I am an Instructor in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. I graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009. To connect with translational cancer research, I came to the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center of UT Southwestern Medical Center for postdoctoral training. I have applied my background in fundamental polymer chemsitry and physics to translational applications including pH sensitive fluorescent nanoparticles for cancer detection which are now in the middle of human phase one clinic trial, and dendrimer RNA nanoparticles for cancer therapy which were licensed recently to the company.
My research involves studies at the Chemistry/Biology/Engineering interface and strives to answer fundamental scientific questions and create innovative technologies and therapies that can benefit human health. For the reason why to launch the Cancer Moonshot in January 2016, it stated that “now scientific understanding and vast amounts of rich data just waiting to be transformed into solution.” The unmet needs to “materialize” these new “intangible” insights from basic cancer research into new “tangible” solutions for cancer treatment motivate my research program to be conducted at the interface of biomaterials and cancer biology, immunology & pharmacology. In particular, I believe that the development of future nanotherapeutics to treat cancer will require the ability to integrate understandings on cancer into new translatable nanobiomaterials by precisely controlling their nano-architecture and their responsiveness to (patho)physiological signals. I am pursuing to integrate these new insights on cancer into the development of new translatable platform nanotechnologies and applications for better cancer treatment.
- Graduate School
- Shanghai Inst Organic Chem (2015), Polymer Chemistry
- Modular degradable dendrimers enable small RNAs to extend survival in an aggressive liver cancer model
- Zhou K, Nguyen LH, Miller JB, Yan Y, Kos P, Xiong H, Li H, Hao J, Minnig JT, Zhu H, Siegwart DJ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2016 113 520-525
- A nanoparticle-based strategy for the imaging of a broad range of tumours by nonlinear amplification of microenvironment signals
- Wang Y, Zhou K, Huang G, Hensley C, Huang X, Ma X, Zhao T, Sumer BD, DeBerardinis RJ, Gao J. Nature Materials 2014 13 204-212
- Multicolored pH-tunable and activatable fluorescence nanoplatform responsive to physiologic pH stimuli
- Zhou K, Liu H, Zhang S, Wang Y, Huang X, Huang G, Sumer BD, Gao J. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012 134 7803-7811
- The polyploid state plays a tumor suppressive role in the liver
- Zhang S, Zhou K, Luo Xin, Li L, Tu H, Sehgal A, Nguyen L, Zhang Y, Gopal P, Tarlow B, Siegwart DJ, Zhu H. Developmental Cell 2018 44 447-459