Fan Zhang

Fan Zhang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department: Pharmaceutics
Business Phone: (352) 294-8287
Business Email:

About Fan Zhang

Fan Zhang, Ph.D., joined the department of pharmaceutics as an assistant professor in January 2021. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Materials Science & Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Kannan Rangaramanujam, Ph.D. His graduate work established the guiding principles for designing nanomedicines to target neuroinflammation. 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. This experience solidified his foundation in immuno-oncology, cell & gene therapy, and experimental tumor models. As an American Brain Tumor Association Research Fellowship awardee, he developed a polymer-based platform that genetically program immune cells for cancer treatment, which is under clinical translation. His work has led to four patents and contributed to the foundation of two start-up companies.

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Best Abstract Awards
2020 · American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Best Poster Award
2020 · Immune Modulation and Engineering Symposium
AACR Scholar-in-training Award
2019 · American Association for Cancer Research
Best Poster Award
2019 · Gordon Research Conference on Cancer Nanotechnology
Fred Hutch Student/Postdoc Advisory Committee Travel Award
2019 · Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Young Investigator Award
2019 · Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 34th Annual Meeting
Young Investigator Research Award
2019 · 5nd Annual Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators' Forum (PhD/Postdoctoral Researcher Category, 3rd place)
ABTA Basic Research Fellowships Award
2018 · American Brain Tumor Association
Donghua Scholarship
2009 · Donghua University
Outstanding Technological Innovation Research
2009 · Shanghai City Government

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
PHA6910 Supervised Research
PHA6416 Pharmaceutical Analysis I
PHA7979 Advanced Research

Research Profile

Dr.Zhang’s research focuses on developing synthetic nanoplatforms to direct immune cells as ‘living therapeutics’. To this end, his laboratory integrates materials science, immunology, synthetic biology, and translational medicine to create novel nanotherapeutics for controlled modulation of the immune system. The overarching goal of his research is to establish a fundamental understanding of nanotherapeutic design and the ways it interacts with the immune system. The ultimate goal of his research is to translate nanomedicine to the clinic. Dr.Zhang’s laboratory seeks to create a unique working environment by fostering interdisciplinary and translational collaboration. The current research focuses include: (1) engineering synthetic nanoplatforms; (2) engineering synthetic cell-based therapy; (3) physiology-guided drug delivery.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)


Areas of Interest
  • CNS Cancer
  • Cell and Gene Therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Immuno-Oncology
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nanomedicine
  • Neuroinflammation


Neuroprotective effects of a dendrimer-based glutamate carboxypeptidase inhibitor on superoxide dismutase transgenic mice after neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury
Neurobiology of Disease. 148 [DOI] 10.1016/j.nbd.2020.105201.
Dendrimer size effects on the selective brain tumor targeting in orthotopic tumor models upon systemic administration
Bioengineering & Translational Medicine. [DOI] 10.1002/btm2.10160/v1/review2.
Genetic programming of macrophages to perform anti-tumor functions using targeted mRNA nanocarriers
Nature Communication. (10)
Cognitive impairments induced by necrotizing enterocolitis can be prevented by inhibiting microglial activation in mouse brain
Sci Transl Med. (10)
Cognitive impairments induced by necrotizing enterocolitis can be prevented by inhibiting microglial activation in mouse brain
Science Translational Medicine. 10(471) [DOI] 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan0237. [PMID] 30541786.
Dendrimer-mediated delivery of N-acetyl cysteine to microglia in a mouse model of Rett syndrome
J Neuroinflammation. 14(1)
Nanoparticles that reshape the tumor milieu create a therapeutic window for effective T cell therapy in solid malignancies
Cancer Research. 1(78):3718-3730
Accumulation and cellular localization of nanoparticles in an ex vivo model of acute lung injury
J Surg Res. (210):78-85
Generation-6 hydroxyl PAMAM dendrimers for improved delivery of therapeutics to the brain in a large animal brain injury model
J Control Release. (249):173-182
Selective Localization of a Novel Dendrimer Nanoparticle in Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Ann Thorac Surg. S0003-4975(17):30052-30058
Uptake of dendrimer-drug by different cell types in the hippocampus after hypoxic-ischemic insult in neonatal mice: Effects of injury, microglial activation and hypothermia
Nanomedicine. 13(7):2359-2369
Nanoscale effects in dendrimer-mediated targeting of neuroinflammation
Biomaterials. 101:96-107
Nanotechnology Approaches to Targeting Inflammation and Excitotoxicity in a Canine Model of Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest–Induced Brain Injury
Ann Thorac Surg. S0003-4975(16):00262-00269
Surface functionality affects the biodistribution and targeting to neuroinflammation for intra-amniotically delivered dendrimers.
J Control Release. 10(237):61-70
Targeting Specific Cells in the Brain with Nanomedicines for CNS Therapies
J Control Release. (240):212-226
PAMAM Dendrimer Biodistribution in Glioblastoma and Intrinsic Targeting of Tumor Associated Macrophages
Biomaterials. (52):507-516
Systemic dendrimer-drug treatment of ischemia-induced neonatal white matter injury
J Control Release. (214):112-120
Dendrimer brain uptake and targeted therapy for brain injury in a large animal model of hypothermic circulatory arrest
ACS Nano. (8):2134-2147
Fetal uptake of intra-amniotically delivered dendrimers in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation and preterm birth
Nanomedicine. 10(6):1343-1351
Biodistribution of fluorescently labeled PAMAM dendrimers in neonatal rabbits: effect of neuroinflammation
Mol Pharm.. (10):4560-4571
Enhancing the efficacy of Ara-C through conjugation with PAMAM dendrimer and linear PEG: a comparative study
Biomacromolecules. (14):801-810


Postdoc, Program in Immunology
2016-2020 · Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering
2011-2016 · Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering
2006-2010 · Donghua University, Shanghai, China

Contact Details

(352) 294-8287
Business Mailing:
PO Box 100494
Business Street:
Medical Science Building, P3-27
1345 Center Dr.
Gainesville FL 32610