Xinzhu Wang

Title and Affiliation

Student Intern
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Environmental Health
Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology

Visiting from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Contact Info

Office: Room 1404E, Building 1

Short Bio

My name is Wang Xinzhu. I am a full-time undergraduate year-three student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and I am now doing research internship in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In NTU, I am holding a Science and Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship, achieving the highest distinction in my department. My research interest is about chemical synthesis and nanotechnology. I was involved in research project on organic synthesis in my second-year college. The research project was supervised by Professor Zaher Judeh in NTU where I had the opportunity to work on synthesizing drug precursors. My job was to develop a new methodology for a drug precursor (indole derivative) to achieve optimal reaction yield and productivity. In detail, we optimized reaction conditions by comparing the productivity of different catalysts and reactants. The structure of newly synthesized product was then confirmed by IR and NMR spectrum. The final product was purified by liquid chromatography (LP) to afford an expected yield. The project is still in progress with the expectation of exploring more remarkable features and applications of those drug precursors. By the end of project, we expected to propose more indole derivatives as drug candidates with optimized reaction conditions and relatively high yields. Identified drug precursors were expected to be cost-effective with good production yield in drug manufacturing. Besides that, I presented this research project in the 2019 DISCOVER URECA Poster Exhibition and Competition last year and won overall winner in chemical and material engineering category.

The project with Harvard University is on nanotechnology and smart food packaging. Our team supervised by Professor Philip Demokritou purposed to develop nanotechnology based smart food packaging (SFP) materials, capable of improving food safety and quality and minimizing food waste, using novel scalable synthesis methods such as electrospray and electrospinning. My current job here is to synthesis nanomaterials using biodegradable substrates and test the functionality of the materials. In this project, we expected to achieve passive and active release of active ingredients using environmental triggers. Bacteria sensing technology will also be developed and assessed for used in food packaging systems.

Research Interests

My research interest will be focusing on organic drug precursor synthesis, polymer synthesis, and nanocomposites research area.

  • NTU, Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA)
    Organic Synthesis of Drug Precursor, Phenylethylidene Indoles, via Novel Reaction Mechanisms
  • 2020 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Research Internship)
    Development of nanomaterials used in smart food packaging system.
  • Discovery of Nano-Sensors for Plant Hormones