About the PI

Fan Zhang Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutics
College of Pharmacy
Member, UF Cancer Center
Affiliated Faculty, UF Chemical Engineering
UF Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Medicine
University of Florida
Email: fzhang1@cop.ufl.edu

Training Experiences

Training Institution
Postdoc Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Program of Immunology
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Center for Nanomedicine
B.S. Donghua University, College of Materials Science and Engineering

About

Fan Zhang‘s research combines materials science, immunology, and synthetic biology approaches to develop nanotherapeutics that can program immune responses against diseases. Through his graduate training with Kannan Rangaramanujam Ph.D. and Sujatha Kannan M.D., he developed material chemistry and engineering skills to formulate a dendrimer-based nanomedicine for treating neuroinflammation, which is now patented technology. Working with neuroscientists and engineers, he framed the guiding principles for designing drug carriers to target neuroinflammation. This reinforced his long-term career goal of translating nanomedicine to the clinic, and he set out to extend his expertise in immunology and to expand the clinical impact of his research. He then undertook postdoctoral training with Matthias Stephan, M.D., Ph.D., at the Clinical Research Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Through this training, he solidified his foundation in immunology, molecular biology, and animal tumor models, which leads to a deeper understanding of immunotherapy and gene therapy. As an American Brain Tumor Association Research Fellowship Awardee, he developed a polymer-based platform that efficiently delivers mRNAs into macrophages; it can be used to genetically reprogram macrophages by targeting critical transcription factors. His findings provided evidence for using a gene-modification system to ‘correct’ cell function as a novel cancer treatment strategy and are currently in clinical translation. His expertise in engineering, immunology, and experience of working closely with physicians have placed him in a unique position to establish an interdisciplinary research program that integrates the formulation of nanotherapeutics with immunology, synthetic biology, and translational research.

Awards

  • NCI-DCP Early Career Scientist Highlight, 2024
  • Outstanding Teaching Team Award, UF College of Pharmacy, 2023
  • CTSI KL2 Career Development Award, NIH through UF CTSI, 2023
  • Sparkathon Accelerator Award, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 34th Annual Meeting, 2021
  • AAPS Best Abstract Awards, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2020
  • Young Investigator Award, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 34th Annual Meeting, 2019
  • BEST POSTER AWARD, Gordon Research Conference on Cancer Nanotechnology, 2019
  • Young Investigator Research Award, 5nd Annual Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators’ Forum (PhD/Postdoctoral Researcher Category, 3rd place), 2019
  • American Medical Association (AMA) PRA Category 1 Credit™ certification, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), 2019
  • AACR Scholar-in-training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2019
  • Fred Hutch Student/Postdoc Advisory Committee Travel Award, 2019
  • ABTA Basic Research Fellowships Award, American Brain Tumor Association, 2018, ongoing
  • Donghua Scholarship, Donghua University, 2009
  • Outstanding Technological Innovation Research, Shanghai City Government, 2009
  • Academic Excellence Award, 2007 and 2008, Donghua University

Patents

The following international patents have been licensed under Ashvattha Therapeutics.

  • Mangraviti A. Mastorakos P, Mishra M, Kannan RM, Tyler B, Zhang F, SELECTIVE DENDRIMER DELIVERY TO BRAIN TUMORS. US Pub number: US20170173172A1, WO/2016/025741.
  • Kannan RM, Kannan, S, Nance E, Blue M, Johnston M, Baumgartner W, Zhang F, Wilson MA, Slusher B. DENDRIMER COMPOSITIONS AND USE IN TREATMENT OF NEUROLOGICAL AND CNS DISORDERS. US Pub number: US20170232120A1.
  • Kannan RM, Kannan, S, Fatemi A, Zhang F, Turk B. COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR TREATMENT OF PEROXISOMAL DISORDERS AND LEUKODYSTROPHIES, US Pub number: US20170119899A1.
  • Kannan RM, Hackam D, Kannan S, Nino DF, Zhang F. DENDRIMER COMPOSITIONS AND USE IN TREATMENT OF NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS AND OTHER GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS, US Pub number: US20170119897A1.

Teaching

  • PHA6935, Nanomedicine-based Immunotherapy
  • PHA6938, Pharmaceutics Department Seminar
  • PHA 6416, Pharmaceutical Analysis I     
  • PHA 6740, Fundamentals of Grant Writing in the Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • PHA 5561, Pathophysiology and Patient Assessment II
  • PHA 6183, Pharmaceutical Gene Delivery
  • PHA 7900, Drug and Gene Delivery Journal Club
  • GMS6065, Fundamentals of Cancer Biology

Seminar and Conference Talks

  • 02.2024 AAPS Nanotechnology Community Seminar (virtual)
  • 01.2024 NCI Division of Cancer Prevention (virtual)
  • 02.2023 Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
  • 12.2022 Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
  • 10.2022 Dinesh O. Shah Annual Lecture in Surface Science, Gainesville, FL
  • 08.2022 Gordon Research Conference Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology, Mt Snow, VT
  • 05.2022 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, FL
  • 11.2021 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 2021 conference, Washington, D.C.
  • 08.2021 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, FL
  • 02.2021 Department of Pharmaceutics, Virginia Commonwealth University, VA
  • 06.2019 5th Annual Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators’ Forum. Houston, TX
  • 11.2020 Selected Talk, Immune Modulation & Engineering Symposium, Philadelphia, PA

Service

Editorial Responsibility

  • 12.2021 – present    Particuology, Young Professional Editorial Board
  • 2021                             FASEB BioAdvances, Editor Search Committee

Conference and Professional Society Organization

2024 2024 Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS), co-Chair

2023 Controlled Release Society Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Moderator for Nerve System Delivery Session

2022    2022 American Brain Tumor Association Annual Meeting, Program Planning Committee

Conference Abstract/Poster Reviewer

  • 2023 Controlled Release Society Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Poster Judge
  • 2022    Gordon Research Conference Drug Carrier in Medicine and Biology, Poster Reviewer
  • 2021 UF Cancer Center Research Day, Poster Reviewer

Journal Review

Science Advances, Journal of Controlled Release, Drug Delivery and Translational Research, Bioengineering & Translational Medicine, Neurotherapeutics

NIH Study Section:

  • 06.2024, Radiation Therapy, Radiation Biology & Nanoparticle Based Therapeutics SBIR/STTR special emphasis panel
  • 03.2024, Radiation Therapy, Radiation Biology & Nanoparticle Based Therapeutics SBIR/STTR special emphasis panel
  • 03.2023, NCI Cancer Nanotechnology Study Section

UF Pharmaceutics Department service

  • 2023 – present Host and Moderator, Pharmaceutics Department Seminar Series
  • 2021 – present            Organizer, Drug and Gene Delivery Journal Club
  • 2022                               Member, Faculty Search Committee DEI
  • 2023 Member, Faculty Search Committee DEI

UF service

  • 2023, UF ROSF Grant Review Committee, Reviewer
  • 2021 PROSPER Award Review Committee, Reviewer
  • 2021,2022 COP Annual Showcase, Judge
  • 2021,2022 COP PharmD student recruitment, Interviewer

Department of Pharmaceutics • College of Pharmacy • University of Florida

1345 Center Drive PO BOX 100494, Medical Science Building, Room P3-26 Gainesville, FL 32610