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Research group: Functional Materials for Medicine

Functional Materials have played more and more critical role in development of novel treatment methods for different diseases. Our group focus on designing all kinds of functional materials, at different scales, to solve clinical and biological problems. We have broad collaborations with hospitals, and most of our projects have clinical doctors involved and initial from a real-life clinical question. Our group is multidisciplinary,  which interplay between physics, materials science, synthetic organic chemistry, engineering, biology and medicine. We aim that many of our designs could be clinical applicable in future, and to have a great social impact in treating diseases. 

Contact: hongbo.zhang@abo.fi

PhD Student

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Wali Inam did his master studies in discovery and development from the University of Turku. He joined Hongbo’s research group for master’s thesis focused on “Optimization of microfluidic encapsulation with nanoprecipitation for controlled drug delivery”. After completion of his master studies, he continued as a PhD student in the same group. His PhD work focuses on the understanding the mechanism of microfluidics-based polymer encapsulation of inorganic particles and electrophysical properties of nanoparticles using dynamic light scattering technique.

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Dhayakumar Rajan Prakash (D.K) received his bachelor degree in bioengineering and master degree in Medical Nano technology where he did his master thesis project at Pharmaceutical sciences laboratory at Åbo Akademi university. He then started to work with ChinFin innovation and incubation oy where it was supporting his PhD studies and from 2021 February he started working in Brinter oy as Bionic Engineer. His thesis research topic is focused on smart stimuli responsive material manipulation and manufacturing.

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Chaoping He obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Medicine degrees at Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Hunan University of traditional Chinese Medicine respectively.Now, he is studying for a PhD in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. Simultaneously, Prof. Wen Yang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine acts as his co-supervisor. Focuses on enhancing myocardial mitochondrial activity in vitro and associated energy metabolism for heart failure treatment.

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Oliver Koivisto has received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physiology and Genetics at the University of Turku in Finland. He completed his master’s thesis in 2020 in Prof. Hongbo Zhang´s group at the Pharmaceutical science laboratory, Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University. He is currently continuing the group work and aiming for a Ph.D. His work focuses on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools for developing a new delivery system for   cancer therapy. Oliver also works in Business Finland-funded   research to business project with mitochondria and on   competitor analysis.

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Yu Chen is awarded his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in medicine from Anhui University of Science & technology and Bengbu Medical College, respectively. Currently, he is a PhD student in Åbo Akademi University, Finland. His supervisor is Prof. Hongbo Zhang from Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering. Simultaneously, Prof. Wenguo Cui from Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine acts as his co-supervisor. His work is focused on the development of novel biomaterials and nanomaterials for tissue regeneration, drug delivery, and disease treatment.

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Yonghui Wang received her Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Pharmaceutics at the Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. In her master's degree, she was an interesting area in Functional Nanoparticles for Targeted Drug Delivery. Afterward, she started her Ph.D. in the field of molecular pharmaceutics in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. Her work focuses on disease-specific microenvironments and is based on the development of specific responsive vectors and the study of drug-body interactions.

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Shengyi Wang received his bachelor and master degree in Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University and Nanchang University in China. Then, he started working in EYE & Hospital of Fudan University and focus on gene editing and treatment for hereditary deafness.

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Yu Zhang received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Henan Normal University and Soochew University in China. Now, he is studying for a PhD in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. His main research direction is to develop new biomaterials to regulate the bone marrow immune microenvironment and promote bone regeneration.

                                             Dabao Shang received his bachelor degree in                                              clinical medicine from The Southern Medical                                                University in Guangzhou, China, and received                                              Master Degree at Shanghai Jiaotong                                                            University in clinical medicine in China.                                                         Afterwards he started his PhD in the field of                                                  Drug Development and Medical Technology

                                             in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the                                                    Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and                                                                  Engineering, Åbo Akademi University and the                                              group of Prof. Wenguo Cui in the Ruijin                                                        Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong                                                        University School of Medicine/Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics. His work is focused on the development of new drugs based therapeutic strategies for bone and joint repair and functional reconstruction based on biomedical materials.

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Xiwen Geng received her Bachelor and Master Degree in Nanjing Agriculture University and Shandong University in China. From May 2021, she started her PhD studies in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory, Åbo Akademi University and she is co-supervised by Prof. Yuanjin Zhao in Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University. Her work is focused on the development of therapeutic strategies against antimicrobial resistance based on biomedical materials.

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Pengzhen Zhuang got his Bachelor and Master’s Degree from Anhui University of Technology and Wuhan University of Technology, respectively. Currently, he is starting his PhD studies in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory, Åbo Akademi University and he is co-supervised by Prof. Wenguo Cui at Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School/Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics. His work focuses on the development of inorganic nanomaterials related to bone repair.

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Meixin Ran received her bachelor and master degree in pharmaceutics at the Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in China. Afterwards she started her PhD in the field of novel technologies for gene delivery in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. Her work is focused on the development of miRNA-responsive nanogel for gene delivery.

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Fanny Frejborg received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the University of Helsinki and her master’s degree in biomedicine, drug discovery and development at the University of Turku. Fanny’s master’s thesis focused on antiviral RNA interference in Veijo Hukkanen’s group at the University of Turku. Now she is a Ph.D. student at Åbo Akademi University under the supervision of Prof. Jessica Rosenholm and Prof. Hongbo Zhang, while collaborating with Prof. Hannu Järveläinen and Veijo Hukkanen at the University of Turku. Her research focuses on combining nanoparticles with oncolytic viruses.

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Wu Yang is awarded his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in medicine from Guizhou Medical University and Chongqing Medical University, respectively. Afterwards he started his PhD in the field of Drug Development and Medical Technology in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the  Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University and the group of Prof. Wenguo Cui in the Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong   University School of Medicine/ Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics. His work is try to regulate the bone regeneration using Gene Therapy.

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Rui Liu received her bachelor degree in pharmaceutical engineering from Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and received her master degree at Tianjin University of Science and Technology in chemical processing of forest products. Currently, she is a doctor student of chemical enginerring, working on the development of biomass derived functional nanomaterials to be used in biomecine under the supervision of Professor Chunlin Xu and professor Hongbo Zhang (co-supervisor) at Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

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Rawand A. Mustafa received his Bachelor in pharmacy and did  Master degree in Pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Central lancashire (UCLAN) in the United kingdom (UK). Afterwards, he started his PhD in the field of nanoparticle for drug delivery and biomedical application using miccrfluidics in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. His work is  focused on the development of silica core shell nanoparticles for different biomedical application systems.

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Yuanyuan Jiang received her bachelor and master degree at Jiangsu University. Currently, she is a doctor student of pharmaceutical science, working on the development of Bio-inspired natural platelet hydrogels for wound healing under the supervision of  professor Hongbo Zhang at Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

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Li Wang received his Bachelor in Nanjing Tech University, and received his master degree in Southeast University. Afterwards, he started his PhD in the field of applications of Intelligent Hydrogel System in Drug Delivery of Gastric Diseases, in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. 

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Kexin Yi starts her Ph.D. study on 12.2022 in Abo Akademi University at Hongbo Zhang's group, She focuses on the application of porous microneedles in biomarker detection

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Longxi Wu starts his PhD study on 12.2022 in Abo Akademi Universityfocus on the Influence and mechanism of LDHA-mediated glucose metabolism innucleus pulposus cell degeneration

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Chengcheng Li received his bachelor's degree in biotechnology from Xinxiang University and his master's degree in bioengineering from Zhengzhou University. Afterward, he started his Ph.D. studies in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. His work focuses on the development of photoresponsive nanofibers for tissue regeneration.

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Xin Yang graduated from China Pharmaceutical University with a master's degree in pharmaceutical engineering. His master's research focused on nanocomposite hydrogel dressings for chronic wound healing. After completing his master's degree, he joined Hongbo's research group as a Ph.D. student. His PhD work focuses on the development of microfluidic synthesis technology for nano drug delivery systems.

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Xiang Lin received his Bachelor's degree at National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk from Soochow University in 2020. He completed his master's thesis at Southeast University. After that, he started his Ph.D. research at Åbo Akademi University. His current scientific interests include bio-printing and organs-on-chips.

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Jinbo Li received her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Northeastern University and received her master's degree at Southeast University in biomedical engineering. Currently, she starts her Ph.D. study on 5.2023 at Abo Akademi University at Hongbo Zhang's group, and she focuses on the fabrication and biomedical applications of monodisperse microgels.

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Jessica Salo received her Bachelor´s degree in pharmacy from the University of Eastern Finland in 2020 and received her Master´s degree in biomedical imaging from Åbo Akademi University. After that, She started her Ph.D. research at  Hongbo Zhang´s research group in the pharmacy, faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. Her research focuses on delivering the novel, edited Crispr/Cas9 plasmid system into cancerous cells of the liver. 

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Lu Fan received her Bachelor's degree from the Taiyuan University of Technology and received her master's degree from Southeast University. Afterward, she started her Ph.D. research at Åbo Akademi University. Her work focuses on the development of drug-loaded microneedles for drug delivery.​​

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