Prof. ZHANG Yong (張勇)

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34426774

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes


Professor Yong Zhang is currently a Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Head of Department of Biomedical Engineering at City University of Hong Kong. Before he joined CityU, he had over 20 years of working experience in Department of Biomedical Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS) as a senior researcher, educator and administrative leader. He joined NUS as an Assistant Professor in Oct 2002 and was promoted to Associate Professor in Jan 2007, to Full Professor in 2013 and then Provost’s Chair Professor in 2017. On research, he developed new technology for wireless phototherapy and point-of-care diagnostics based on implantable light-emitting materials and devices. His publications in top-tier journals (Nature Medicine, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, PNAS, Nature Protocols, Advanced Materials, Chemical Reviews, Chemical Society Reviews, etc.), many plenary/keynote/invited talks in international conferences, his contribution to academic communities and professional societies, and his effort in technology commercialization, made him an internationally recognized researcher. His research achievements were featured in Nature, The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Innovation Magazine, Nature Publishing Group (NPG) Asia Materials and Nanotechweb, etc. He received a number of awards such as Humboldt Research Award (2021) and IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award (twice, 2012, 2020). He was interviewed by Thomson Reuters Science Watch for his highly cited and hot research papers, elected Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and Fellow of Singapore Academy of Engineering (FSAEng), named as Global Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics, and listed on World’s Top 2% Scientists by Stanford University and Elsevier BV. On education, in the past 20 years, Professor Zhang provided mentoring and training to many PhD/undergraduate students and young researchers with great diversity of backgrounds from many different countries in Asia, Europe and America. Under his mentoring, these students published research articles in top tier journals such as PNAS and received awards such as President Graduate Fellowship, Best Poster Award, Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award and EMedIC Global (Engineering Medical Innovation Global Competition) Award. He was a recipient of Outstanding Mentor Award given by Singapore Ministry of Education. On service, Professor Zhang served as the Deputy Head of NUS Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chair of Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee (FPTC) and Faculty Awards Committee, Admission Committee Chair and EXCO member of NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS), and member of University Promotion and Tenure Committee (UPTC) and University Research Committee (URC). Professor Zhang also provided a lot of service to professional and scientific community by serving as the conference chair, grant review panel member, journal editor or editorial board member, and so on.

Research Interests/Areas

Nanomaterials, Nanobiophotonics, Digital Nanomedicine, Optogenetics, Wireless phototherapy, Microfluidic devices

Editor or Editorial Membership

Microchimica Acta, Senior Associate Editor

Chemical Society Reviews, Advisory Board Member



Fellowship, Singapore Academy of Engineering (FSAEng)

World’s Top 2% Scientists

Humboldt Research Award

IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards, Institute of Engineers Singapore (twice)

Global Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate Analytics)

Leading Talents in Emerging Industries in Anhui Province

Runner up, Innovation Challenge Cup in Anhui Province

NUS Provost’s Chair Professorship

Fellowship, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)

China Central Government Overseas High-Level Talent Recruitment Programs

Shanghai Overseas High-Level Talent Recruitment Programs

Zhejiang Overseas High-Level Talent Recruitment Programs

NML Researcher Award

Erwin Schrodinger Society Poster Award (1st Prize)

Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award

Faculty Research Award, Faculty of Engineering, NUS

Overseas Outstanding Young Investigator Award, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Anhui Hundred Talents Program

Leading Talent of Nanjing 321 Entrepreneurship Program

Leading Talent of Changzhou Entrepreneurship Program

Outstanding Mentor Award, Science Mentorship Programmes, Gifted Education Branch (GEB), Ministry of Education (MOE)

DAAD Scholarship, Germany

NUS Young Investigator Award, Singapore

Joint Institute for Nanoscience (JIN) fellowship, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/University of Washington, USA

State Natural Science Award, Second Class, Ministry of Education, China


Rechargeable Light Delivery Device for Wireless Optogenetics Interrogation in Ageing Brain, NMRC, S$ 1,242,000 (+30% IRC), 09/2022-09/2027

Combined proton beam therapy and proton beam triggered photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment, NMRC, S$ 1,250,000 (+20% IRC), 08/2021-08/2025

Self-propelling upconversion Janus nanoparticles for overcoming light and diffusion limited penetration of drugs in solid tumors, NMRC, S$ 1,215,700 (+20% IRC), 08/2018-08/2021

Remote-controlled Photo-therapy with Small-Scale Wireless Bioelectronics, MOE Tier-3 programme, S$7,346,200 (+20% IRC), 05/2017-05/2022

Near-infrared-to-ultraviolet photon upconversion for highly penetrating photodynamic therapy of solid and deep seated cancers, NMRC, S$1,100,000 (+20% IRC), 07/2014-07/2017

Fast Bacteria Separation in a Microfluidic Device for Rapid Medical Diagnosis, MOE tier 1, S$177,000, 03/2014-02/2017

Versatile core-shell-shell fluorescent upconversion nanoparticles for light based detection and disease diagnostics, NRF, S$215,000 (+20%IRC), 08/2012-08/2013

Use of novel upconversion technique for photodynamic therapy of cancer in deep tissues, A*STAR SERC, S$1,299,000 (+20%IRC), 06/2011-05/2013

A culture-free and PCR-free technique for rapid detection of bacteria from pathological samples, A*STAR SERC, S$461,703 (+20%IRC), 06/2011-12/2012

Rational design of Plasmon-engineered upconversion fluorescent nanomaterials for enhanced imaging and light-triggered bimodal therapy of cancer, A*STAR BMRC, S$620,500 (+20%IRC), 04/2011-03/2014

Targeted immunomodulation therapy using folic-acid-CCL21 coated nanoconjugates, MOE Tier 1, S$179,000, 02/2011-01/2014

Photoactivable gene silencing using upconverting fluorescent nanoparticles for treatment of malignant melanoma, NMRC, S$181,600 (+20%IRC), 06/2010-06/2012

Monitoring of gene transfected myoblast cells transplanted in a Hindlimb Ischemia Model, MOE Tier 1, S$150,000, 03/2009-02/2012

Assessing trafficking and tissue distribution of live and subunit vaccines against mycobacterium tuberculosis by dynamic, in vivo fluorescence imaging using ultrafine upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles, A*STAR SBIC, S$716,000 (+20%IRC), 03/2009-02/2012

Use of NIR-to-visible upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles for synergistic non-invasive imaging and photodynamic therapy of cancer in deep tissues, A*STAR BMRC, S$669,000 (+20%IRC), 01/2008-12/2010

Real time noninvasive imaging of skeletal myoblasts transplanted into the heart using quantum dot / chitosan nanoparticles, A*STAR BMRC, S$ 607,900 (+20%IRC), 03/2006-02/2009.

New methods for fabricating nanoarray devices, A*STAR SERC, S$ 698,745 (+20%IRC), 09/2005-08/2008.

High performance single cell micropatterning and related applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment, BMRC/NUS Young Investigator Award, S$ 550,000, 05/2003-05/2006.

Design of a microfluidic system for multiplexed detection of biomolecules, MOE Tier 1, S$ 168,000, 03/2005-02/2008.

Novel upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles for non-invasive imaging of live cells, MOE Tier 1, S$ 104,900, 04/2007-03/2010.

Quantum dot based magnetic nanocomposites as multifunctional biological labels, MOE Tier 1, S$ 171,310, 05/2003-04/2005.

Cell nuclear targeting intracellular delivery of quantum dot based nanoconjugates, MOE Tier 1, S$ 99,149, 06/2003-06/2004.