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Department of Pharmacology

Houston, Texas

BCM students are involved in research.
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Jin Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
Member of Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Bioengineering
Rice University, Houston Texas

Jin Wang, Ph.D.


Wang Lab Web Site

Education and Employment

  • Senior Research Associate, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC, 2009–2011
    Advisor: Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D., Member of the National Academy of Engineering
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC, 2008–2009
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, the Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 2007
  • B.S., Bioorganic Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2003

Grants and Awards

  • CPRIT Award for Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members, 2011-2015
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research, 2011
  • Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Poster Award, 2008
  • Presidential Fellowship, the Ohio State University, 2007
  • University Fellowship, the Ohio State University, 2003

Research Interests

The famous speech “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by Dr. Richard Feynman ignited tremendous interest in studying particles with nanometer size range in the scientific community, later coined as “nanotechnology”. Nanotechnology has since seen wide applications in numerous fields, such as microelectronics, material sciences and biomedical engineering. Nanomedicine is an emerging field that applies concepts in nanotechnology to develop novel diagnostics and therapies.

Targeted drug delivery to specific tissues of interest so as to minimize side effects is one of the greatest challenges in medicine. Great strides have been made in the design and implementation of drugs and drug carriers over the last 50 years. Nanomedicine is shifting the paradigm in drug delivery of current small molecule drugs and biologics. Compared to small molecule based therapeutics, nanomedicines can enhance drug accumulation in the site of interest while averting many of the side effects common to small molecule drugs. For example, small molecule anticancer drugs are systemically distributed and preferentially kill rapidly proliferating cells (i.e. cancer cells). However, there are well known side effects, such as hair loss, immunosuppression, nausea, and vomiting. The Los Angeles Times reported that “over 75% of the oncologists polled said that if they had cancer they would never use the same chemotherapy they prescribe for their patients on themselves because of the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity.” Therefore, there are tremendous unmet needs to develop novel cancer therapeutics with fewer side effects.

Research Directions

PRINT® Technology

Researchers use an extremely wide range of fabrication techniques in order to produce nanostructures. Two main nanofabrication techniques are the “bottom-up” strategy, in which nanostructures are constructed from molecules or atoms, and the “top-down” strategy, in which material is added or removed from a surface. Liposomes, micelles, polymersomes and inorganic nanoparticles are the iconic examples developed using “bottom-up” fabrication. However, because of the self-assembled nature of these nanostructures, they usually have spherical shapes and a wide distribution in size.
fabrication techniques in order to produce nanostructures

As a top-down strategy, the PRINT® (Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates) technology developed in the DeSimone group enables independent control over particle size, shape, modulus, surface chemistry, and composition. PRINT also provides a convenient approach for systematically tailoring the chemical composition of nanoparticles without changing the size, shape, and dynamics of the particle, a problem that often plagues other particle technologies, especially those derived from self-assembly approaches when one adjusts the chemical composition. A wide range of materials can be used for PRINT particle fabrication, including biocompatible/biodegradable polymers, inorganic materials, and even pure biologics. We will take advantage of the PRINT technology to develop the next-generation nanomedicines with well-defined size, shape and surface chemistry.

RNAi Therapeutics

RNA interference (RNAi), discovered by Drs. Andrew Fire and Craig C. Mello, is a system within living cells that controls the activities of genes. Even though numerous breakthroughs have been made in indentifying genes related to cancer and other diseases, currently there is no RNAi therapeutics available in clinic. RNA delivery, most typically microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA), is the major roadblock for the development of RNAi therapeutics. There are many biological barriers to overcome for successful RNA delivery. We will take an interdisciplinary approach and integrate organic and polymer chemistry, cell biology and biomedical engineering to develop novel nanocarriers for targeted delivery of RNAi.


Release of the drug from nanocarriers can be triggered internally, taking advantage of characteristic biological properties such as intracellular acidic and reducing environments, specific enzymatic activities, etc. The release of the payload can also be triggered externally by electromagnetic or ultrasonic radiation. Internally triggered drug delivery systems can be easily administrated. However, the enzymatic activities and the intracellular environments which are used to trigger drug release can vary depending on patients and disease states, which complicate the pharmacokinetics and therapeutic indices of these drug delivery systems. Externally triggered drug delivery systems are advantageous compared to the internally triggered counterparts in regards to minimizing variances in patients and disease states and achieving site-specific treatment to minimize systemic toxicity. In this project, we will apply our strong photochemistry background to develop novel photonanomedicines to reduce the systemic toxicity of chemotherapeutics.

Representative Publications:

  • Jin Wang, Shaomin Tian, Robby A. Petros, Mary E. Napier and Joseph M. DeSimone, “The Complex Role of Multivalency in Nanoparticles Targeting the Transferrin Receptor for Cancer Therapies”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 11306-11313. DOI: 10.1021/ja1043177. Highlighted byNational Cancer Institute, National Science Foundations,, American Chemical Society and Medical News Today etc.
  • Jin Wang, Gotard Burdzinski, Jacek Kubicki, and Matthew S. Platz, “Ultrafast UV-Vis and IR Studies of p-Biphenylylacetyl and Carbomethoxy Carbenes”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 11195-11209. DOI: 10.1021/ja803096p
  • Jin Wang, Jacek Kubicki, Huolei Peng and Matthew S. Platz, “The Influence of Solvent on Carbene Intersystem Crossing Rates”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 6604-6609. DOI: 10.1021/ja711385t
  • Jin Wang, Gotard Burdzinski, Jacek Kubicki, Terry L. Gustafson and Matthew S. Platz, “Ultrafast Carbene-Carbene Isomerization”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 5418-5419. DOI: 10.1021/ja8002827
  • Jin Wang, Jacek Kubicki, Terry L. Gustafson and Matthew S. Platz, “Ultrafast Study of p‑Biphenylyl-trifluoromethyl Carbene: The Dynamics of Carbene Solvation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 2304-2313. DOI: 10.1021/ja077705m
  • Jin Wang, Jacek Kubicki, Edwin F. Hilinski, Sandra L. Mecklenburg, Terry L. Gustafson, Matthew S. Platz, “Ultrafast Studies of 9-Diazofluorene: Direct Observation of the First Two Singlet States of Fluorenylidene”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 13683-13690. DOI: 10.1021/ja074612w
  • Jin Wang, Gotard Burdzinski, Zhendong Zhu, Matthew S. Platz, Claudio Carra and Thomas Bally, “Ultrafast Spectroscopic and Matrix Isolation Studies of Para‑ and Ortho‑Biphenylyl and 1‑Naphthylnitrenium Ions”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 8380-8388. DOI: 10.1021/ja071325j
  • Jin Wang, Gotard Burdzinski, Terry L. Gustafson and Matthew S. Platz, “Ultrafast Study of p‑Biphenylyldiazoethane. The Chemistry of the Diazo Excited State and the Relaxed Carbene”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 2597-2606. DOI: 10.1021/ja067213u
  • Jin Wang, Gotard Burdzinski, Jacek Kubicki, Matthew S. Platz, Robert A. Moss, Xiaolin Fu, Piotr Piotrowiak and Mykhaylo Myahkostupov, “Ultrafast Spectroscopic Study of the Photochemistry and Photophysics of Arylhalodiazirines: Direct Observation of Carbene and Zwitterion Formation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 16446-16447. DOI: 10.1021/ja067205d


  • Jin Wang, Jing Xu, Suart Dunn, Shaomin Tian, Mary E. Napier and Joseph M. DeSimone “Nanoparticles and Liposomes Containing Reversible Disulfide Linkers”, U.S. Patent Pending.
  • Jin Wang, Shaomin Tian, Robby A. Petros, Mary E. Napier and Joseph M. DeSimone “Transferrin Receptor-Targeted Particles and Uses Thereof”, Prov. U.S. Patent Appl. 61/287,090, 2009.


We have Postdoctoral Research Associate positions in Organic Chemisrty, Polymer Chemistry and/or Pharmaceutical Sciences for talented and self-motivated researchers. Please visit our group website Wang Lab for more information. For graduate applicants, please go to our department graduate program site for instruction.

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