Analytical biochemistry: Biosensing and Bioimaging

​Dr Run Zhang’s main research focus is to develop unique chemical tools for biology and health diagnostics through design and synthesis of organic/inorganic molecules and nanomaterials-based biosensors for ultrasensitive and selective detection of targeted biomarkers in normal and diseased states. He pioneered a number of smart biosensors to probe biomarkers in the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems, as well as biosensors for cancer therapy. Using advanced imaging techniques, including fluorescence, lifetime, time-gated luminescence imaging, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), he is able to apply these biosensors for quantitative monitoring important biomarkers in live systems, which are expected to assist in disease diagnosis and clinical decisions regarding patient treatment. He is also interested in the development of cutting-edge chemosensor and nanosensors for the applications in environmental pollutants detection and food quality determination, contributing to publication health. By exploring the functional inorganic nanomaterials, Dr Zhang’s research is currently involved in the engineering novel nanomaterial for tumour early diagnosis and imaging guided therapy. 

Dr Zhang carried out his doctoral studies in the State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemistry at Dalian University of Technology. He moved to the Physics and Astronomy Department of Macquarie University as a postdoctoral research fellow immediately after finishing my PhD in July 2012. In December 2012, he won a highly competitive Macquarie University Research Fellowship (MQRF), and took up this independent position in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science (CBMS) in January 2013. He was appointed as a visiting research fellow in Associate Professor Gordon Xu's group, Nanomaterials Center in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland (AIBN, UQ) in January 2015. In February 2016, he re-located to AIBN, UQ to work as a research associate. In 2017, Dr Zhang was awarded the prestigious Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher (DECRA) on the project of engineering next generation nanoprobes for bioimaging. Dr Zhang's research have made significant contributions in the field of synthetic and analytical chemistry, nanomaterial science, nano-/bio-interface (surface chemistry), and biophotonics. As the result of his research achievements, he has been internationally recognised with a number of high impact publications and several academic awards. He is also invited to be the Editorial board and as reviewer for more than 15 journals.


​Since 2013, Dr Zhang has built collaborations with over 15 research groups in Australia, USA, Sweden, and China in the fields of synthetic chemistry, analytical science, theoretical computer modelling, and nanotechnology.

Key Publications

  1. F. Zhang, X. Liang, W. Zhang, Y.-L. Wang, H. Wang, Y. H. Mohammed, B. Song, R. Zhang, J. Yuan. A Unique Ir(III) Complex-based Chemosensor for Multi-Signal Detection and Multi-Channel Imaging of Hypochlorous Acid in Liver Injury. Biosensor and Bioelectronics, 2017, 87, 1005-1011.
  2. L. Cao, R. Zhang, W. Zhang, Z. Du, C. Liu, Z. Ye, J. Yuan. A Ruthenium(II) Complex-Based Multisignal Chemosensor for Luminescent Bioimaging of Hypochlorous Acid. Biomaterials, 2015, 68, 21-31.
  3. Q. Meng, H. Jia, P. Succar, L. Zhao, R. Zhang, C. Duan, Z. Zhang. A Highly Selective and Sensitive ON-OFF-ON Fluorescence Chemosensor for Cysteine Detection in Endoplasmic Reticulum. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2015, 74, 461-468.
  4. Y. Lu, J. Zhao, R. Zhang, Y. Liu, D. Liu, E. M. Goldys, X. Yang, P. Xi, A. Sunna, J. Lu, Y. Shi, R. C. Leif , Y. Huo, J. Shen, J. A. Piper, J. P. Robinson, D. Jin. Tunable lifetime multiplexing using luminescent nanocrystals. Nature Photonics, 2014, 8, 32-36.
  5. R. Zhang, B. Song, Z. Dai, Z. Ye, Y. Xiao, Y. Liu, J. Yuan. Highly sensitive and selective phosphorescent chemosensor for hypochlorous acid based on ruthenium(II) complexes. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2013, 50, 1-7