Associate Professor Chunxia Zhao

UQ Amplify Fellow & Group Leader

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
+61 7 334 64263


Associate Professor Chun-Xia Zhao is a Group leader and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and at AIBN. She joined Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), The University of Queensland (UQ) in early 2008 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Anton Middelberg's group, after obtained her PhD degree in Zhejiang University.

In 2011, A/Prof. Zhao was awarded an ARC Discovery project along with the Australian Postdoctoral Fellow as the sole investigator. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Her research in bio-inspired nanotechnology and microfluidics has attracted more than $3.5 M research funding since 2011, including three Australian Research Council projects (two ARC discovery projects and one ARC Linkage project) as the lead investigator, two national prestigious fellowship (Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship and Australian Research Council Future Fellowship), UQ Early Career Award and UQ New Staff Start-Up grant. She visited Harvard University as Fellow of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (Oct - Dec, 2014). In 2016, her research excellence was recognised by the UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award. She has been appointed as member of the 2019 ARC College of Experts (2019-2021).

A/Prof. Zhao has contributed substantial high quality scientific papers in international top refereed journals such as Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Chemical Communications, Journal of Materials Chemistry, AIChE Journal, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vaccine, and so on. She has been focusing on innovative research, and has been active in patent application to transfer her research into practical applications, as evidenced by her five patents. One of her patents was licensed to an international company. She has built extensive collaborations with scientists at top universities such as Harvard University, Brown University, etc. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board member for several journals.

Research Interests

  • Multifunctional nanomaterials for drug delivery, vaccine delivery and controlled release
    Dr Zhao's research expertise is nanomaterials for drug delivery and controlled release, microfluidics for making sophisticated materials and screening drug delivery systems, and biomolecular engineering for sustainable materials, including a number of directions: (1) Emulsion and biomimetic dual-templating technology for making silica capsules for controlled and sustained release; (2) Stimuli-responsive soft materials based on biomolecules manufactured from renewable resources. (3) Simple and low-cost platform technology for producing bioproducts, including peptide or protein biosurfactants, peptide antibiotics. (4) Microfluidic synthesis of hierarchical materials for applications in sustained and controlled drug release. (5) Microfluidic platform technology for reproducibly producing targeted polymer nanocarriers having systematically varied properties. (6) In vivo-mimicking Tissue Chips for screening and evaluating nanocarriers.

Research Impacts

A/Prof. Zhao has established a recognised international presence in the fields of nanomaterials, microfluidics and drug delivery. She has been invited to submit book chapters, reviews and research papers in leading journal, such as Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (2013 Impact Factor 12.7), Chemical Engineering Science Special Issue on Microfluidic Engineering, Industrial Engineering & Chemical Research, Vaccines. She has also been invited to present her work at international conferences (World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Annual World Congress of Advanced Materials, Annual World Congress of NanoMedicine, Bionano Innovation Conference, etc). A/Prof. Zhao is also an invited reviewer for more than 20 journals, including Advanced Materials, Chemical Communication, Lab on a Chip, Chemical Engineering Science, AIChE Journal, Langmuir, Journal of Chromatography A, Inorganic Chemistry, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, etc.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Zhejiang University


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Book Chapter

  • Wibowo, David, Zhao, Chun-Xia and He, Yinghe (2019). Fluid properties and hydrodynamics of microfluidic systems. In Microfluidics for pharmaceutical applications (pp. 37-77) Amsterdam, The Netherland: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-812659-2.00002-8

  • Zhao, Chun-Xia and Middelberg, Anton P. J. (2016). Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials using microfluidic technology. In Mahmood Aliofkhazraei (Ed.), Handbook of nanoparticles (pp. 455-473) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-15338-4_23

  • Zhao, Chun-Xia and Middelberg, Anton P.J. (2013). Stimuli-responsive peptide nanostructures at the fluid-fluid interface. In Juliet A. Gerrard (Ed.), Protein nanotechnology: protocols, instrumentation, and applications 2nd ed. (pp. 179-194) New York, NY United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-354-1_10

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision