Dr. Liangfang Zhang received his Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2006 under the supervision of Prof. Steve Granick. He was a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer at MIT during 2006-2008. He joined the Department of Nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as an Assistant Professor in July 2008 and was promoted to an Associate Professor with tenure in March 2012. Dr. Zhang’s research interests focus on the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of lipid- and polymer-based nanostructured biomaterials. One specific interest lies in developing nanomaterials for healthcare and other medical applications, for example, drug delivery to improve or enable treatments of human diseases. In addition, he also seeks to understand the fundamental sciences underlying the arenas of nanomedicine. Overall, Dr. Zhang's research covers a broad scope of multidisciplinary areas including chemical & molecular engineering, materials science, chemistry, nanotechnology, biotechnology and medicine.
Targeted drugs that treat specific tissues are often attacked by the body’s immune system. Lianfang Zhang’s research group approaches the problem from an engineering perspective and bypasses the biology. They fool the immune system by using natural red blood cell membranes to camouflage nanosponges that deliver drugs and soak up toxins.