Assistant Professor

Education & Work Background

Aug 2021 - Present, Assistant Professor (PI), Department of Biomedical Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology

Sep 2016 - Jul 2021, Postdoc, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of California, DAVIS,

                  Advisor: Prof. Kit S. Lam (Authority in combinatorial chemistry and molecular medicine)

Sep 2011 - June 2016, Ph.D. (MD-PhD), Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University

                  Advisor: Prof. Xintao Shuai (National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young)

Research Overview

Development and application of multifunctional biomedical system

Dr. Zhang focuses on solving the current major issues of accurate imaging diagnosis and effective treatment against clinical cancers. His research is oriented toward actual demands from clinical cancers. Based on the research concept of "In Vivo Self-assembly", he puts forward a new strategy of in vivo regulation the function of membrane proteins, which expands the development direction of single-component nanomaterials antitumor field. He constructs a variety of accurate delivery nanomaterials to reveal in vivo mechanism of nanoparticles, which breaks through the bottleneck of traditional cancer theranostics and realizes the clinical translational application of basic research. As the first and corresponding author, Dr. Zhang published some high-level SCI articles in Nat. Nanotechnol., Nano Lett., ACS Nano, Adv. Funct. Mater., Hepatology, Theranostics journal etc. Dr. Zhang has been committed to the clinical and industrial translation of scientific research achievements. These nanotechnologies and nanomedicines he developed have obtained two international patents, and he is currently conducting 3 clinical translational studies of nanomedicines, including 1 clinical phase I study approved by the US FDA and 2 preclinical development studies approved by the FDA.

Dr. Zhang’s research directions mainly focus on (1) in situ fibrillar self-assembly in vivo and (2) precision delivery nanomedicines for diagnosis and treatment based on dendrimer, with ten years’ experience, firmly rooted in the forefront of interdisciplinary research of chemistry, biomaterials, biology, nanomedicine and engineering. In Vivo Cell Surface Remodeling (IVCSRM) he developed is one of the hot spots in the current scientific research. This technology has a high prospect of clinical translation and has the hallmark characteristics of pioneering research, which meets the needs of diagnosis and treatment with specificity, intelligence, accuracy, efficiency and safety in current clinical disease. Compared with traditional strategies, this technique is innovative not only in that it can be directly and specifically regulated in vivo, but also can regulate the function of endogenous membrane proteins and remodel new exogenous multifunctional groups on the surface of cell membrane.

Representative Achievements


1) Lu Zhang#, Di Jing#, Nian Jiang, Tatu Rojalin, Christopher M. Baehr, Dalin Zhang, Wenwu Xiao, Yi Wu, Zhaoqing Cong, Jian Jian Li, Yuanpei Li, Lei Wang*, Kit S. Lam*. Transformable peptide nanoparticles arrest HER2 signalling and cause cancer cell death in vivo. Nature Nanotechnology 2020, 15 (2), 145-153. (IF: 39.213)

2) Lu Zhang, Yi Wu, Xingbin Yin, Zheng Zhu, Tatu Rojalin, Wenwu Xiao, Dalin Zhang, Yanyu Huang, Longmeng Li, Christopher M. Baehr, Xingjian Yu, Yousif Ajena, Yuanpei Li, Lei Wang* and Kit S. Lam*. Tumor Receptor-Mediated In Vivo Modulation of the Morphology, Phototherapeutic Properties, and Pharmacokinetics of Smart Nanomaterials. ACS Nano 2021, 15 (1), 468-479 (IF: 15.881)

3) Lu Zhang#, Di Jing#, Lei Wang, Yuan Sun, Jian Jian Li, Brianna Hill, Fan Yang, Yuanpei Li*, Kit S. Lam*. Unique Photochemo-Immuno-Nanoplatform against Orthotopic Xenograft Oral Cancer and Metastatic Syngeneic Breast Cancer. Nano Letters 2018, 18 (11), 7092-7103. (IF: 11.189)  

4) Lu Zhang#, Tinghui Yin#, Bo Li, Rongqin Zheng*, Chen Qiu, Kit S. Lam*, Qi Zhang, Xintao Shuai*. Size-Modulable Nanoprobe for High-Performance Ultrasound Imaging and Drug Delivery against Cancer. ACS Nano 2018, 12 (4), 3449-3460. (IF: 15.881)

5) Lu Zhang, Yanyu Huang, Aaron Raymond Lindstrom, Tzu-Yin Lin, Kit S Lam, Yuanpei Li*. Peptide-based materials for cancer immunotherapy. Theranostics 2019, 9 (25), 7807-7825. (IF: 11.556)

6) Hao Wu#, Lu Zhang#(co-first), Jinfan Yang, Ruonan Bo, Hongxu Du, Kai Lin, Dalin Zhang, Mythili Ramachandran, Yingbin Shen, Yangxi Xu, Xiangdong Xue, Zhao Ma, Aaron Raymond Lindstrom, Randy Carney, Tzu-Yin Lin, Yuanpei Li. Rotatable Aggregation-Induced-Emission/Aggregation Caused-Quenching Ratio Strategy for Real-Time Tracking Nanoparticle Dynamics. Advanced Functional Materials 2020, 30 (15), 1910348. (IF: 18.808)

7) Yu Guo#, Jing Wang#, Lu Zhang#(co-first), Shunli Shen#, Ruomi Guo, Yang Yang*, Wenjie Chen, Yiru Wang, Guihua Chen*, Xintao Shuai*. Theranostical Nanosystem-Mediated Identification of An Oncogene and Highly Effective Therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Hepatology 2016, 63 (4), 1240-1255. (IF: 17.425) 

8) Lu Zhang#, Hong Xiao#, Jingguo Li, Du Cheng*, Xintao Shuai*. Co-delivery of doxorubicin and arsenite with reduction and pH dual-sensitive vesicle for synergistic cancer therapy. Nanoscale 2016, 8 (25), 12608-12617. (IF: 7.79)

9) Mengru Cai, Liuying Qin, Longtai You, Yu Yao, Huimin Wu, Zhiqin Zhang, Lu Zhang* (co-corresponding), Xingbin Yin*, Jian Ni*. Functionalization of MOF-5 with Mono-Substituents: Effects on Drug Delivery Behavior. RSC Advances 2020, 10(60), 36862-36872. (IF: 3.361)

10) Lu Zhang#, Hao Wu#, Yuanpei Li*, Kit S. Lam*. Reversible Cross-Linked Polymeric Micelles for Drug Delivery. Elsevier, 2020. (Academic Treatise)

11) Zhaoqing Cong, Lu Zhang, Si-Qi Ma, Kit S.Lam, Fei-Fei Yang*, YongHong Liao*. Size-Transformable Hyaluronan Stacked Self-Assembling Peptide Nanoparticles for Improved Transcellular Tumor Penetration and Photo-Chemo Combination Therapy. ACS Nano 2020, 14(2), 1958-1970. (IF: 15.881)

12) Hong Xiao, Jin He, Xiaoxia Li, Bo Li, Lu Zhang, Yong Wang*, Du Cheng, Xintao Shuai*. Polymeric Nanovesicles as Simultaneous Delivery Platforms with Doxorubicin Conjugation and Elacridar Encapsulation for Enhanced Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Breast Cancer. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 2018, 6(45), 7521-7529. (IF: 6.331)

13) Hao Wu#, Lu Zhang#(co-first), Yuanpei Li*; Kit S. Lam*; Stimuli-Responsive Materials in Theranostics. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018. (Academic Treatise)

14) Jingguo Li, Lu Zhang, Yujie Lin, Hong Xiao, Mingxiang Zuo, Du Cheng, Xintao Shuai*. A pH-Sensitive Prodrug Micelle Self-Assembled from MultiDoxorubicin-Tailed Polyethylene Glycol for Cancer Therapy. RSC Advances. 2016, 6(11), 9160-9163. (IF: 3.361)


1) Kit S. Lam; Lu Zhang; Cyanine-based telodendrimers and uses for treating cancer, 2020-5-3, WIPO, PCT/US2019/049080.

2) Kit S. Lam; Lu Zhang; Smart peptides and transformable nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy, 2021-2-18, WIPO, PCT/US2020/046495

Clinical translational application

1) A nanomedicine encapsulating paclitaxel based on dendrimer has been developed for the treatment of bladder cancer, which has been approved by U.S. FDA for phase I clinical study (PEG5k-CA4-porphyrin4, PLZ4-PEG5k-CA8, PTX). (Clinical Translation Project No. 117888).

2) A variety of GMP and GLP class dendrimer-based nanomedicines encapsulating chemotherapy and immune drugs, which have been approved for preclinical studies in models of bladder, oral, ovarian and breast cancer in rats, rabbits, cats and dogs. Chemotherapy drugs (Doxorubicin, Paclitaxel, etc.), immunodrugs (Resiquimod, Imiquimod, etc.) (Preclinical Translation Project No.132838, 135780).

Lead or participate in scientific research projects

1) National Cancer Institute (NCI), 1R01CA247685-01, HER2 targeting transformable nanotherapeutic platform against HER2+ cancers, 2020.02 - 2025.01, $572,096 (Each year).

2) Department of Defense (DOD), W81XWH-19-1-0204, Delivery of targeting nano-photo-imiquimod to greatly enhance check point blockade immunotherapy of patients with advanced bladder cancer, 2019.07 - 2023.06, $1,037,215 (Each year).

3) Department of Defense (DOD), W81XWH-19-1-0159, Novel nano-photo-immunotherapy against ovarian cancer, 2019.06 - 2022.06, $234,000 (Each year).

4) National Cancer Institute (NCI), 5R01CA115483-13, Therapeutic targeting agents for ovarian cancer, 2015.01 - 2021.04, $334,535 (Each year).

5) National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), 2R01EB012569-09, Targeting nanotherapeutics against murine and feline oral cancer, 2010.12 - 2021.05, $518,074 (Each year).