Research |
Feng QIAN, Ph.D.


Dr. Feng Qian joined School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) in August 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Feng Qian held positions of Research Investigator, Senior Research Investigator, and Principal Scientist in the Department of Drug Product Science and Technology at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (New Brunswick, NJ, USA) from 2003 to 2012. Dr. Feng Qian received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH, USA) in 2003, and his undergraduate education and MS degree (1998) from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Dr. Feng Qian is an author of over 50 peer reviewed papers, >10 patents/patent applications, and a book chapter. Prof. Qian also serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) of Molecular Pharmaceutics, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and AAPS PharmSciTech.

Research interests

(1) Novel drug therapeutics against cancer and eye diseases

We are interested in developing novel drug therapeutics for pancreatic cancer and eye diseases (such as wet-AMD), based on their unique disease biology and clinical needs.

(2) Physical pharmaceutics

We are interested in two topics in this area. 1) Bioavailability enhancement of “beyond ‘rule-of-five’”molecules; 2) High concertation protein drugs for subcutaneous and local injection. We are closely collaborating with major pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, etc., on the above research topics.

Selected Achievements

Drug-polymer-water interaction and its impacts on pharmaceutical performance of amorphous solid dispersions (ASD): We established a “χASD-water plot” methodology (Flory-Huggins interaction parameter of ASD against the ASD drug loading),and proved that this plot could reveal the physical nature of drug-polymer interaction, and also assess its robustness against moisture exposure. We demonstrated the potential impact of molecular interaction mechanisms between drug and polymer on the dissolution, stability, and bioavailability of ASDs.

One-step processes to prepare micron-/nano-sized pharmaceutical particles:We found that pharmaceutical particles with different sizes and potential applications could be prepared by one-step processes, based on various phase separation and crystallization mechanisms. We are also collaborating with colleagues in Tsinghua Engineering School to explore novel and advanced pharmaceutical process technologies to develop pharmaceutical particles with unique properties.

Impact of excipient-protein interaction on the viscosity and stability of mAb solutions: Optimally designed protein formulations could reduce the solution viscosity while maintain stability of high concentrated protein (mAb) solutions, which is highly desirable for subcutaneous administration, an injection route that is more patient friendly compared with intravenous injection.

Novel drug combination and formulation against cancer: Some promising preliminary results have shown that novel formulations and drug combinations under developing in our lab out-performed some current first line drug therapies in various mice tumor models. We are still investigating the biological and delivery mechanisms of these novel therapeutics.

Honors and awards

2014-2015 Janssen-Tsinghua Investigator

2008 “Chemistry Leadership Award”, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New Jersey, USA

Selected Publications

1. Dou L, Liu H., Wang K, Liu J, Liu L, Ye J, Wang R, Deng H, Qian F.*; Albumin binding revitalizes NQO1 bioactivatable drugs as novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer, Journal of Controlled Release, 2022 Aug 4;349:876-889. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2022.07.033.

2. Kong W, Liu Z, Sun M, Liu H, Kong C, Ma J, Wang R, Qian F.*; Synergistic Autophagy Blockade and VDR Signaling Activation Enhance Stellate Cell Reprogramming in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Cancer Letters. 2022 Jul 28;539:215718. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2022.215718. Epub 2022 May 5.

3. Fang Yuan, Mengnan Sun, Zhengsheng Liu, Huiqin Liu, Weijian Kong, Rui Wang, Qian F*, Macropinocytic dextran facilitates KRAS-targeted delivery while reducing drug-induced tumor immunity depletion in pancreatic cancer. Theranostics. 2022; 12(3): 1061-1073. doi: 10.7150/thno.65299

4. Liu H; Yu S; Qian F*, Opportunities and delusions regarding drug delivery targeting pancreatic cancer-associated fibroblasts, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2021 May;172:37-51.

5. Zhou T,; Qian F.*; Adenosine Triphosphate-Induced Rapid Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation of a Model IgG1 mAb, Mol. Pharmaceutics. 2021 18 (1), 267-274, DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.0c00905

6. Mi W; Chen H; Zhu A, Zhang T, Qian F*, Melting point prediction of organic molecules by deciphering the chemical structure into a natural language, Chemical Communications, 2021, 57, 2633 – 2636

7. Yuan F; Sun M; Liu H; Qian, F.*, Albumin-conjugated drug is irresistible by single gene mutation of endocytic system: verification by genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 loss-of function screens, Journal of Controlled Release, Vol 323, 10 July 2020, Pages 311-320

8. Hu C.; Liu Z.; Liu C.; Zhang Y.; Fan H.; Qian F.*; Improvement of Antialveolar Echinococcosis Efficacy of Albendazole by a Novel Nanocrystalline Formulation with Enhanced Oral Bioavailability, ACS Infect. Dis. 2020, 6, 5, 802–810

9. Kong C; Li Y; Liu Z; Ye J; Wang Z; Zhang L; Kong W.; Liu H.; Liu C.; Pang H.; Hu Z.; Gao J.; and Qian, F*, Targeting the Oncogene KRAS Mutant Pancreatic Cancer by Synergistic Blocking of Lysosomal Acidification and Rapid Drug Release, ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b08246, March 26, 2019.

10. Liu H; Sun M; Liu Z; Kong C; Kong W; Ye J; Gong J; Huang D; Qian, F.*, KRAS-enhanced macropinocytosis and reduced FcRn-mediated recycling sensitize pancreatic cancer to albumin-conjugated drugs, Journal of Controlled Release, Vol 296, 28 February 2019, Pages 40-53.