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Bonnie Danqing Zhu, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, HKUST

Bonnie Zhu is an incoming Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) starting Feb. 1st, 2023. She obtained her B.Sc. in Engineering Science in 2012 from the University of Virginia with the highest distinction. Afterward, she attended Stanford University and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2018, working with Prof. Fan Yang and Prof. Sarah Heilshorn to develop novel biomaterials and in vitro models of tissue regeneration that capture the dynamic cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Finally, she conducted a postdoctoral fellowship (Siebel Stem Cell Fellowship & CIRM Fellowship) in the laboratory of Prof. David Schaffer at the University of California, Berkeley, working on the development of machine-learning guided approach to design viral vectors for therapeutic applications. Her research background is highly interdisciplinary and spans across related fields of materials science, protein engineering, gene therapy, neuroscience, and machine learning. At HKUST, she will employ protein engineering, materials chemistry, and computational biology approaches to develop safe and targeted molecular medicine in the context of neuroimmune modulation, with treatment applications in neurological disorders. 

Awards and Honors 

  • California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Fellowship, 2021-2023

  • Siebel Stem Cell Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2018-2020

  • TERMIS Student Scientist Award, 2017 

  • Bio-X Interdisciplinary Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2015-2018

  • BMES Innovation and Career Development Award, 2014

  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2012-2015

  • Rodman Scholar Honors Program, 2009-2012


We are looking for motivated graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and research technicians to join us! We aim to build a multidisciplinary group of engineers, molecular biologists, and neuroscientists, in a positive and inclusive laboratory environment, to develop next-generation of gene therapies in the clinics. PhD applications should apply for HKPFS (strongly recommended, due in December), HKUST PhD programs (CBE or other related departments), and send your inquiry to Dr. Zhu in advance. To inquire about open positions, please email your CV and a cover letter page (incl. three reference names) detailing your research interest and position type to:


Undergraduate students interested in protein engineering, molecular biology, computational biology for internships/work-study, please send inquiries to Dr. Bonnie Zhu about joining the lab.

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