PhD (Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor of Department of Chemistry


Contact Information

Office: YEUNG-G6633
Phone: +852 3442-6857
Fax: +852 3442-0522
Email: guangzhu@cityu.edu.hk
Web: Personal Homepage
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4710-7070
Author ID:

Research Interests

  • Anticancer drug development
  • Drug mechanism and target validation
  • Drug delivery
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Chemical biology

Dr. Guangyu Zhu obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Peking University (2002), where he developed a strong passion for biological chemistry and drug discovery. He moved to the United States and obtained a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh (2007), where he was working on anticancer drug development and discovery. He subsequently did his postdoc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Prof. Stephen J. Lippard working on the mechanism of action of cisplatin, one of the most widely used chemotherapeutic drugs in the clinic. He joined the City University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor in 2011. Dr. Zhu's research interest lies at the interface of chemistry and biology, focusing on anticancer drug development and mechanism. His current research projects include synthesis and biological evaluation of novel metal-based anticancer agents, development of cancer-specific nanomedicine to conquer cisplatin resistance, and screening of biologically active small-molecule anticancer agents and their target validation, by using interdisciplinary approaches and methods in the areas of biological chemistry, medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, and chemical biology. More information could be found at http://www.zhulab.com.

Representative Publications

  • Wang, Z.*, Wang, N., Cheng, S.-C., Xu, K., Deng, Z., Chen, S., Xu, Z., Xie, K., Tse, M.-K., Shi, P., Hirao, H., Ko, C.-C., and Zhu, G.* (2019) Phorbiplatin, a highly potent Pt(IV) antitumor prodrug that can be controllably activated by red light. Chem DOI:10.1016/j.chempr.2019.08.021
    [News report in X-mol (in Chinese); ScienceDaily; Eurekalert; Phys.org; CityU_research (in Chinese)]
  • Wang, Z., Deng, Z., and Zhu, G.* (2019) Emerging platinum(IV) prodrugs to combat cisplatin resistance: From isolated cancer cells to tumor microenvironment. Dalton Trans. 48, 2536-2544
    [Invited Review and Front Cover Article]
  • Ma, L., Wang, N., Ma, R., Li, C., Xu, Z., Tse, M.-K., and Zhu, G.* (2018) Monochalcoplatin: an actively transported, quickly reducible, and highly potent Pt(IV) anticancer prodrug. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 9098-9102
    [Highlighted by X-mol (in Chinese)]
  • Wang, N., Wang, Z., Xu, Z., Chen, X., and Zhu, G.* (2018) A cisplatin-loaded immuno-chemotherapeutic nanohybrid bearing immune checkpoint inhibitors for enhanced cervical cancer therapy. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 3426-3430
    [Highlighted by X-mol (in Chinese)]
  • Sun, T., Ai, F., Zhu, G.*, and Wang, F.* (2018) Recent progress in upconversion in nanostructured materials: From optical tuning to biomedical applications. Chem. Asian J. 13, 373-385
    [Featured as a Front Cover of Volume 13, Issue 4 in February 2018]
  • Li, C., Ip, K.-W., Man. W.-L., Song, D., He, M.-L., Yiu, S.-M., Lau, T.-C.,* and Zhu, G.* (2017) Cytotoxic (salen)ruthenium(III) anticancer complexes exhibit different modes of cell death directed by axial ligands. Chem. Sci. 8, 6865-6870
  • Xu, Z., Li, C., Tong, Z., Ma, L., and Zhu, G.* (2017) Halogenated Pt(IV) complexes from N-halosuccinimide oxidation of Pt(II) antitumor drugs: Synthesis, mechanistic investigation, and cytotoxicity. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 12, 1706-1712
    [Invited contribution to EurJIC’s Cluster Issue on "Metal Anticancer Complexes - Activity, Mechanism of Action and Future Perspectives]
  • Wang, Z., Xu, Z., and Zhu, G.* (2016) A platinum(IV) anticancer prodrug targeting nucleotide excision repair to overcome cisplatin resistance. Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. 55, 15564–15568
    [Very Important Paper and Back Cover Article]
  • Ma, L., Ma, R., Wang, Z., Yiu, S.-M., and Zhu, G.* (2016) Heterodinuclear Pt(IV)-Ru(II) anticancer prodrugs to combat both drug resistance and tumor metastasis. Chem. Commun. 52, 10735-10738
  • Ai, F., Sun, T., Xu, Z., Wang, Z., Kong, W., To, M. W., Wang, F., and Zhu, G.* (2016) An upconversion nanoplatform for simultaneous photodynamic therapy and Pt chemotherapy to combat cisplatin resistance. Dalton Trans. 45, 13052-13060
    [Invited contribution to the Metallodrugs Themed Issue; Featured as a Back Cover Article of Volume 45, Issue 33 in August 2016]
  • Zhang, X., Ai, F., Sun, T., Wang, F., and Zhu, G.* (2016) A multimodal upconversion nanoplatform with mitochondria-targeted property for improved photodynamic therapy of cancer cells. Inorg. Chem. 55, 3872-3880
  • Zhu, X., Yuen, M. F., Ai, F., Yan, L., Yang, Y., Yu, K. N., Zhu, G.*, Zhang, W.*, and Chen, X.* (2016) The potential influence of using diamond nanoneedle arrays for facilitated intracellular delivery on cell physiology. Adv. Healthcare Mater. 5, 1157-1168
    [Featured as an Inside Front Cover of Volume 5, Issue 10 in May 2016]
  • Wang, Z., Ma, R., Yan, L., Chen. X., and Zhu, G.* (2015) Combined chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy using layered double hydroxide nanoparticles to conquer cisplatin resistance. Chem. Commun. 51, 11587-11590
  • Ai, F., Ju, Q., Zhang, X., Chen, X., Wang, F.*, and Zhu, G.* (2015) A core-shell-shell nanoplatform upconverting near-infrared light at 808 nm for luminescence imaging and photodynamic therapy of cancer. Sci. Rep. 5, 10785
    [Top 100 (1%) cited Scientific Reports articles in 2015]
  • Ma, R., Wang, Y., Yan, L., Ma, L., Chan, H. C., Chiu, S. K., Chen, X., and Zhu, G.* (2015) Efficient co-delivery of Pt(IV) prodrug and p53 activator as a convenient strategy to enhance the anticancer activity of cisplatin. Chem. Commun. 51, 7859-7862
  • Ma, L., Ma, R., Wang, Y., Zhu, X., Zhang, J., Chan, H. C., Chen, X., Zhang, W., Chiu, S.-K., and Zhu, G.* (2015) Chalcoplatin, a dual-targeting and p53 activator-containing anticancer platinum(IV) prodrug with unique mode of action. Chem. Commun. 51, 6301-6304
    [Featured as a Back Cover Article of Volume 51, Issue 29 in April 2015]
  • Wang, Z., Ai, F., Wang, Z., Zhang, W., Zhu, G.*, Lin, Z.*, and Sun, J.* (2015) Organocatalytic asymmetric synthesis of 1,1-diarylethanes by transfer hydrogenation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 383-389
  • Wang, Y., Yang, Y., Yan, L., Kwok, S. Y., Li, W., Wang, Z., Zhu, X., Zhu, G., Zhang, W., Chen, X., and Shi, P. (2014) Poking cells for efficient vector-free intracellular delivery. Nat. Commun. 5, 4466
  • Ma, R., Wang, Z., Yan, L., Chen, X.*, and Zhu, G.* (2014) Novel Pt-loaded layered double hydroxide nanoparticles for efficient and cancer-cell specific delivery of a cisplatin prodrug. J. Mater. Chem. B 2, 4868-4875
  • Wen, H., Zhu, H., Chen, X., Hung, T. F., Wang, B., Zhu, G., Yu, S. F., and Wang, F.* (2013) Upconverting near-infrared light through energy management in core-shell-shell nanoparticles. Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. 52, 13419-13423
  • Zhu, G., Song, L., and Lippard, S. J. (2013) Visualizing inhibition of nucleosome mobility and transcription by cisplatin-DNA interstrand crosslinks in live mammalian cells. Cancer Res. 73, 4451-4460
  • Chen, X.*, Zhu, G.*, Yang, Y., Wang, B., Yan, L., Zhang, K. Y., Lo, K. K. W. and Zhang, W.* (2013) A diamond nanoneedle patch for potential high-throughput intracellular delivery. Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2, 1103–1107
    [Featured as a Cover Article of Volume 2, Issue 8 in August 2013]
  • Chen, Z., Wang, B., Wang, Z., Zhu, G.* and Sun, J.* (2013) Complex bioactive alkaloid-type polycycles through efficient catalytic asymmetric multicomponent aza-diels–alder reaction of indoles with oxetane as directing group. Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. 52, 2027-2031
    [Highlighted in SYNTACTS: https://www.thieme-connect.com/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0032-1318210]
  • Zhu, G., Myint, M., Ang, W. H., Song, L. and Lippard, S. J. (2012) Monofunctional platinum-DNA adducts are strong inhibitors of transcription and substrates for nucleotide excision repair in live mammalian cells. Cancer Res. 72, 790-800
  • Zhu, G., Chang, P., and Lippard, S. J. (2010) Recognition of platinum damage by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Biochemistry 49, 6177–6183
  • Wang, D., Zhu, G., Huang, X. and Lippard, S. J. (2010) Structural basis of RNA polymerase II transcription inhibition by pyriplatin, a monofunctional anticancer agent. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 9584-9589
    [Highlighted in Faculty of 1000 Biology: http://f1000biology.com/article/id/4041963/evaluation; SSRL Science Highlight - January 2011]
  • Zhu, G., and Lippard, S. J. (2009) Photoaffinity labeling reveals nuclear proteins that uniquely recognize cisplatin-DNA interstrand cross-links. Biochemistry 48, 4916-4925
    [News story describing this work was highlighted in Rouzer, C. A. (2009) Chem. Res. Toxicol. 22, 1215-1216]
  • Zhu, G., Yang, F., Balachandran, R., Höök, P., Vallee, R. B., Curran, D. P., and Day, B. W. (2006) Synthesis and biological evaluation of purealin and analogues as cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain inhibitors. J. Med. Chem. 49, 2063-2076