Jianjun Cheng



  • 4065 Beckman Institute
  • 405 North Mathews Avenue
  • Urbana, Illinois 61801


Professor Cheng received his BS degree in chemistry from Nankai University, China, in 1993, his MS in chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996 and his PhD in materials science from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001. After working as a senior scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc. from 2001 to 2004, and as a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2004 to 2005, he joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC in 2005 as an assistant professor. He is also an affiliated faculty of Department of Bioengineering and Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. He is the recipient of a Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award (2007) and a NSF Career Award (2008).


  • 2016
    • Azzi, J.; Yin, Q.; Uehara, M.; Ohori, S.; Tang, L.; Cai, K.; Ichimura, T.; McGrath, M.; Maarouf, M.; Kefaloyianni, E.; Loughhead, S.; Petr, J.; Sun, Q.; Kwon, M.; Tullius, M.; Andrian, U.; Cheng, J.; Abdi, R., Targeted Delivery of Immunomodulators to Lymph Nodes. Cell Reports 2016, 15, 1202-1213.
    • Bai, Y.; Nguyen, L. T.; Song, Z.; Peng, S.; Lee, J.; Zheng, N.; Kapoor, I.; Hagler, L. D.; Cai, K.; Cheng, J.; Chan, H. Y.; Zimmerman, S. C., Integrating Display and Delivery Functionality with a Cell Penetrating Peptide Mimic as a Scaffold for Intracellular Multivalent Multi-Targeting. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016, online June 29, 2016, DOI:10.1021/jacs.6b03697.
    • Wang, H.; Tang, L.; Liu, Y.; Dobrucka, I. T.; Dobrucki, L. W.; Yin, L.; Cheng, J., In vivo Targeting of Metabolically Labeled Cancers with Ultra-Small Silica Nanoconjugates. Theranostics 2016, 6, 1467-1476.
    • He, H.; Zheng, N.; Song, Z.; Kim, K. H.; Yao, C.; Zhang, R.; Zhang, C.; Huang, Y.; Uckun, F. M.; Cheng, J.; Zhang, Y.; Yin, L., Suppression of Hepatic Inflammation via Systemic Sirna Delivery by Membrane-Disruptive and Endosomolytic Helical Polypeptide Hybrid Nanoparticles. ACS Nano 2016, 10, 1859-1870.
    • Li, Y.; Bai, Y.; Zheng, N.; Liu, Y.; Vincil, G. A.; Pedretti, B. J.; Cheng, J.; Zimmerman, S., Crosslinked Dendronized Polyols as a General Approach to Brighter and More Stable Fluorophores. Chemical Communications 2016, 52, 3781-3784.
    • Wang, H.; Gauthier, M.; Kelly, J. R.; Miller, R. J.; Xu, M.; O'Brien, W. D.; Cheng, J. J., Targeted Ultrasound-Assisted Cancer-Selective Chemical Labeling and Subsequent Cancer Imaging using Click Chemistry. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2016, 55, (18), 5452-5456, DOI:10.1002/anie.201509601.
    • Yen, J.; Ying, H.; Wang, H.; Yin, L.; Uckun, F.; Cheng, J., CD44 Mediated Non-Viral Gene Delivery into Human Embryonic Stem Cells via Hyaluronic Acid Coated Nanoparticles. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2016, 2, 326-335.
    • Ying, H.; Cheng, J., One-Step Construction of Aminosquaraine Backbone. Dyes and Pigments 2016, 131, 264-267.
  • 2015
    • Zhang, Y. F.; Yin, Q.; Yen, J.; Li, J. N.; Ying, H. Z.; Wang, H.; Hua, Y. Y.; Chaney, E. J.; Boppart, S. A.; Cheng, J. J., Non-Invasive, Real-Time Reporting Drug Release in Vitro and in Vivo. Chemical Communications 2015, 51, (32), 6948-6951, DOI:10.1039/C4cc09920f.

    • Gauthier, M.; Yin, Q.; Cheng, J.; W.D., O. B., Design of Albumin-Coated Microbubbles Loaded with Polylactide Nanoparticles. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine 2015, 34, 1363-1372.
    • Kang, S.; Murphy, R.; Hwang, S.; Lee, S.; Harburg, D.; Krueger, N.; Shin, J.; Gamble, P.; Cheng, H.; Yu, S.; Liu, Z.; McCall, J.; Stephen, M.; Ying, H.; Kim, J.; Park, G.; Webb, R.; Lee, C.; Chung, S.; Wie, D.; Gujar, A.; Cheng, J.; Huang, Y.; Lee, S.; Braun, P.; Ray, W.; Rogers, J. A., Bioresorbable Silicon Electronic Sensors for the Brain. Nature 2015, 530, 71-76.
    • Lee, J. S.; Deng, X.; Han, P.; Cheng, J., Dual Stimuli-Responsive Poly(Beta-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles for on-Demand Burst Release. Macromolecular Bioscience 2015, 15, 1314-1322.
    • Priftis, D.; Leon, L.; Song, Z.; Perry, S. L.; Margossian, K. O.; Tropnikova, A.; Cheng, J.; M., T., Self-Assembly of Alpha-Helical Polypeptides Driven by Complex Coacervation. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2015, 54, 11128-11132.
    • Tang, L.; Yin, Q.; Xu, Y. X.; Zhou, Q.; Cai, K. M.; Yen, J.; Dobruckic, L. W.; Cheng, J. J., Bioorthogonal Oxime Ligation Mediated in vivo Cancer Targeting. Chemical Science 2015, 6, (4), 2182-2186, DOI:10.1039/c5sc00063g.
    • Uckun, F. M.; Mitchell, L. G.; Qazi, S.; Myers, D. E.; Ma, H.; Zheng, N.; Song, Z.; Liu, Y.; Cheng, J., Development of Polypeptide-Based Nanoparticles for Non-Viral Delivery of CD22 RNA Trans-Splicing Molecule as a New Precision Medicine Candidate against B-Lineage All EBioMedicine. EBioMedicine 2015, 2, 647-657.
    • Wu, X.; He, C.; Wu, Y.; Chen, X.; Cheng, J., Nanogel-Incorporated Physical and Chemical Hybrid Gels for Highly Effective Chemo-Protein Combination Therapy. Advanced Functional Materials 2015, 25, 6744-6755.
    • Xiong, M.; Lee, M. W.; Mansbach, R. A.; Song, Z.; Bao, Y. J.; Peek, R. M.; Yao, C.; Chen, L. F.; Ferguson, A. L.; Wong, G. C. L.; Cheng, J., Helical Antimicrobial Polypeptides with Radial Amphiphilicity. PNAS 2015, 112, 13155-13160.
    • Zhang, Y. F.; Yin, Q.; Yen, J.; Li, J. N.; Ying, H. Z.; Wang, H.; Hua, Y. Y.; Chaney, E. J.; Boppart, S. A.; Cheng, J. J., Non-Invasive, Real-Time Reporting Drug Release in vitro and in vivo. Chemical Communications 2015, 51, (32), 6948-6951, DOI:10.1039/c4cc09920f.
  • 2013
    • Mirshafiee, V.; Mahmoudi, M.; Lou, K. Y.; Cheng, J. J.; Kraft, M. L., Protein Corona Significantly Reduces Active Targeting Yield. Chemical Communications 2013, 49, (25), 2557-2559.

    • Tang, L.; Gabrielson, N. P.; Uckun, F. M.; Fan, T. M.; Cheng, J. J., Size-Dependent Tumor Penetration and in Vivo Efficacy of Monodisperse Drug-Silica Nanoconjugates. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013, 10, (3), 883-892.

    • Tong, R.; Tang, L.; Gabrielson, N. P.; Yin, Q.; Cheng, J., Polymer-Drug Nanoconjugates, In Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery Systems: Strategies, Technologies, and Applications. Yeo, Y., Ed.; Wiley, April 2013.

    • Uckun, F. M.; Qazi, S.; Cely, I.; Sahin, K.; Shahidzadeh, A.; Tuzcu, M.; Ilhan, N.; Ozercan, I.; Song, Z.; Rodriguez, A.; Gaynon, P.; Termuhlen, A.; Cheng, J., Nanoscale Liposomal Formulation of a SYK P-site Inhibitor against B-precursor Leukemia. Blood 2013, 121, 4348-4354.

    • Yen, J.; Zhang, Y. F.; Gabrielson, N. P.; Yin, L.; Guan, L.; Chaudbury, I.; Lu, L.; Wang, F.; Cheng, J., Cationic, Helical Polypeptide-Based Gene Delivery for IMR-90 Fibroblasts and Human Embryonic Stem Cell. Biomaterials Science 2013, 1, 719-727.

    • Yin, L. C.; Song, Z. Y.; Kim, K. H.; Zheng, N.; Tang, H. Y.; Lu, H.; Gabrielson, N.; Cheng, J. J., Reconfiguring the Architectures of Cationic Helical Polypeptides to Control Non-Viral Gene Delivery. Biomaterials 2013, 34, (9), 2340-2349.

    • Yin, L.; Song, Z.; Kim, K. H.; Zheng, N.; Gabrielson, N.; Cheng, J., Non-Viral Gene Delivery Based on Supramolecular Self-Assembled Nanocomplexes Via Membrane Penetration and Mannose Targeting. Advanced Materials 2013, 25, 3063-3070.

    • Yin, L.; Song, Z.; Qu, Q.; Kim, K. H.; Zheng, N.; Yao, C.; Chaudhury, I.; Tang, H.; Gabrielson, N. P.; Uckun, F. M.; Cheng, J., Supramolecular Self-Assembled Nanoparticles Mediate Oral Delivery of Therapeutic TNF-α siRNA against Systemic Inflammation Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2013, 52, 5757-5761.

    • Yin, Q.; Tong, R.; Xu, Y. X.; Baek, K.; Dobrucki, L. W.; Fan, T. M.; Cheng, J. J., Drug-Initiated Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-carboxyanhydrides for the Preparation of Anticancer Drug-Poly(O-carboxyanhydride) Nanoconjugates. Biomacromolecules 2013, 14, (3), 920-929.

    • Zhang, R.; Lu, H.; Gabrielson, N.; Yin, L.; Cheng, J., Cationic Α-Helical Polypeptide Template for Nonviral Gene Delivery. SurFACTS in Biomaterials 2013, 18, 2.

    • Zhang, Y. F.; Ma, L.; Deng, X. J.; Cheng, J. J., Trigger-Responsive Chain-Shattering Polymers. Polymer Chemistry 2013, 4, (2), 224-228.

    • Zhang, Y.; Yin, Q.; Yin, L.; Ma, L.; Tang, L.; Cheng, J., Chain-Shattering Polymeric Therapeutics with on-Demand Drug-Release Capability. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2013 6435-6439.

    • Zhang, Z. H.; Yin, L. C.; Tu, C. L.; Song, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y. F.; Xu, Y. X.; Tong, R.; Zhou, Q.; Ren, J.; Cheng, J. J., Redox-Responsive, Core Cross-Linked Polyester Micelles. ACS Macro Letters 2013, 2, (1), 40-44

  • 2012
    • Cely, I.; Yiv, S.; Yin, Q.; Shahidzadeh, A.; Tang, L.; Cheng, J.; Uckun, F. M., Targeting Mantle Cell Lymphoma with Anti-SYK Nanoparticles. Journal of Analytical Oncology 2012, 1, 1-8.

    • Gabrielson, N. P.; Lu, H.; Yin, L. C.; Kim, K. H.; Cheng, J. J., A Cell-Penetrating Helical Polymer for siRNA Delivery to Mammalian Cells. Molecular Therapy 2012, 20, (8), 1599-1609.

    • Gabrielson, N. P.; Lu, H.; Yin, L. C.; Li, D.; Wang, F.; Cheng, J. J., Reactive and Bioactive Cationic a-Helical Polypeptide Template for Nonviral Gene Delivery. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2012, 51, (5), 1143-1147.

    • Li, L. L.; Yin, Q.; Cheng, J. J.; Lu, Y., Polyvalent Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle-Aptamer Bioconjugates Target Breast Cancer Cells. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2012, 1, (5), 567-572.

    • Tang, H. Y.; Yin, L. C.; Lu, H.; Cheng, J. J., Water-Soluble Poly(L-Serine)S with Elongated and Charged Side-Chains: Synthesis, Conformations, and Cell-Penetrating Properties. Biomacromolecules 2012, 13, (9), 2609-2615.

    • Tang, L.; Azzi, A.; Kwon, M.; Mounayar, M.; Tong, R.; Yin, Q.; Moore, R.; Skartsis, R.; Fan, T. M.; Abdi, R.; Cheng, J., Immunosuppressive Activity of Size-Controlled PEG-PLGA Nanoparticles Containing Encapsulated Cyclosporine A. Journal of Transplantation 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/896141.

    • Tang, L.; Yang, X. J.; Dobrucki, L. W.; Chaudhury, I.; Yin, Q.; Yao, C.; Lezmi, S.; Helferich, W. G.; Fan, T. M.; Cheng, J. J., Aptamer-Functionalized, Ultra-Small, Monodisperse Silica Nanoconjugates for Targeted Dual-Modal Imaging of Lymph Nodes with Metastatic Tumors. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2012, 51, (51), 12721-12726.

    • Tong, R.; Cheng, J. J., Zinc Complex Mediated Regioselective O-Acylation of Therapeutic Agents. Chemical Science 2012, 3, (7), 2234-2239.

    • Tong, R.; Gabrielson, N. P.; Fan, T. M.; Cheng, J. J., Polymeric Nanomedicines Based on Poly(lactide) and Poly(lactide-co-glycolide). Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science 2012, 16, (6), 323-332.

    • Tong, R.; Tang, L.; Cheng, J. J. Development and Application of Anticancer Nanomedicine; Springer: New York, 2012, 31-46

    • Zhang, Z. H.; Yin, L. C.; Xu, Y. X.; Tong, R.; Lu, Y. B.; Ren, J.; Cheng, J. J., Facile Functionalization of Polyesters through Thiol-yne Chemistry for the Design of Degradable, Cell-Penetrating and Gene Delivery Dual-Functional Agents. Biomacromolecules 2012, 13, (11), 3456-3462.


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