Yunqi Zhao


M.S., Ph. D. in Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA.

M.S. in Microbial and Cellular Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA.

B.S. in Biotechnology (Marine Biopharmaceutics), Department of Food Sciences, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China.

Courses teaching in WKU

Principles of biology (with Laboratory)

Molecular and Cellular Biology


Work Experiences

  • 2018/11-2020/08: Associate Professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
  • 2014/9-2018/11: Assistant Professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
  • 06/2012-09/2012: Late Stage Pharmaceutical Development, Pharmaceutical Technical Development Post Docs Department, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • 05/2007-08/2007: Technician, Department of Technology, Shanghai EBM Medical Information Systems Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China.


Professional training

  • 2016/12-2017/06: Visiting Scholar, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Medical Education Training Program, Omaha, NE, USA.



  • Targeted MTOR Inhibitors, US 20160279108 A1. September 2016.
  • A topical pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis, CN 110179843 A. August 2019.
  • Effervescent tablet containing intact plant tissue and its preparation process, CN 110237044 A. September 2019.


Research Grants

  • Formulation development of a CD44 tropic PD-L1 inhibitor immune synergistic drug delivery platform and its efficacy study, National Natural Science Foundation of China, 32060226, 2021/01/01-2024/12/31.
  • The anti-proliferative effect of Lavender angustifolia leaf extract and its major constituents on human prostate cancer, 2017 Yunnan Applied Basic Research Projects-Basic Research Kunming Medical University Joint Project Special Funds, 2017FE468(-131), 2017/07-2020/06.
  • The anti-proliferative effect of Lavender angustifolia leaf extract on human prostate cancer, Open Research Foundation of Yunnan Key Laboratory of Pharmacology for Natural Products, 2014G006, 2014/11/-2015/10.
  • Efficacy study of PI3K targeted micelle in prostate cancer xenograft model, Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, 2015/06-2017/05.


  • 09/2018: Excellence in Teaching Award, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
  • 06/2018: The First Place Teaching Award and the Most Popular Award of Kunming Medical University Teaching Competition, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
  • 05/2018: Outstanding Young Professionals, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.
  • 12/2017: The National Grand Prize of Pharmacy Teaching Competition, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
  • 12/2017: The National First Place of Pharmacy Micro-lecture Teaching Competition, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
  • 11/2015: 2015 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA.
  • 08/2013: 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition Formulation Design and Development Section Travel Award, San Antonio, TX, USA.
  • 12/2011: Genentech Process Research and Development Outstanding Student Award, Genentech Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • 08/2011: Graduate Scholarly Presentation Travel Award, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA.
  • 06/2011: PhD Student Research Grant Award, Kansas Academy of Science, KS, USA.
  • 2008-2009: Harold Durst Graduate Research Grant Award, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA.
  • 2008-2009: Graduate Student Research Award, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA

Research interests

Yunqi’s research focuses on cancer chemoprevention with naturally occurring compounds and the formulation development of anti-cancer drugs. Her areas of interest include: (1) Investigating anti-cancer effects of naturally occurring compounds; (2) Developing drug delivery platform of anti-cancer drugs; (3) Developing targeted chemo-immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

Selected Publications/scholarly and creative work


  • Yunqi Zhao#, Zhao G*. The influence of natural forces on disease. Medicine and Philosophy. 2019 May; 40(10):1-5.
  • Cheng X #, Zhao G, Yunqi Zhao*. Combination Immunotherapy Approaches for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2018 Mar 7;2018:6240467. PMID: 29707526
  • Yunqi Zhao#, Zhao G*. The influence of clinical decision-making on medical development. Medicine and Philosophy. 2018 February; 39(2B):1-4.
  • Yunqi Zhao*, Chen R, Wang Y, Yang Y*. α-Pinene Inhibits Human Prostate Cancer Growth in a Mouse Xenograft Model. Chemotherapy. 2017 Oct 26;63(1):1-7. PMID: 29069647
  • Alrushaid S#, Yunqi Zhao#, Sayre CL, Maayah ZH, Laird Forrest M, Senadheera SN, Chaboyer K, Anderson HD, El-Kadi AOS*. Mechanistically elucidating the in vitro safety and efficacy of a novel doxorubicin derivative. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2017 Aug;7(4):582-597. (2017) PMID:28462502
  • Yunqi Zhao#*. The application of simulation technology in medical education. China Continuing Medical Education. 2017 June;9(17):19-21.
  • Hu C#, Yunqi Zhao#, Sun H, Yang Y*. Synergism of Dam, MutH, and MutS in methylation-directed mismatch repair in Escherichia coli. Mutat Res. 2017 Jan;795:31-33. (2017) PMID: 28107644
  • Yunqi Zhao#*, Chen R, Wang Y, Qing C, Wang W, Yang Y*. In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy Studies of Lavender angustifolia Essential Oil and Its Active Constituents on the Proliferation of Human Prostate Cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. (2016) PMID:27151584
  • Chen R#, Yunqi Zhao, Huang Y, Yang Q, Zeng X, Jiang W, Liu J, Thrasher JB, Forrest ML, Li B*. Nanomicellar TGX-221 blocks xenograft tumor growth of prostate cancer in nude mice. Prostate 75(6):593-602 (2015). PMID: 25620467
  • Yunqi Zhao#*. The current situation and development trend of bilingual teaching in pharmacy school. Course Education Research. 2015 Mid-December;110.
  • Yunqi Zhao#, Zhang T, Duan S, Davies NM, Forrest ML*. CD44-Tropic Polymeric Nanocarrier for Breast Cancer Targeted Rapamycin Chemotherapy. Nanomedicine 10(6):1221-1230 (2014). PMID: 24637218
  • Remsberg CM#, Yunqi Zhao#, Takemoto JK, Bertram RM, Davies NM and Forrest ML*. “Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of a DSPE-PEG2000 Micellar Formulation of Ridaforolimus in Rat”. Pharmaceutics 5:81-93 (2013). PMID: 24300398
  • Yunqi Zhao#, Duan S#, Zeng X, Liu C, Davies NM, Li B, Forrest ML*. Prodrug Strategy for PSMA-Targeted Delivery of TGX-221 to Prostate Cancer Cells. Mol. Pharm. 9(6):1705-1716 (2012). PMID: 22494444
  • Mohamed EA#, Yunqi Zhao, Meshali MM, Remsberg CM, Borg TM, Foda AMM, Takemoto JK, Sayre C, Martinez S, Davies NM, Forrest ML*. Vorinostat with Sustained Exposure and High Solubility in Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(DL-lactic acid) Micelle Nanocarriers: Characterization and Effects on Pharmacokinetics in Rat Serum and Urine. J. Pharm. Sci. 101(10):3787-3798 (2012). PMID: 22806441


Book Chapters

  • Hart DS, Yunqi Zhao and Forrest ML. “Polyethylene Glycol Polyester Block Copolymers: Biocompatible Carriers for Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery” in Handbook of Harnessing Biomaterials in Nanomedicine: Preparation, Toxicity, and Applications, Ed. Dan Peer. Taylor & Francis Publishing, (Oxford, UK) (2012). ISBN-13 978-981-4316-46-0
  • Weidong Lu, Yunqi Zhao. “Chapter 6. Introduction of Pharmacokinetics.” Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics. Science Press (Beijing, China) (2016). ISBN: 978-7-03-050460-9 (2019 Excellent Textbook of Yunnan Province Award)
  • Xianliang Cheng, Yixin Yang, Yunqi Zhao. “Chapter 4. Targeted Nanomedicines   for   Prostate Cancer Treatment.” Recent Advances in Prostate Cancer. Avid Science (2016). ISBN: 978-93-86337-47-4