2013 Gewirtz Memorial Scholarship Winner: Guizhi Zhu, PhD

Guizhi Zhu, PhD

University of Florida

Biography: Guizhi Zhu received his PhD just this summer from the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is a member of the Tan Research Group (Department of Chemistry, Shands Cancer Center) which focuses mainly on molecular sciences for biomedical studies and applications. His research work focused on developing aptamer-based DNA nanomedicines to address various complications intargeted cancer theranostics. In particular, to address the high cost of conventional drug-aptamer conjugates in translational study, he developed a simple, yet efficient and versatile covalent drug-DNA adduct and aptamer-tethered DNA “nanotrains”, for theranostics.Fluorescent DNA “nanotrains” were also built in situ on target living cell surfaces for pinpoint bioanalysis or bioregulation. Other developments of Dr. Zhu’s include a bispecificaptamer drug carrier to overcome cancer heterogeneity, and aptamers incorporated with photoactivatibleprodrug for phototherapy. Recently, using elongated DNA polymers, he also developed multifunctional DNA nanoflowers via assembly not relying on DNA hybridization, and applied them for target cell recognition, bioimaging, and targeted drug delivery.

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