Dr. Zhang earned his Ph.D. degree in organic synthesis at Nankai University, Tianjin, China in 1991. His dissertation research was directed by Professor Ruyu Chen, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was focused on synthesis and studies of phosphonopeptides and their biological activities. During his M.S. study, he was selected to directly begin his Ph.D. program one year in advance. At that time, only top 10% of graduate students were eligible for this program at Nankai University. He also received Outstanding Graduate Student Awards from both Tianjin City and Nankai University. During his Ph.D. studies, he received two prestigious national and local awards as recognition of his outstanding research in new herbicides: 1) Top-grade Scholarship Award from Agriculture and Chemical Association of China; 2) Outstanding Publication Award from Tianjin Chemical Industry Association. After his graduation with a Ph.D. degree, Dr. Zhang was employed by Institute of Polymer Chemistry of Nankai University as an assistant professor, and then was appointed as an assistant director of the institute in 1993. His research at Nankai University was focused on new polymeric adsorbents made from natural materials for removal of toxicants in human body. He got two grants from both Tianjin Natural Science Foundation for Young Scientists and National Natural Science Foundation of China. In 1994, Dr. Zhang worked with Professor John C. Tebby, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, as a postdoctoral research fellow at Staffordshire University in England. His research was focused on the synthesis of novel polymeric materials with flame resistant properties. He then worked with Professor Julian X. Zhu, Canada Research Chair in Polymeric Biomaterials, from November1994 to January 1996 as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Montreal in Canada. His research was focused on synthesis of new polymers and hydrogels from bile acid derivatives for controlled drug release. Afterwards, he worked with Albert B. Professor Victor Chi-Min Yang as a postdoctoral research fellow at the College of Pharmacy, the University of Michigan from February 1996 to August 1998. He involved in several projects including pH-responsive polypeptide-peg hydrogels for controlled drug release and new extracorporeal blood circulation filter device with potential application for heparin removal in clinical situations such as kidney dialysis, heart operation and cardiopulmonary bypass. In 1998, Dr. Zhang started his industrial career in USA. He joined Industrial Science & Technology Network, Inc. as a senior research scientist and was then promoted to manager. He mainly worked on two major projects: 1) polyurethane-clay nanocomposites and microcellular foams with potential application for airplane insulation, and 2) nanopore surface-modified silica gel for selectively removing heavy metal ions from wastewater. Both projects were funded by the US Department of Energy. He was the PI and co-PI of the two DOE grants, totally more than 1.5 millions US dollar. In 2000, Dr. Zhang joined Supelco, a well known company of Sigma-Aldrich in HPLC and GC columns development and manufacture, as a Senior Research Scientist. He developed and co-developed three new HPLC columns (Discovery HS PEG phase, HS amide phase, and HS C18 phase HPLC columns) which have already been in market. In 2001, Dr. Zhang joined Sonus Pharmaceticals Inc. as a Research Scientist II, was promoted to Research Scientist III in 2004, and was promoted again to a Research Scientist IV in 2007 due to his significant contribution to the company. He was a supervisor of drug discovery. He worked on several projects, mainly in anticancer drug discover, process development, and GLP and GMP manufacture of new drug compounds. He has successfully invented and developed a new anticancer drug, SN2310, which was approved for clinical trial by FDA in 2006. He filed 12 patent applications with Sonus Pharmaceuticals, and five of the patents have been issued and seven are in pending. Dr. Zhang joined the Department of Internal Medicine and the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences in December 2008. His work focuses on targeting anticancer drug delivery utilizing dendrimer nanocarriers and novel polymeric nanocarriers.
Dr. Zhang’s research interests include targeting anticancer drug delivery utilizing dendrimer-based nanodevices and novel polymeric nanocarriers, nano-emulsion/micelle/liposome formulation for controlled drug delivery, biocompatible and biodegradable hydrogels for controlled drug delivery, new anticancer drug/prodrug discovery and development, biomedical material with medical applications, new HPLC columns development, naocomposites with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties, polymeric resins and nanopore silica-based adsorbents for removing heavy metal ions in wastewater treatment.