Zhang Awarded 2017 AAPS New Investigator Grant for Colorectal Cancer Research

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, was awarded the 2017 New Investigator Grant by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Foundation for his research entitled ‘targeting metastatic colorectal cancer with novel immuno-nanoparticles.’

According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common type of cancer, accounting for approximately 135,000 new cases and 50,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.

“We proposed to design and develop a series of novel nanomedicines that selectively redirect and activate immune effector cells against colorectal cancer cells,” Zhang says. “By employing a multidisciplinary approach, I aimed to develop innovative nanomedicines for effective treatment of colon cancer and possibly many other types of cancer. If successful, our research work is expected to lead to a paradigm shift in cancer immunotherapy and make a direct and significant impact to our battle against cancer.”

Dean Vassilios Papadopoulos notes that Zhang, who joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty in 2014, is a gifted researcher whose promising work has the potential to significantly impact future strategies for effective treatment of colorectal cancer. “Yong (Tiger) Zhang is a stellar addition to our faculty whose scholarship and research are an asset to USC as it leads the way to uncover new and life-saving therapeutics.”

The AAPS Foundation New Investigator Grant is a $40,000 honor given to an assistant faculty member at a U.S. institution to help support their research efforts.

AAPS is a professional, scientific organization of approximately 10,000 members employed in academia, industry, government, and other research institutes worldwide. Founded in 1986, AAPS advances the capacity of pharmaceutical scientists to develop products and therapies that improve global health. The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Foundation is the philanthropic arm of AAPS. Its mission is to provide meaningful financial support to scientists to advance research, education, and training for the discovery, development, and manufacture of drugs.