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Faculty Profile

Ruiwen ZhangRuiwen Zhang

Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Health 2, Room 7034
4349 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-5037

Contact: - Office: 713-743-6840 - Fax: 713-743-1884


  • Targeting tumor suppressors and oncogenes for cancer therapy and prevention
  • Preclinical evaluation of therapeutics
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Ph.D. in Toxicology and Occupational Epidemiology, Shanghai Medical University (now Fudan University Shanghai Medical College)
  • M.D., Shanghai Medical University (now Fudan University Shanghai Medical College)
  • Post-Doc/Clinical Pharmacology Fellow, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
  • Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology, 1999-present

Google Scholar Profile
  • Agrawal S, Jiang Z, Zhao Q, Shaw D, Cai Q, Roskey A, Channavajjala L, Saxinger C, Zhang R. Mixed-backbone oligonucleotides as second generation antisense oligonucleotides: In vitro and in vivo studies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997; 94: 2620-2625.
  • Wang H, Cai Q, Zeng X, Yu D, Agrawal S, Zhang R. Anti-tumor activity and pharmacokinetics of a mixed-backbone antisense oligonucleotide targeted to RIα subunit of protein kinase A after oral administration. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1999; 96: 13989-13994.
  • Wang H, Nan L, Yu D, Agrawal S, Zhang R. Antisense anti-MDM2 oligonucleotides as a novel therapeutic approach to human breast cancer: In vitro and in vivo activities and mechanisms. Clin Cancer Res 2001; 7: 3613-3624.
  • Zhang Z, Li M, Wang H, Agrawal S, Zhang R. Antisense therapy targeting MDM2 oncogene in prostate cancer: Effects on proliferation, apoptosis, multiple gene expression, and chemotherapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003; 100:11636-11641.
  • Zhang Z, Wang H, Prasad G, Li M, Yu D, Bonner J, Agrawal S, Zhang R. Radiosensitization by antisense anti-MDM2 mixed-backbone oligonucleotide in in vitro and in vivo human cancer models. Clin Cancer Res. 2004; 10: 1263-1273.
  • Wang H, Li M, Rinehart JJ, Zhang R. Pretreatment with Dexamethasone Increases Anti-tumor Activity of Carboplatin and Gemcitabine in Mice Bearing Human Cancer Xenografts: In Vivo Activity, Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Implications for Cancer Chemotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2004; 10: 1633-1644.
  • Li M, Zhang Z, Hill D, Chen X, Wang H, Zhang R. Genistein, a dietary isoflavone, down-regulates MDM2 oncogene at both transcriptional and post-translational levels Cancer Research 2005; 65-8200-8208.
  • Zhang Z and Zhang R. Proteasome activator PA28gamma regulates p53 by enhancing its MDM2-mediated degradation. EMBO Journal 2008; 27(6):852-864.
  • Zhang X, Wang W, Wang H, Wang M-H, Xu W, Zhang R. Identification of ribosomal protein S25 (RPS25)-MDM2-p53 regulatory feedback loop. Oncogene 2013; 32: 2782-2791.
  • Yao HP, Zhou YQ, Zhang R, Wang MH. MSP-RON Signaling in Cancer: Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Potential. Nature Reviews Cancer 2013; 13(7):466-481.
  • Wang W, Qin JJ, Voruganti S, Wang MH, Sharma H, Patil S, Zhou J, Wang H, Mukhopadhyay D, Buolamwini JK, Zhang R. Identification of a New Class of MDM2 Inhibitor That Inhibits Growth of Orthotopic Pancreatic Tumors in Mice. Gastroenterology 2014; 147(4):893-902.
  • Wang W, Qin JJ, Voruganti S, Srivenugopal KS, Nag S, Patil S, Sharma H, Wang MH, Buolamwini JK, Zhang R. A Pyrido[b]indole MDM2 Inhibitor, SP-141, Exerts Potent Therapeutic Effects in Breast Cancer Models. Nature Communications 2014; 5 (1), 1-12
  • Wang W, Nag S, Zhang X, Wang MH, Wang H, Zhou J, Zhang R. Ribosomal Proteins and Human Diseases: Pathogenesis, Molecular Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Implications. Med Res Rev 2015; 35(2):225-85.
  • Wang W, Qin JJ, Voruganti S, Nijampatnam B, Velu SE, Hu M, Ruan KH, Zhou J, Zhang R. Discovery and Characterization of Dual Inhibitors of MDM2 and NFAT1 for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy. Cancer Res. 2018; 78(19): 5656-67.
  • Zafar A, Wang W, Liu G, Wang X, Xian W, Mckeon F, Foster J, Zhou J, Zhang R. Molecular Targeting Therapies for Neuroblastoma: Progress and Challenges. Medicinal Research Reviews 2021; 41 (2): 961-1021

Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2009-present
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 2018-present
  • Board-certified toxicologist by the American Board of Toxicology (D.A.B.T.), 1999-present