The legacy of Cecil H. and Ida Green at The University of Texas at Dallas was to establish in Dallas a world-class cohort of faculty and students in the new domain of integrated interdisciplinary biomedical research. The Cecil Green Estate created the professorship. Zheng was appointed in 2018.
Zheng’s research focuses on increasing fundamental understanding of the transport and physiological interactions of engineered nanoparticles in the body.
I came to UTD, a place I fell in love with after my very first visit, with a dream of being an excellent scholar and teacher. UTD has top-notch research facilities and offers great support to faculty. In the past decade, I have witnessed a dramatic growth of the University in all aspects, which is the foundation of the success of my research program. The great support from my colleagues and the administration makes UTD an excellent place to start a successful career. It is my great honor to receive this prestigious professorship.
Dr. Jie Zheng’s research focuses on nanomedicines that can clear the body through the urinary system while also selectively targeting a variety of diseases such as kidney dysfunction, stroke, atherosclerosis and cancer.
Since joining the UT Dallas faculty in 2008, he has been dedicated to increasing fundamental understanding of the transport and physiological interactions of engineered nanoparticles in the body. With this knowledge, he and his colleagues are developing new imaging techniques for early detection of kidney diseases. They also are developing novel nanomedicines and drug delivery systems that can enhance the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy for cancer while minimizing side effects of treatment.
“As a silent killer, kidney disease affects more than 10 percent of the U.S. population and causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancers combined,” said Zheng, who also is an adjunct associate professor of urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “However, the causes and progression of kidney diseases demand thorough understanding. Thus, providing a highly sensitive and low-cost technique for early detection and monitoring of kidney disease progression is important to unraveling fundamental mechanisms of kidney diseases.”
Zheng’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Texas Medical Research Collaborative and the Welch Foundation.
Zheng earned a bachelor’s degree from Inner Mongolian University in China and a doctorate from Georgia Tech University. Before joining UT Dallas, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
At UT Dallas, Zheng has taught multiple undergraduate and graduate courses. He has mentored more than 12 graduate students, 23 undergraduate and more than 25 high school students from local communities. Many of his students have won university-level and national recognition for their research.
“It is great to be a teacher who can inspire his students to make the impossible possible,” Zheng said. “Every success my students have, no matter how big, gives me a sense of satisfaction and pride.”