Yuliang Zhao

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Prof. Yuliang Zhao is Director of NCNST and Director of CAS Key Lab for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety. He was elected CAS member in 2017 and fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in 2018.

Prof. Zhao graduated from Sichuan University in 1985, and received PhD at Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1999. Before moving to Chinese Academy of Sciences from RIKEN/Japan in 2001, he worked with RIKEN colleagues and discovered the Element 113 (Nh) which is the first new element that has been discovered by Asian scientists and added in the Periodic Table of the Element. 

In 2001, Prof. Zhao firstly proposed the innovatively scientific idea and research plan on the safety (toxicology) study of engineered nanomaterials to CAS, and then he built the worldwide earliest laboratory specifically focusing on the investigation of nanotoxicity with an emphasis on the safe and sustainable development of frontier sciences and technologies. He has been mainly focusing on the in vivo ADME/T and their biochemical mechanisms of artificial materials at nanoscale. He is internationally recognized as the pioneer with innovative ideas for initiating the nanosafety study in China and worldwide as well. In 2016, when Nature Nanotechnology reviewed the progresses of nanosciences and nanotechnology development in the past decade, Prof. Zhao was rated as a “leading scientist” in nanosafety field. 

Prof. Zhao is the author of over 500 manuscripts and over 26 patents worldwide. His publications have been cited about 37,000 times (H-index ~100) by scientists from more than 1000 research groups worldwide. Prof. Zhao received many international/national awards including, TWAS Prize in Chemistry (2016), National Prize for Natural Sciences (2012, 2018), Outstanding Achievement Award in Science and Technology of CAS (2019), etc. 

Prof. Zhao was invited as the international expert of nanosafety by United Union, Environment Program (UNEP), Europium Union (EU), OECD, etc. Prof. Zhao was elected as the founding Chair of Chinese Committee of Nanotoxicology by Chinese Toxicology Society in 2011, the founding Chair of Chinese Committee of Nanomedicine by Chinese Pharmaceutical Association in 2015, and the Chair of Chinese Committee of Nanochemistry by Chinese Chemical Society in 2016. His activities have greatly contributed to the discovery of novel biochemical properties of materials at nanoscale, the initiation and development of forefront and multidisciplinary nanosciences, and the promotion of the public/scientist`s consciousness for sustainable and responsible research and development in new technology in China. 

Prof. Zhao has made exceptional contributions in discovery of the basic knowledge of biological effects of nanoscale materials in vivo, and many of our understanding of nanotoxicity discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo behaviours were derived from his work. In the development and establishment of reliable, quantitative and standardized analysis methods for the testing of nanomaterials and nanomedicines in biological systems to understand the underlying mechanisms of bio-nano interactions or their medical functions, his research activities have devoted to the key topic for sustainable development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and made significant contributions to initiate and develop nanosafety field with his particular focuses on its Bio-nano Interactions and nanomedicine application. His work has led to: (1) the establishment of the first International Standard (ISO/TS 13278:2011) that was developed and established in nanoscience and technology fields by China, authorized by International Standard Organization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC); (2) Revelation of key characteristics that dominate health effects of nanoscale materials, his studies have been remarked as the “first” (original work) in the published papers by other scientists of more than ten countries; and (3) Establishment of the way of regulating toxic properties of nanomaterials, which has led to the discovery of a completely new cancer nanomedicine that provides a novel concept in cancer treatment.


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