College of Pharmacy

Avedisian Hall, 7 Greenhouse Road Kingston, RI 02881

pharmcol@etal.uri.eduOffice: 401.874.2761 Fax: 401.874.2181

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Yuan Zhang, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Office: 395M Lab: 330
  • Phone: 401.874.5017
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 7 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI 02881


The central goal of my lab is to apply nanotechnology in drug delivery and engineering approach to advance the development of nanomedicine and immunotherapy. Current research focuses on: (1) Design novel subunit vaccines and RNA-based vaccines for cancer therapy, and potentially apply the vaccine platforms to the prevention of infectious diseases. (2) Potentiate antitumor immune responses in tumor microenvironment through nanoparticle-mediated targeted delivery of small molecules and RNA therapeutics, as well as immune stimulation regimens.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioimmunoengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, 2013—2016

Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences (Molecular Pharmaceutics), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, 2009—2013

M.S., Pharmaceutics, Peking University, Beijing, China, 2007—2009

B.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China, 2003–2007


Zhang Y, Li N, Suh H, Irvine DJ. Nanoparticle anchoring targets immune agonists to tumors enabling anti-tumor efficacy without systemic toxicity. (in press) Nature Communications, 2017

He B, Yin C, Zhang Q, Zhang Y, He B, Dai W, Wang X, Qin M, Yang D, Zhang H. Increased cellular uptake of peptide-modified PEGylated gold nanoparticles. (in press) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2017

Milling L, Zhang Y, Irvine DJ. Delivering safer immunotherapies for cancer. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 114:79-101, 2017

Shi Y, Shi Z, Li S, Zhang Y, He B, Peng D, Tian J, Zhao M, Wang X, Zhang Q. The interactions of single-wall carbon nanohorns with polar epithelium. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 12:4177-4194, 2017

Deng F, Zhang H, Wang X, Zhang Y, Hu H, Song S, Dai W, He B, Zheng Y, Wang X, Zhang Q. Transmembrane Pathways and Mechanisms of Rod-like Paclitaxel Nanocrystals through MDCK Polarized Monolayer. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 9 (7): 5803-5816, 2017

Ramishetti S, Satterlee A, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Huang L. Theranostic etoposide phosphate/indium nanoparticles for cancer therapy and imaging. Nanoscale. 7 (44): 18542-51, 2015.

Zhao Y, Zhang S, Zhang Y, Cui S, Chen H, Zhi D, Zhen Y, Zhang S, Huang L. Tri-peptide cationic lipids for gene delivery. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 3: 119-126, 2015.

Zhang J, Miao L, Guo S, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Satterlee A, Kim WY, Huang L. Synergistic anti-tumor effects of combined gemcitabine and cisplatin nanoparticles in a stroma-rich bladder carcinoma model. Journal of Controlled Release. 182: 90-6, 2014

Guo S, Wang Y, Miao L, Xu Z, Lin CM, Zhang Y, Huang L. Lipid-coated cisplatin nanoparticles induce neighboring effect and exhibit enhanced anticancer efficacy. ACS Nano. 7 (11): 9896-904, 2013.

Zhang Y, Peng L, Mumper RJ, Huang L. Combinational delivery of c-Myc siRNA and nucleoside analogues in a single, synthetic nanocarrier for targeted cancer therapy. Biomaterials. 34 (33): 8459-68, 2013.

Yao J*, Zhang Y*, Ramishetti S, Wang Y, Huang L. Tuning an antiviral into an anticancer drug: nanoparticle delivery of acyclovir monophosphate. Journal of Controlled Release. 170 (3): 414-420, 2013. (* equal first authorship)

Zhang Y, Schwerbrock NM, Rogers AB, Kim WY, Huang L. Codelivery of VEGF siRNA and gemcitabine monophosphate in a single nanoparticle formulation for effective treatment of NSCLC. Molecular Therapy. 21 (8): 1559-69, 2013.

Zhang Y, Kim WY, Huang L. Systemic delivery of gemcitabine triphosphate via LCP nanoparticles for NSCLC and pancreatic cancer therapy. Biomaterials. 34 (13): 3447-58, 2013.

Zhang Y, Satterlee A, Huang L. In vivo gene delivery by nonviral vectors: overcoming hurdles? Molecular Therapy. 20 (7): 1298-304, 2012.

Vasievich EA, Ramishetti S, Zhang Y, Huang L. Trp2 peptide vaccine adjuvanted with (R)-DOTAP inhibits tumor growth in an advanced melanoma model. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 9 (2): 261-8, 2012.

Zhang Y, Huang L. RNA Drug Delivery Approaches. A chapter in “Drug Delivery in Oncology: From Research Concept to Cancer Therapy”, Volume 3, Eds. Kratz, F., Senter, P. and Steinhagen, H. Wiley-VCH, 2011.

Zhang Y, Wang X, Wang J, Zhang X, Zhang Q. Octreotide-modified polymeric micelles as potential carriers for targeted docetaxel delivery to somatostatin receptor overexpressing tumor cells. Pharmaceutical Research. 28 (5): 1167-78, 2011.

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