Design and synthesis of nanoporous siliceous nanoparticles and their applications in cosmetic and pharmaceutic applications

Dr Jun Zhang's research focuses on the design and synthesis of nanoporous siliceous nanoparticles and their applications in diverse areas. Specifically, the goal of her work is to design and synthesise novel silica hollow spheres for use in pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications, including drug and protein delivery, cancer therapy, silica vesicle-based adjuvants for vaccines, sunscreens, skin safety evaluation and livestock healthcare.

Dr Zhang completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, at Fudan University, in 2008. She then went on to do a Postgraduate Study in Inorganic Chemistry at the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, at Fudan University. In 2015 Dr Zhang Completed a PhD at the AIBN, then continued to work as a research assistant, before starting as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Yu Group in 2016.


During her PhD studies Dr Zhang invented a silica-based nanovaccine technology and worked to demonstrate this in animal applications within a Zoetis Australia-sponsored project. To date, two new partnerships have been established with UK vaccine companies N4 Pharma and Benchmark Animal Health Ltd. (BAHL). Currently, Dr Zhang works as a postdoc on an ARC Linkage project developing novel nanopesticide formulations for livestock healthcare with Elanco. She has participated in the establishment of a number of other partnerships including with Anpario for animal health nanotechnology.

Key Publications

  1. Jun Zhang, Anthony P. Raphael, Yannan Yang, Amirali Popat, Towl W. Prow and Chengzhong Yu, Nanodispersed UV Blockers in Skin-friendly Silica Vesicles with Superior UV-attenuating Efficiency, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2014, 2(44), 7673. (Front cover story)
  2. Jun Zhang, Surajit Karmakar, Meihua Yu, Neena Mitter, Jin Zou and Chengzhong Yu, Synthesis of Silica Vesicles with Controlled Entrance Size for High Loading, Sustained Release and Cellular Delivery of Therapeutical Proteins, Small, 2014, 10(24), 5068-5076. (Inside front cover story)
  3. Jun Zhang, Meihua Yu, Pei Yuan, Gaoqing (Max) Lu and Chengzhong Yu, Controlled Release of Volatile (-)-Menthol in Nanoporous Silica Materials, Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry, 2011, 71(3-4), 593.
  4. Jun Zhang, Meihua Yu, Pei Yuan, Hongning Wang, Kun Qian, Lei Tan, Yunhua Wang and Chengzhong Yu, Tuning cooperative vesicle templating and liquid crystal templating simply by varying silica source, Journal of Materials Research, 2010, 25(4), 648.
  5. Karishma T. Mody, Donna Mohony, Jun Zhang, Antonino S. Cavallaro, Bing Zhang, Amirali Popat, Timothy J Mahony, Chengzhong Yu and Neena Mitter, Silica vesicles as nanocarriers and adjuvants for generating both antibody and T-cell mediated immune resposes to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus E2 protein, Biomaterials, 2014, 35(37), 9972.
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