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Yuliang Zhao, PhD

Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Yuliang Zhao earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Science from the Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1999. He held faculty appointments at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing before becoming a member of Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2011. Dr. Zhao also holds adjunct faculty appointments at Peking University (Beijing), the Medical School of Jilin University (Changchun), and Sichuan University (Chengdu).

As the the founder and Director of CAS Key Lab for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials & Nanosafety, he directs a research program that is developing a new generation of cancer chemotherapeutics using low-toxic nanoparticles. Dr. Zhao has also been a member of nine study sections and review boards in China and Europe. He is the founder and Director of Research Center for Cancer Nanotechnology at Tianjin Cancer Hospital in China. He has served as the Associate Editor and editorial board member of seven scientific research journals since 2006.

Description of Research

Dr. Zhao's research program focuses on nanotoxicology, cancer nanotechnology, and nanochemistry. He is developing molecular dynamics modeling for designing low-toxic nanosurfaces for cancer nanotechnology applications, and for lowering the toxicity of nanomaterials in living systems. A major aim of his research is to understand the mechanisms of nanotoxicity of engineered nanoparticles in vivo. In addition, a major research goal is to characterize the structure-function relationships between the tumor microenvironment (like extracellular matrices) and engineered nanoparticles that inhibit tumor growth and metastasis. Dr. Zhao's research team at CAS collaborates with Dr. Mauro Ferrari, Dr. Ye "Tony" Hu and other faculty members of the Department of Nanomedicine at the Research Institute in the research of cancer nanotechnology and nanotechnology based biomarker identification.

Areas Of Expertise

Nanotoxicology Cancer nanotechnology Chemistry Nanoscale molecular dynamics modeling
Education & Training

, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo
, Tokyo Metropolitan University

A highly sensitive SERS-based platform for Zn(ii) detection in cellular media
Zhuang, H, Wang, Z, Zhang, X, Hutchison, JA, Zhu, W, Yao, Z, Zhao, Y & Li, M 2017, Chemical Communications, vol 53, no. 11, pp. 1797-1800. DOI:

Functionalized Nano-MoS2 with Peroxidase Catalytic and Near-Infrared Photothermal Activities for Safe and Synergetic Wound Antibacterial Applications
Yin, W, Yu, J, Lv, F, Yan, L, Zheng, LR, Gu, Z & Zhao, Y 2016, ACS Nano, vol 10, no. 12, pp. 11000-11011. DOI:

Bifunctional Platinated Nanoparticles for Photoinduced Tumor Ablation
Guo, Z, Zou, Y, He, H, Rao, J, Ji, S, Cui, X, Ke, H, Deng, Y, Yang, H, Chen, C, Zhao, Y & Chen, H 2016, Advanced Materials, vol 28, no. 46, pp. 10155-10164. DOI:

Gold Nanomaterials in Consumer Cosmetics Nanoproducts: Analyses, Characterization, and Dermal Safety Assessment
Cao, M, Li, J, Tang, J, Chen, C & Zhao, Y 2016, Small, vol 12, no. 39, pp. 5488-5496. DOI:

Qureshi, WA, Zhao, R, Wang, H, Ji, T, Ding, Y, Ihsan, A, Mujeeb, A, Nie, G & Zhao, Y 2016, Science Bulletin, pp. 1-10. DOI:

Comparison of cellular effects of starch-coated SPIONs and poly(Lactic-co-glycolic acid) matrix nanoparticles on human monocytes
Gonnissen, D, Qu, Y, Langer, K, Öztürk, C, Zhao, Y, Chen, C, Seebohm, G, Düfer, M, Fuchs, H, Galla, HJ & Riehemann, K 2016, International Journal of Nanomedicine, vol 11, pp. 5221-5236. DOI:

Strategies for improving drug delivery: nanocarriers and microenvironmental priming
Khalid, A, Persano, S, Shen, H, Zhao, Y, Blanco, E, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2016, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, pp. 1-13. DOI:

C60(OH)22: A potential histone deacetylase inhibitor with anti-angiogenic activity
Sun, C, Wang, L, Gao, D, Pan, Y, Zhao, Y, Chen, C & Guo, M 2016, Nanoscale, vol 8, no. 36, pp. 16332-16339. DOI:

Single-pulse enhanced coherent diffraction imaging of bacteria with an X-ray free-electron laser
Fan, J, Sun, Z, Wang, Y, Park, J, Kim, S, Gallagher-Jones, M, Kim, Y, Song, C, Yao, S, Zhang, J, Zhang, J, Duan, X, Tono, K, Yabashi, M, Ishikawa, T, Fan, C, Zhao, Y, Chai, Z, Gao, X, Earnest, T & Jiang, H 2016, Scientific Reports, vol 6, 34008. DOI:

A pyruvate decarboxylase-mediated therapeutic strategy for mimicking yeast metabolism in cancer cells
Scott, B, Shen, J, Nizzero, S, Boom, K, Persano, S, Mi, Y, Liu, X, Zhao, Y, Blanco, E, Shen, H, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2016, Pharmacological Research, vol 111, pp. 413-421. DOI:

Hesperetin liposomes for cancer therapy
Wolfram, J, Scott, B, Boom, K, Shen, J, Borsoi, C, Suri, K, Grande, R, Fresta, M, Celia, C, Zhao, Y, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2016, Current Drug Delivery, vol 13, no. 5, pp. 711-719.

Protein-Nanoreactor-Assisted Synthesis of Semiconductor Nanocrystals for Efficient Cancer Theranostics
Yang, T, Wang, Y, Ke, H, Wang, Q, Lv, X, Wu, H, Tang, Y, Yang, X, Chen, C, Zhao, Y & Chen, H 2016, Advanced Materials, pp. 5923-5930. DOI:

A pyruvate decarboxylase-mediated therapeutic strategy for mimicking yeast metabolism in cancer cells
Scott, B, Shen, J, Nizzero, S, Boom, K, Persano, S, Mi, Y, Liu, X, Zhao, Y, Blanco, E, Shen, H, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2016, Pharmacological Research.

Mesoporous Bamboo Charcoal Nanoparticles as a New Near-Infrared Responsive Drug Carrier for Imaging-Guided Chemotherapy/Photothermal Synergistic Therapy of Tumor
Dong, X, Yin, W, Yu, J, Dou, R, Bao, T, Zhang, X, Yan, L, Yong, Y, Su, C, Wang, Q, Gu, Z & Zhao, Y 2016, Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 5, no. 13, pp. 1627-1637. DOI:

SERS-based sensing technique for trace melamine detection - A new method exploring
Zhuang, H, Zhu, W, Yao, Z, Li, M & Zhao, Y 2016, Talanta, vol 153, pp. 186-190. DOI:

Nitric oxide-generating L-cysteine-grafted graphene film as a blood-contacting biomaterial
Du, Z, Dou, R, Zu, M, Liu, X, Yin, W, Zhao, Y, Chen, J, Yan, L & Gu, Z 2016, Biomaterials Science, vol 4, no. 6, pp. 938-942. DOI:

Gadolinium polytungstate nanoclusters: A new theranostic with ultrasmall size and versatile properties for dual-modal MR/CT imaging and photothermal therapy/radiotherapy of cancer
Yong, Y, Zhou, L, Zhang, S, Yan, L, Gu, Z, Zhang, G & Zhao, Y 2016, NPG Asia Materials, vol 8, no. 5, e273. DOI:

Polyhydroxylated fullerenols regulate macrophage for cancer adoptive immunotherapy and greatly inhibit the tumor metastasis
Tang, J, Chen, Z, Sun, B, Dong, J, Liu, J, Zhou, H, Wang, L, Bai, R, Miao, Q, Zhao, Y, Chen, C & Liu, Y 2016, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol 12, no. 4, pp. 945-954. DOI:

High-throughput screening of substrate specificity for protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) on phosphopeptide microarrays
Gao, L, Lee, SS, Chen, J, Sun, H, Zhao, Y, Chai, Z & Hu, Y 2016, . in Methods in Molecular Biology. vol. 1368, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1368, Humana Press Inc. pp. 181-196. DOI:

Nd3+ sensitized dumbbell-like upconversion nanoparticles for photodynamic therapy application
Xu, B, Zhang, X, Huang, W, Yang, Y, Ma, Y, Gu, Z, Zhai, T & Zhao, Y 2016, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol 4, no. 16, pp. 2776-2784. DOI: