Ke Zhang

Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor,  Chemistry and Chemical Biology



  • 617.373.4415

Research Focus

Polymer Chemistry, Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Nanomedicine


Dr. Ke Zhang obtained his BS degree in 2005 in Applied Chemistry from Nanjing University of Technology, China. He then studied polymer chemistry with Prof. Karen Wooley at Washington University in St. Louis, focusing on shell-crosslinked knedel-like nanoparticles and gene delivery, obtaining a PhD degree in Chemistry in 2009. Thereafter, Dr. Zhang was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University to develop hollow spherical nucleic acids, a carrier-free platform for gene regulation. In 2012, Dr. Zhang joined Northeastern University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and was promoted to Associate in 2017. His current research includes the design and synthesis of unique polymer superstructures, nucleic acid-polymer conjugates, and nanomedicine. Dr. Zhang was recognized as a Pioneering Investigator by Polymer Chemistry (2021), Emerging Investigator by Journal of Materials Chemistry B (2020), ACS PMSE Young Investigator (2018), Nano Research Young Innovator (2017), ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator (2014), and by an NSF CAREER award (2014).

Research Overview

Polymer Chemistry, Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Nanomedicine

The Zhang Group

The Zhang group aims to address biological and medical problem using a macromolecular approach. Our underpinning expertise is polymer chemistry, nucleic acid chemistry, and nanobiotechnology. Using a range of polymerization reactions, colloidal syntheses, and bioconjugation techniques,  we explore the interface of materials science with chemistry and biology by creating functional and hierarchical nanostructures from relatively simple starting materials.  We are equally interested in exploring the chemistry to achieve these interesting structures, as well as in pushing them as far as possible towards real-world translation. The ultimate goal is to build a scientific base for the synthesis of complex polymeric materials with specific properties that can be applied to meet biomedical challenges, such as as gene regulation therapies and medical diagnostics.

Zhang Group


Nov 18, 2022

COE Researchers Honored at Annual BPLA Invented Here!

The Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) hosted its annual Invented Here! contest and honored COE inventors who help further innovation not only in our region but worldwide.


Apr 04, 2013

FY14 TIER 1 Award Recipients

22 COE faculty and affiliates were recipients of FY14 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 14 different research projects.

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