Microbial Deposition and Transport Behavior.” Environmental Science & Technology, 2014, 48(3): 1769-1778.


    49. Khatri M., Bello D., Pal A.K., Cohen J.M., Woskie S., Gassert T., Lan J.*, Gu A.Z., Demoktritou P. and Gaines P. “Evaluation of cytotoxic genotic and inflammatory reponses of nanoparticles from photocopiers in three human cell lines.” Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 2014, 10:42


    48. Dan Li, April Z. Gu and Miao He. (2014) Quantification and genetic diversity of total and microcystin-producing Microcystis during blooming season in Tai and Yang-cheng lakes, China” Journal of Applied Microbiology.


    47. Xin Wang, YueYun Li, April Z Gu, Kai-Tak Wan. (2013) "Predicting Macroscopic Colloidal Deposition and Transportation Based on Dimensionless Tabor's Parameter", Nano LIFE. 3 (1)


    46. SongHu Yuan, Na Gou, Aram Alshawabkeh and April Z Gu. (2013) Efficient degradation of contaminants of emerging concerns by a new electro-Fenton process with Ti/MMO cathode.” Chemosphere, 93(11), 2796-2804.


    45. Dan Li, SiyuZeng, April Z. Gu, Miao He and Hanchang Shi. (2013) “Inactivation, Reactivation And Regrowth Of Indigenous Bacteria In Reclaimed Water After Chlorine Disinfection Of A Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant.” Journal of Environmental Science. 25 (7), 1319-1325.


    44. Sean T. O'Connor, Jiaqi Lan, Matthew North, Alexandre Loguinov, Luoping Zhang, Martyn T. Smith, April Gu and Chris Vulpe (2012) Genome-wide functional and stress response profiling reveals toxic mechanism and genes required for tolerance to benzo[a]pyrene in S. cerevisiae. Frontiers in toxicogenomics. (in press)


    43. Jiayi Shi, Sinan Muftu, April Gu, Kai-Tak Wan. (2012) Adhesion of a Cylindrical Shell in the Presence of DLVO Surface Potential. Journal of Applied Mechanics. (in press)


    42. Ce Gao, David Weisman, Valentin Ilyin and April Z. Gu. (2012) Analyzing High-Dimensional Toxicogenomic Data Using Consensus Clustering. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46(15).[PDF]


    41. Xin W, Li, Y, Onnis-Hayden A, Gao C, Gu AZ and Wan KT. (2012) Correlation of macroscopic aggregation behavior and microscopic adhesion properties of bacteria strains using a dimensionless Tabor's parameter. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. [PDF]


    40. Majed N, Li Y and Gu AZ, " Advances in Techniques for Phosphorus Analysis in Biological Resources," Current Opinion in biotechnology, invited paper, (in press).


    39. Nehreen Majed, Tatyana Chernenko, Max Diem and April Z. Gu. (2012) Identification of Functionally Relevant Populations in Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Processes Based On Intracellular Polymers Profiles and Insights into the Metabolic Diversity and Heterogeneity. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46(9). [PDF]


    38. Long F; Gu C, Gu, AZ, and Shi HC. (2012) Quantum-dot/carrier-protein/haptens Conjugate as a Detection Nanobioprobe for FRET-based Immunoassay of Small Analytes with All-fiber Microfluidic Biosensing Platform. Analytical Chemistry. 84(8). [PDF]


    37. Yildirim N, Long F, Gao C, He M, Shi HC and Gu AZ. (2012) Aptamer-Based Optical Biosensor For Rapid and Sensitive Detection of 17β-Estradiol In Water Samples. Environmental Science & Technology. 46(6). [PDF]


    36. Bucci, V., N. Majed, F. L. Hellweger and A. Z. Gu. (2012) Heterogeneity of Intracellular Polymer Storage States in Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) – Observation and Modeling.  Environmental Science & Technology. 46(6). [PDF]


    35. Li, D., A. Gu, W. Yang, M. He and H.-C. Shi. (2011) Evaluation of The Infectivity, Genome and Antigenicity Persistence of Rotavirus After Chlorine Disinfection.  (submitted).


    34. Gou, N. and A. Z. Gu. (2011) A New Transcriptional Effect Level Index (TELI) for Toxicogenomics-based Toxicity Assessment. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 45(12). [PDF]


    33. Onnis-Hayden, A., N. Majed, A. Schramm and A. Z. Gu. (2011) Process Optimization by Decoupled Control of Key Microbial Populations: Distribution of Activity and Abundance of P-Accumulating and Nitrifying Populations in a Full-Scale IFAS-EBPR Plant.  Water Research 45(13):3845-3854. [PDF]


    32. Long, F., C. Gao, H.-C. Shi, M. He, A. N. Zhu, A. M. Klibanov and A. Z. Gu. (2011) Reusable Evanescent Wave DNA Biosensor for Rapid, Highly Sensitive and Selective Detection of Mercury Ions. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 26(10):4018-4023.[PDF].


    31. Yang, W., A. Z. Gu, D. Li, M. He and H.-c. Shi. (2011) Development of a Combined Immunomagnetic Separation and Quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR Assay for Sensitive Detection of Infectious Rotavirus in Water Samples. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 84(3): 447-453.[PDF]


    30. Cherchi, C. and A. Z. Gu. (2011) Effect of Bacterial Growth Stage on Resistance to Chlorine Disinfection. Water Sci. and Technol.  64(1):7-13.


    29. Li, D., A. Z. Gu, W. Yang, M. He and H.-C. Shi. (2011) Monitoring and evaluation of infectious rotaviruses in various wastewater effluents and receiving waters revealed correlation and seasonal pattern of occurrences. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 110(5): 1129-1137. [PDF]


    28. Onnis-Hayden, A., B. B. Hsu, A. M. Klibanov and A. Z. Gu. (2011) An Antimicrobial Polycationic Sand Filter for Water Disinfection. Water Sci. and Technol.63(9):1997-2003. [PDF]

    27. Gu, A. Z., L. Liu, J. B. Neethling, H. D. Stensel and S. Murthy. (2011) Treatability and Fate of Various Phosphorus Fractions in Different Wastewater Treatment Processes. Water Sci. and Technol. 63(4):804-10.


    26. Schuler, A., N. Majed, V. Bucci, F. L. Hellweger, Y. Tu and A. Z. Gu. (2011) Is the Whole Sum of its Parts? Agent based Modelling of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Water Sci. and Technol. 63(8):1590-8. [PDF]


    25. Gu, A. Z., R. Nerenberg, B. M. Sturm, P. Chul and R. Goel. (2010) Molecular Methods in Biological Systems. Water Environ. Res 82(10): 908-930.[PDF]


    24. Majed, N. and A. Z. Gu. (2010) Application of Raman Microscopy for Simultaneous and Quantitative Evaluation of Multiple Intracellular Polymers Dynamics Functionally Relevant to Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Processes. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 44 (22): 8601–8608. [PDF]

    23. Cherchi, C., T. Chernenko, M. Diem and A. Z. Gu. (2010) Impact of nano titanium dioxide exposure on cellular structure of Anabaena variabilis and evidence of internalization. Environ Toxicol Chem. 30(4):861-9. [PDF]

    22. Cherchi, C. and A. Z. Gu. (2010) Impact of Titanium Dioxide Nanomaterials on Nitrogen Fixation Rate and Intracellular Nitrogen Storage in Anabaena variabilis. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 2010, 44 (21), pp 8302–8307. [PDF]

    21. Gou, N., A. Onnis-Hayden and A. Z. Gu. (2010) Mechanistic Toxicity Assessment of Nanomaterials by Whole-Cell-Array Stress Genes Expression Analysis. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 44(15): 5964-5970. [PDF]

    20. Li, D., A. Z. Gu, W. Yang, M. He, X.-h. Hu and H.-C. Shi. (2010) An Integrated Cell Culture and Reverse Transcription Quantitative PCR Assay for Detection of Infectious Rotaviruses in Environmental Waters. Journal of Microbiological Methods 82(1): 59-63. [PDF]


    Before 2010


    19. McMahon, K. D., A. Z. Gu, R. Nerenberg and B. M. Sturm. (2009) Molecular Methods in Biological Systems. Water Environ. Res. 81: 986-1002. [PDF]

    18. Majed, N., C. Matthäus, M. Diem and A. Z. Gu. (2009) Evaluation of Intracellular Polyphosphate Dynamics in Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Process using Raman Microscopy. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 43(14): 5436-5442. [PDF]

    17. Cherchi, C., A. Onnis-Hayden, I. El-Shawabkeh and A. Z. Gu. (2009) Implication of Using Different Carbon Sources for Denitrification in Wastewater Treatments. Water Environ. Res. 81(8): 788-799. [PDF]

    16. Onnis-Hayden, A., H. Weng, M. He, S. Hansen, V. Ilyin, K. Lewis and A. Z. Gu. (2009) Prokaryotic Real-Time Gene Expression Profiling for Toxicity Assessment. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 43(12): 4574-4581. [PDF]

    15. Li, D., A. Z. Gu, M. He, H.-C. Shi and W. Yang. (2009) UV Inactivation and Resistance of Rotavirus Evaluated by Integrated Cell Culture and Real-Time RT-PCR Assay. Water Research 43(13): 3261-3269. [PDF]

    14. Hellweger, F. L., V. Bucci, M. R. Litman, A. Z. Gu and A. Onnis-Hayden. (2009) Biphasic Decay Kinetics of Fecal Bacteria in Surface Water Not a Density Effect. J. Environ. Engineer. 135(5): 327-379. [PDF]


    13. McMahon, K. D., A. Z. Gu, R. Nerenberg and B. M. Sturm. (2008) Molecular Methods in Biological Systems. Water Environ. Res. 80(10): 929-961. [PDF]


    12. Gu, A. Z., A. Saunders, J. B. Neethling, H. D. Stensel and L. L. Blackall. (2008) Functionally Relevant Microorganisms to Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Performance at Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plants in the United States. Water Environ. Res. 80(8): 688-698. [PDF]


    11. Gu, A. Z. and J. B. Neethling. (2008) Investigation and Modeling of Solar UV-Induced Chlorine Decay in Disinfection Contact Basins at Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plants. Water Environ. Res. 80(2): 179-185. [PDF]


    10. He, S., A. Gu and K. McMahon. (2008) Progress Toward Understanding the Distribution of Accumulibacter Among Full-Scale Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Systems. Microb. Ecol. 55(2): 229-236. [PDF]


    9. McMahon, K. D., A. Z. Gu, R. Nerenberg and L. T. Angenent. (2007) Molecular Methods in Biological Systems. Water Environ. Res. 79(10): 1109-1151. [PDF]


    8. Benisch, M., D. Clark, J. B. Neethling, H. S. Fredrickson and A. Gu. (2007) Tertiary Phosphorus Removal Pilot Tests Technology Limits In Coeur D'Alene, ID. Water Practice 1(5): 1-13.


    7. Gu, A. Z., P. B. Pedros, A. Kristiansen, A. Onnis-Hayden and A. Schramm. (2007) Nitrifying Community Analysis in a Single Submerged Attached-Growth Bioreactor for Treatment of High-Ammonia Waste Stream. Water Environ. Res. 79: 2510-2518. [PDF]


    6. Angenent, L. T., K. D. McMahon, A. Z. Gu and R. Nerenberg. (2006) Molecular Methods in Biological Systems. Water Environ. Res. 78(10): 1084-1118. [PDF]


    5. He, S., A. Z. Gu and K. D. McMahon. (2006) Fine-Scale Differences between Accumulibacter-Like Bacteria in Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Activated Sludge. Water Sci. and Technol. 54(Compendex): 111-117. [PDF]


    4. Walker, C. B., A. Z. Gu, H. D. Stensel and S. E. Strand. (2004) A Biological Method for Synthesizing 14C-Vinyl Chloride. J. Label. Compd. Radiopharm. 47(13): 903-910. [PDF]


    3. Gu, A. Z., B. P. Hedlund, J. T. Staley, S. E. Strand and H. D. Stensel. (2004) Analysis and Comparison of the Microbial Community Structures of Two Enrichment Cultures Capable of Reductively Dechlorinating TCE and cis-DCE. Environ. Microbiology 6(1): 45-54. [PDF]


    2. Gu, A. Z., H. D. Stensel, J. M. H. Pietari and S. E. Strand. (2003) Vinyl Bromide as a Surrogate for Determining Vinyl Chloride Reductive Dechlorination Potential. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 37(19): 4410-4416. [PDF]


    1. Basu, S., A. Z. Gu and K. A. Shilinsky. (1998) Application of Packed Scrubbers for Air Emissions Control in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants. Environ. Progress. 17(1): 9-18. [PDF]


  • Courses at Northeastern:
  • Environmental Biological Processes (CIVG251)
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes (CIVG252)
  • Fluids Mechanics (CIVU331)
  • Environmental Engineering I (CIVU334)
  • Advanced Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Processes (CIVG253)
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  • Public agencies:
  • MWRA - Massachusetts Water Resource Authority
  • DCWASA - D.C Water and Sewer Authority
  • LVWPCF - Las Vegas Water Pollution Control Facility

Honor and Awards

  • Early Career Development Award from College of Engineering, Northeastern University, 2011
  • 2011 Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award from the College of Engineering, Northeastern University
  • Featured EST paper by ACS C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News), 2010
  • Certificate of merit for outstanding presentation at ACS National Meeting, 2010
  • Certificate of merit for service appreciation for organizing symposium for ACS-ENVR
  • Best student presentation award (Carla Cherchi), ACS National Meeting, 2010
  • North American SETAC Endowment Travel Award for 2010
  • NSF Faculty Early CAREER Development Award, 2009
  • NSF BRIGE Award (CEE), 2009
  • Pathfinder Award for Creativity, HDR Engineering Inc., 2005
  • Graduate School Merit Award, University of Washington, 1997-1998
  • Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence, TsingHua University, 1993
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054 Snell Engineering Center, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115. (Tel) 617-373-3786