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Na Zhang, PhD

Na Zhang portrait
Research Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology

Professional Background

My research interests include:
Bioanalysis of drugs, drug metabolites and biomarkers
The portfolio of validated LC-MS/MS assays include five main categories: (1) investigational drugs for cancer therapeutics; (2) investigational drugs for non-cancer therapeutics; (3) Tobacco Biomarkers; (4) Neurological biomarkers; (5) Approved drugs in Preclinical and clinical studies.
Clinical pharmacology study of investigational drugs: Perform Pharmacokinetic calculations and modeling to define and interpret drug pharmacokinetics and relate them to drug effects.
Characterize the effects of beta-glucuronidase enzymes on the pharmacokinetics and therapeutic actions of several investigational bladder cancer drugs.

Education and Training
  • PhD, Analytical Chemistry, University of California, Riverside
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside



In early phase clinical trials, it is very important to characterize the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics profiles of the drugs and biomarkers of drug effects in patient samples. These findings support the determination of the most effective dose and dosing regimen that achieves target drug exposures in the studied populations. These results also provide critical information on the safety and tolerability of the investigational drugs.
In my current role in the Bioanalytical Laboratory, part of Clinical Pharmacology Shared Resource, I provide essential support for the University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) for the design, performance, interpretation, and presentation of bioanalytical data (BA) in clinical studies: assist in preparing of grant applications, protocols, documents; develop and validate liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assays for quantitation of drugs, their metabolites and other biomarkers in research samples and provide detailed analysis reports for PI and sponsors. Meanwhile I lead a small team of analysts in their day-to-day functions performing bioanalysis for the clients. We have developed and applied these methods to provide critical data for cancer therapy clinical trials, smoking cessation studies, and non-cancer clinical trials.