New Faculty Members Broaden Research Opportunities for Graduate Students

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, and Jianming Xie, PhD, will be joining the faculty on December 1, bringing with them new research opportunities for interested students.

Yong (Tiger) Zhang comes to the School of Pharmacy with a passion for scientific discovery and improving people’s lives.

“Since elementary school, I have been fascinated  by science, in particular biology and chemistry,  and pursuing a science career for solving those  mysteries and creating new molecules to  improve our life,” says Zhang who is currently at  the Institute for Biomedical Research in La  Jolla.

Yong (Tiger) ZhangA native of Baotou, China, Zhang’s research focuses on the design and discovery of novel drug molecules and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases. He holds a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

“The ultimate goal of my work includes advancement of our understanding of the disease pathogenesis and development of new and efficacious diagnostic and therapeutic tools for improvement of human health,” he explains.

Zhang is looking forward to becoming a part of the Trojan family. He will join the School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“The multifaceted research programs, unique and outstanding collaborative platform, and inspiring and stimulating atmosphere have inspired me to join the USC School of Pharmacy,” he said.

Photo_Jianming XieJianming Xie will also be joining the faculty as an assistant professor in December. Xie’s research aims to develop T cell-based vaccines and immunotherapy to treat cancer and other diseases.

“My lab aims to develop novel strategies capable of boosting the immune system to fight cancer,” says Xie, who is originally from Fujian, China. “Specifically, we are focusing on designing protein- and peptide-based drugs that can control and enhance the function of T cells, a type of white blood cell that are able to recognize and attack cancer cells.”

Xie has long been passionate about the sciences, especially in an academic setting.

“I find it extremely exciting to be able to design new scientific experiments and learn things that no one has ever known,” he says. “Also, I like to work with good, smart and hard-working people.“

Xie comes to USC from Stanford where he is a research associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He holds a doctoral degree in chemical biology from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

“I am attracted to the USC School of Pharmacy because it provides a superb environment for interdisciplinary translational research – besides that, I love living in California!”