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.

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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                                             Wenhui Zhou received his Bachelor and                                                       Master Degree in Medicine at Hubei                                                            University of Medicine and Southern Medical                                              University in China. He did his master                                                          diploma thesis at the Key Laboratory of                                                        Animal Models and Human Disease                                                              Mechanisms of the Chinese Academy of                                                      Sciences and Yunnan Province, Kunming                                                      institute of zoology, Chinese Academy of                                                    Sciences, China. He then worked in the area                                                of cancer cell biology for two years at the                                                    Hubei Key Laboratory of Embryonic Stem Cell                                              Research, Hubei University of Medicine, China. In Sep, 2019, He started his PhD in the field of nucleic acid drug delivery in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. The main work of him is focused on the development of in vitro transcribed messenger RNA intracellular delivery nano-platform for cancer therapy.

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Oliver Koivisto has received his bachelor and master degree in Physiology and Genetics at 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. Currently, he is continuing the work with the group and aiming for a PhD. His work focuses on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and in development of a new delivery system for cancer therapy.

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Jiaqi Yan received his Bachelor and Master Degree in Pharmaceutics at the Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and Guangdong phamaceutical University in China. He performed his master diploma thesis at pharmaceutical science laboratory, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Afterwards he started his PhD in the field of DNA nanotechnology in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. His work is focused on the development of synthetic miRNA based therapeutic strategies for the cancer therapy.

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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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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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Xiaodong Ma graduated from Jiangsu Ocean University, China, with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering and an M.S. in Marine Chemistry. He completed his master's thesis at the Pharmacy Laboratory of Åbo Akademi University, Finland. After that, he started his PhD research in the field of pro-drug nanotechnology in the group of Prof. Hongbo Zhang in the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University. His work focused on the synthesis of pro-drugs and their application in the field of disease treatment.

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                                             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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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.

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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.