Lab of ImmunoEngineering and ImmunoTheranostics VCU School of Pharmacy


Our Team

We are a team of talented and passionate scientists with diverse background and common motivation to improve human health via research and innovation.

Principle Investigator

Guizhi (Julian) Zhu

Assistant Professor (2018 - present) 
Department of Pharmaceutics , School of Pharmacy , Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. 

Associate Member, Developmental Therapeutics Program, Massay Cancer Center 

Postdoc fellow (2014 - 2018) 
Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), NIH, Bethesda, MD. (Advisor: Dr. Shawn Chen) 

Ph.D. (2008 - 2013) 
Medical Sciences - Physiology & Pharmacology 
Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. (Advisor: Dr. Weihong Tan) 

B.S. (2004 - 2008) 
Biotechnology, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

Our Team

Ting Su

Post Doctoral Fellow | PhD, Sichuan University, China

Dr. Ting Su graduated from Tianjin University, China, in 2012 with a B.S. in Materials Chemistry. Ting attained her M.S. and Ph.D. from Sichuan University in Dr. Bin He's lab, where she focused on the development of biodegradable polymers and controlled drug delivery system in cancer therapy.

She joined Julian’s lab to continue her postdoctoral training since late 2018, where she focuses on the development of immunotherapeutic nanoparticles based on polymer materials.

Yu Zhang

Post Doctoral Fellow | PhD, Lanzhou University, China

Dr. Zhang graduated from Hunan University, China, in 2011 with a B.A. in Chemistry. He attained his PhD from the Lanzhou University in 2016, where he focused on the development of rare-earth nanomaterial for biological applications in the lab of Dr. Yu Tang. Dr. Zhang then pursued the first stage of his postdoctoral training at the Chinese Academy of Sciences under the guidance of Dr. Xiaohong Fang and Dr. Weihong Tan.

Yu’s project at the Chinese Academy of Sciences focused on the DNA-functionalized nanoprobes for biomarker biosensing and bioimaging in vivo. Yu joined Dr. Zhu’s Lab in January 2019 to develop DNA-functionalized nanovaccines for cancer immunotherapy.

Tingting Shen

Post Doctoral Fellow | PhD, Lanzhou University, China

Dr. Shen graduated from Lanzhou University in 2011 with a B.A. in Chemistry. She attained her PhD from the Lanzhou University in 2016, where she focused on the development of rare-earth doped nanomaterial for multi-color adjustment in the lab of Dr. Yu Tang. During her postdoctoral training at Hunan University, Dr. Shen's research was focused on DNA-functionalized inorganic nanomaterials for photodynamic therapy.

She joined the Dr. Guizhi Zhu’s Lab in January 2019 study DNA-RNA functionalized nanovaccines for cancer immunotherapy.

Wenjie Chen

Post Doctoral Fellow | PhD, Macquarie University, Australia

Dr. Chen has a BSc degree from China Pharmaceutical University, China, before he started research on the non-viral gene delivery systems in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In Spring 2015 he moved to Macquarie University to pursue his doctoral career, supported by iMQRES scholarship. Dr. Chen finalized his PhD in Fall 2018 in biomaterial, in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, where he focused on the development of photo-induced nanomaterial used for gene/drug delivery in the lab of Prof. Ewa Goldys.

After a short postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota, then he joined Dr. Zhu Lab in spring 2019. His current research interests include nucleic acid delivery, nanomedicine based cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy.

Lujun Hu

Visiting Scholar | PhD, Jiangnan University, China

Dr. Lujun Hu received his B.S. degree from Southwest University, China, and M.S. degree from the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sichuan, China. He graduated from Jiangnan University, China, with a PhD degree in Dr. Wei Chen’s lab, where he focused on the detection of bifidobacteria on the basis of aptamers and high-throughput sequencing.

He joined Dr. Zhu’s lab in April 2019 to develop diagnostics and prognostics in cancer immunotherapy.

Weinan Wang

Visiting Scholar | PhD, Peking University, China

Dr. Weinan Wang graduated from Changchun University of Chinese Medicine (CCUCM) in 2007 with a B.S. in Natural Product Chemistry. He attained his PhD from Peking University in 2013, where he focused on development of multiple analysis strategies to monitor the chemical variations of different natural compounds in dark tea during processing under the supervision of Prof. Pengfei Tu. He then became a faculty of CCUCM after graduation and joined Prof. Zhidong Qiu’s group to proceed researches on natural product discovery with different analytical techniques, including LC-MS (Orbit-Trap, Q-TOF, QQQ), NMR, IR, SERS etc.

He joined Dr. Zhu’s lab in May 2019 to develop analysis strategies for the discovery of molecular probe to facilitate the individualized mouse "patient" stratification and therapy response monitoring during cancer immunotherapy.

Shurong Zhou

Graduate Student | MS, Peking University, China

Shurong Zhou graduated from Peking University in 2019, where she obtained her B.S. and M.S.
in pharmaceutical sciences. During her research training for master program, she worked on
constructing a novel delivery system for oral protein delivery.

She joined Dr. Zhu’s lab for further
study on immunotheranostics and drug delivery for cancer immunotherapy.

Kush Shah

Undergraduate Student | VCU Honors College, USA

Kush is a junior in the Honors College at VCU as a double major in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. Kush joined the lab to learn more about the field of nano therapy based cancer immunotherapy.

Janét Cole

Undergraduate Student | VCU, USA

Janét is a senior at VCU with a major in Biology. Janét joined the lab to learn more on cancer and explore nanomedicine based cancer immunotherapy.