ZUO Zhong, Joan 左中
Director and Professor
School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3943 6862
Fax:(852) 2603 5295
Professor Joan Zuo is the Director and Professor of the School of Pharmacy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She holds a B. Sc. and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and has had over 25 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics fields. Since she joined the School of Pharmacy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Jan 2000, Prof. Zuo has secured over 24 million continuous supports from various grant agencies such as University Grant Council, Innovation Technology Foundation, Food and Health Bureau, Hospital Authority in Hong Kong SAR as PI to support her series investigations on biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics of both western drug molecule and herbal bioactive components. Her research achievements have been applied to areas such as improvement of quality control and delivery of western drugs as well as herbal products, elucidation or even prediction of potential herb/drug interactions in vivo. Prof. Zuo’s research findings in the above fields have generated over 300 original research and conference papers and patents of USA, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
In Hong Kong, Prof. Zuo is serving in the Pharmacy & Poison’s Board, Pharmacy Internship Training Committee, Pharmacovigilance Committee, TCM Research and Development Committee and Proprietary Traditional Chinese Medicine Registration Committee at the government of Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China. She is currently the Council member of the Metropolitan University of Hong Kong and Incu-Bio and Expert Panels of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation.
Internationally, Prof. Zuo is the Fellow of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and has served as nomination committee member for International Society of Xenobiotics (ISSX). Currently, she is the regional editor of European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and editorial board member for Biopharmaceutics and Drug Dispositions, Xenobiotica, Chinese Medicine and, grant reviewer for China and Macau, and journal reviewer for more than 50 international peer reviewed journals.
- Biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics of novel compounds;
- Sublingual and nasal delivery of drugs;
- Absorption, pharmacokinetics and formulation study of the active components in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or herbal medicine;
- Herb-drug interactions investigations using preclinical, clinical, systematic reviews and database development approaches;
- Biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, herb-drug interactions
Recent Research Grants
(* as PI)
- *Development of piperine as a potent expanded CGG inhibitor for the treatment of Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Sponsored by Research Grant Council (RGC) – General Research Fund (GRF) during the period of 2022-01-01 – 2023-12-31 for the sum of HKD 1,145,732
- * Clinical evaluations of CYP 450 inhibition and anticoagulation biomarker alteration by Radix Puerariae lobatae (Gegen): impact on its potential herb-drug interactions. Sponsored by Health and Medical Research Fund during the period of 2021-04-01-2023-03-31 for the sum of HKD 1,488,798
- * Development of a Tablet-in-tablet Formulation System in Hong Kong for Treatment of Peptic Ulcer. Sponsored by Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) – Partnership Research Programme during the period of 2020-04-01 to 2022-03-31 for the sum of HKD 3,167,844
- * Carboxylesterase-mediated herb–drug interactions: impact of flavones on pro-drugs whose activation is mediated by carboxylesterase. Sponsored by Research Grant Council (RGC) – General Research Fund (GRF) during the period 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31 for the sum of HKD 884,445
- * Development of Chinese Medicine-Drug Interaction Database with the Aid of Artificial Intelligence (Phase I). Sponsored by Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) – Innovation and Technology Suport Programme (ITSP) during the period 2019-03-31 to 2021-03-30 for the sum of HKD 1,466,790
- * Determination of No-observed-adverse-effect-level of Fuzi for Its Clinical Safe and Effective Use. Sponsored by Food and Health Bureau (FHB) – Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) during the period 2018-09-20 to 2020-09-19 for the sum of HKD 1,199,316
- *Development of an Optimization Platform for Bioequivalent Extended Release Dosage Forms. Sponsored by Innovation and Technology Fund during the period 2017-02 to 2019-01 for the sum of HKD 1,239,249
- *Impact of the Chinese herbal medicines on the combination therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin: pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics outcomes and related mechanisms in rats. Sponsored by Food and Health Bureau – Health and Medical Research Fund during the period 2015-07-20 to 2017-07-19 for the sum of HKD 909,000
- *Evaluation of Potential Herb-drug Interactions between Oseltamivir and Commonly Used Anti-influenza Chinese Medicinal Herbs sponsored by Food and Health Bureau – Health and Medical Research Fund during the period 2014-03-03 to 2016-03-02 for the sum of HKD 982,010.00
- * CNS Uptake of Radix Scutellariae Flavones and Relationships with its Anxiolytic Effects (CU13798) sponsored by Research Grants Council – General Research Fund during the period 2014-01-01 to 2015-12-31 for the sum of HKD 562,921.00
- * Is It Safe to Take Danshen-Gegen Product with Warfarin and Aspirin? A Pilot Study in Human Subject (MD12756) sponsored by Food and Health Bureau – Health and Medical Research Fund during the period 2013-06-01 to 2015-12-31 for the sum of HKD 985,982.00
- Development of first-in-class antimicrobial agents with novel mode of action towards antibiotic drug candidates sponsored by ITF Midstream Research Programme for Universities (MRP) during the period of, 1/04/2022 – 31/03/2025 for the sum of HKD 5.1 M
- Study of Inhibitors Targeting Bacterial RNA Polymerase Holoenzyme Formation as Novel Antimicrobial Agent sponsored by Collaborative Research Fundduring the period of 01/06/2020 – 31/05/2023 for the sum of HKD 4,974,462
- Pulmonary Delivery of Engineered Endolysin to Treat Gram-negative Bacterial Pneumonia sponsored by Health and Medical Research Fund during the period of 01/11/2022 – 31/10/2025 for the sum of HKD 1,246,204
- Validation of the beneficial effect and safety use of combined FOLFOX and Patrinia heterophylla herbal extract in colorectal cancer – proof-of-concept for clinical use sponsored by Health and Medical Research Fund during the period of 0 1/09/2022 – 28/02/2025 for the sum of HKD 1,499,410
- Bactericidal synergism of phage depolymerase and antibiotic combinations to treat experimental lung infection sponsored by General Research Fund during the period of 01/01/2022 – 31/12/2024 for the sum of HKD 1,065,732.00
- A Technology Platform to Enhance Model-Informed Drug Development for Antibody-Based Therapeutics sponsored by Innovation and Technology Commission – Partnership Research Programme (PRP) during the period of 01/06/2021 – 30/05/2023 for the sum of HKD 2M
- Chinese Medicine to Overcome Resistant Chemotherapy: Comparison of the Effects of Tripterygium wilfordii with Other Selected Herbal Extracts in Cell Models of Resistant Lung, Pancreatic and Prostate Cancers (MD12893) sponsored by Macau University of Science and Technology Foundation during the period 2013-01-09 to 2015-08-31 for the sum of HKD 342,904.00
- Refining the bioactivity of P42, a hit therapeutic peptide, and developing a combined therapeutic peptide approach for treating Huntington’s Disease. (BL14398) sponsored by ANR/RGC Joint Research Scheme during the period 2015-04-01 to 2019-03-31 for the sum of HKD 2,540,083.00
- Orally-dissolving Films for Overcoming Biopharmaceutic Challenges of Drug Molecules (MD14612) sponsored by Innovation & Technology Commission-Innovation and Technology Support Programme during the period 2015-03-01 to 2016-02-29 for the sum of HKD 963,700.00
- Clinical Assessment of a Topical Application Containing Radix Rubiae for Plaque-Type Psoriasis – A Randomized, Double-blind, Vehicle-controlled and Left-Right Comparison Pilot Study (MD14926) sponsored by Food and Health Bureau – Health and Medical Research Fund during the period 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31 for the sum of HKD 937,274.00
- Targeting RNA and Protein Toxicities of Polyglutamine Diseases Using Peptidylic Inhibitors (BL14370) sponsored by Vice-Chancellor’s One-off Discretionary Fund during the period 2015-01-01 to 2019-01-31 for the sum of HKD 2,500,000.00
- Oral Delivery of Poorly Soluble Traditional Chinese Medicine (MD13364) sponsored by CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants) during the period 2014-06-30 to 2015-06-29 for the sum of HKD 80,000.00
- Targeting RNA and Protein Toxicities of Polyglutamine Diseases Using Peptidylic Inhibitors (BL13801) sponsored by RGC – Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) during the period 2014-06-01 to 2017-05-31 for the sum of HKD 7,044,220.00
- Targeting RNA and Protein Toxicities of Polyglutamine Diseases Using Peptidylic Inhibitors (BL13976) sponsored by Research Committee Group Research Scheme during the period 2014-06-01 to 2017-05-31 for the sum of HKD 818,110.00
Bachelor of Pharmacy Programme
- PHAR 1004 Personal Development in Pharmacy
- PHAR 2520 Fundamentals of Herbal Medicines
- PHAR 3510 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(* Corresponding Author)
- Zhang YF, Wo SK, Leng W, Gao F, Yan XY, Zuo Z*. Population pharmacokinetics and IVIVC for mesalazine enteric-coated tablets. J Control Release. 2022;346:275-288. DOI: 1016/j.jconrel.2022.04.024 (IF: 11.467, Q1, JIF Rank 12/279 in Pharmacology &Pharmacy).
- Lyu YF, Li D, Yuan XP, Li ZW, Zhang J, Ming X, Shaw PC, Zhang CB, Kong A.P.S., Zuo Z*. Effects of combination treatment with metformin and berberine on hypoglycemic activity and gut microbiota modulation in db/db mice. Phytomedicine 2022;101:Article 154099. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2022.154099 (IF: 6.656, Q1, JIF Rank 1/30 in Integrative & Complimentary Medicine).
- Li Z, Zhang J, Zhang Y, Zhou L, Zhao J, Lyu Y, Poon LH, Lin Z, To KKW, Yan X, Zuo Z*. Intestinal absorption and hepatic elimination of drugs in high-fat high-cholesterol diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis rats: exemplified by simvastatin. Br J Pharmacol. 2021;178(3):582-599. DOI: 10.1111/bph.15298 (IF: 9.473, Q1, JIF Rank 18/279 in Pharmacology and Pharmacy).
- Zhao J, Cheng SW, Ng WL, Zhang Y, Shek TL, Ren T, Yan X, Li K, Wang J, Zuo Z*. Identification of the in vivo relevant dissolution media for the three active components in EGb 761 tablet for better correlation with their pharmacokinetics in healthy subjects. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2020;154:105515. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2020.105515 (IF: 5.112, Q1, JCI Rank 34/361 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy).
- Zhang Y, Yang M, Ho NJ, Mok RY, Zhang Z, Ge B, Leung PC, Fung KP, Lau CBS, Lee VHL, Lin Z, Wong RSM, Zuo Z*. Is it safe to take Radix Salvia Miltiorrhiza – Radix Pueraria Lobate product with warfarin and aspirin? A pilot study in healthy human subjects. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020;262:113151. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113151 (IF: 5.195, Q1, JIF Rank 4/30 in in Integrative & Complimentary Medicine).
- Zhang J, Wang D, Zou L, Xiao M, Zhang Y, Li Z, Yang L, Ge G, Zuo Z*. Rapid bioluminescence assay for monitoring rat CES1 activity and its alteration by traditional Chinese medicines. J Pharm Anal. 2020;10(3):253-262. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpha.2020.05.006 (IF: 14.026, Q1, JCI Rank 6/361 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy).
- Ren T, Hu M, Cheng Y, Shek TL, Xiao M, Ho NJ, Zhang C, Leung SSY, Zuo Z*. Piperine-loaded nanoparticles with enhanced dissolution and oral bioavailability for epilepsy control. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019;137:104988. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2019.104988 (IF: 5.112, Q1, JCI Rank 34/361 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy).
- Xiao M, Qian C, Luo X, Yang M, Zhang Y, Wu C, Mok C, Lee P, Zuo Z*. Impact of the Chinese herbal medicines on dual antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics outcomes and related mechanisms in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2019;235:100-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.01.040 (IF: 5.195, Q1, JIF Rank 4/30 in in Integrative & Complimentary Medicine).
- Wang Q, Peng S, Hu Y, Wong CH, Kwan KM, Chan HYE, Zuo Z*. Efficient brain uptake and distribution of an expanded CAG RNA inhibitor DB213 via intranasal administration. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019;127:240-251. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2018.10.025 (IF: 5.112, Q1, JCI Rank 34/361 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy)
- Li Y, Meng Q, Yang M, Liu D, Hou X, Tang L, Wang X, Lyu Y, Chen X, Liu K, Yu AM*, Zuo Z*, Bi H*. Current trends in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Acta Pharm Sin B. 2019;9(6):1113-1144. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2019.10.001 (IF: 14.911, Q1, JIF Rank 8/279 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy) Outstanding Paper Award for Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B
- Wang Q, Wong CH, Chan HYE, Lee WY, Zuo Z*. Statistical Design of Experiment (DoE) based development and optimization of DB213 in situ thermosensitive gel for intranasal delivery. Int J Pharm. 2018;539(1-2):50-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.01.032 (IF: 6.510, Q1, JIF Rank 40/279 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy).
- Fong SYK, Li C, Ho YC, Li R, Wang Q, Wong YC, Xue H, Zuo Z*. Brain Uptake of Bioactive Flavones in Scutellariae Radix and Its Relationship to Anxiolytic Effect in Mice. Mol Pharm. 2017;14(9):2908-2916. DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00029 (IF: 5.364, Q1, JIF Rank 65/279 in Pharmacology & Phamracy).
- Yang M, Zhang Q, Wang Q, Sorensen KK, Boesen JT, Ma SY, Jensen KJ, Kwan KM, Ngo JCK, Chan HYE, Zuo Z*. Brain-Targeting Delivery of Two Peptidylic Inhibitors for Their Combination Therapy in Transgenic Polyglutamine Disease Mice via Intranasal Administration. Mol Pharm. 2018;15(12):5781-5792. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b00938 (IF: 5.364, Q1, JIF Rank 65/279 in Pharmacology & Phamracy).
- Gao Q, Yang M, Zuo Z*. Overview of the anti-inflammatory effects, pharmacokinetic properties and clinical efficacies of arctigenin and arctiin from Arctium lappa L. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018;39(5):787-801. DOI: 10.1038/aps.2018.32 (IF: 7.189, Q1, JIF Rank 28/279 in Pharmacology & Pharmacy) Outstanding Paper Award for Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
- Fong SY, Liu M, Wei H, Lobenberg R, Kanfer I, Lee VH, Amidon GL, Zuo Z*. Establishing the pharmaceutical quality of Chinese herbal medicine: a provisional BCS classification. Mol Pharm. 2013;10(5):1623-1643. DOI: 10.1021/mp300502m (IF: 5.364, Q1, JIF Rank 65/279 in Pharmacology & Phamracy).
- Teacher of the Year Award 2003/2004, School of Pharmacy, CUHK;
- Fellow of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 11/2021;
- Outstanding Paper Award for Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica, 2021 & 2022;
- Outstanding Fellow of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, 08/2022;
- Chow MSS, Wang YF, Zuo Z.“Method of enhancing absorptions of transmucosal administration formulations”, USA Patent No. US 7,329,416 B2, granted on Feb. 12, 2008; Chinese Patent No. 200580030149.3, granted March 24, 2010; Hong Kong Patent No. HK1107271, granted on May 31, 2010; Malaysian Patent No. MY-141878-A, granted on July 16, 2010.
- Chow MSS, Wang YF, Zuo Z. “Method of enhancing absorptions of transmucosal administration formulations” continuation-in-part, USA Patent No. US 8,012,503 B2, granted on Sept. 6, 2011
- Member, Pharmacy & Poisons Board of Hong Kong, Department of Health, HKSAR Government
- Chair of Pharmacy Internship Training Committee, Pharmacy & Poisons Board of Hong Kong
- Member, Expert Advisory Group on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies, Pharmacy & Poisons Board of Hong Kong
- Member, Pharmacovigilance Advisory Body, Drug Office, Department of Health, HKSAR Government
- Member, Accreditation Advisory Board (AAB) Working Party on Biological and Chemical testing, Hong Kong Accreditation Service
- Council member, The Metropolitan University of Hong Kong
- Incu-Bio Panel and Expert Panel, The Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation
- External Member, Medical Services Committee, Yan Oi Tong
- Editorial Board Member, Biopharmaceutics and Drug Dispositions, Xenobiotica, Chinese Medicine, and European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Regional Editor)
- Journal Reviewer for over 50 international peer-reviewed journal including Advanced Drug Delivery Review, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Research, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, etc.
- Grant Reviewer for NSFC, HMRF, Macau FDCT, Macau University, etc.