News

Tulane SOM News highlights our group's lead role in a $5 million grant to explore placental transporters using AI techniques for fetal protection

Dr. Zhu was featured in Tulane SOM News! This article summarizes our group's involvement in a new $5 million study on placental transporters. Our work could revolutionize understanding of how the placenta shields babies from harmful chemicals while nourishing them. 

Learn more here!

Posted November 10th, 2023

A warm welcome to our new students

Welcome, new lab members: Sean Carey, Dingxin Zhang, and Xinyu Yang. We are excited to have you all!

Posted September 4th, 2023

We are moving to Tulane University

Currently we are moving to Tulane University to join the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Genomics at the School of Medicine. In this process, we wish to recruit new talented students and postdocs to our group at Tulane. Please contact Dr. Zhu (hzhu10@tulane.edu) for details.

We will still be affiliated with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Rowan University. 

Posted August 22, 2023

Congratulations to Dan on his latest paper published in EST

Congratulations to Dan on his paper titled "Integrating Concentration-Dependent Toxicity Data and Toxicokinetics to Inform Hepatotoxicity Response Pathways." This paper discusses a method that identifies and categorizes high-throughput screening assays into groups of key biological targets and processes associated with hepatotoxicity. Check out the paper here!

Posted August 13th, 2023

Congratulations to Nada Daood on the ASCCT Travel Award for the QSAR2023 International Workshop

Nada Naood, our second-year Ph.D. student, was recently awarded the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) Travel Award for the QSAR2023 International Workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark. Congratulations! 

Posted June 13, 2023

Xuelian Jia and Tong Wang published their review paper in Environmental Science & Technology

Our Ph.D. students, Xuelian Jia and Tong Wang, published a review paper in ES&T. This review specifically examines how interpretable machine learning can be applied in computational toxicology, emphasizing the importance of developing new algorithms to uncover toxicity mechanisms and enhance chemical risk assessments.

Please check out the review here to learn more

Posted May 24, 2023

Dr. Zhu was awarded a new NIH R01 grant

Dr. Zhu and his research group was awarded a new NIH four year R01 grant (R01GM148743) titled "Virtual Nanostructure Simulation (VINAS) Portal" with a total of $1,048,277.00. This project aims to develop a data and model sharing platform for nanotoxicity and other nano-bio interaction data.

Posted May 1, 2023

Elena Chung published her research project in Environmental Science & Technology

Our newest paper by the group and our collaborators, with Elena as the first author, is now online on ES&T. Congratulations!

Please check out the paper here!

Posted April 12, 2023

Zhu lab students excel at the 2023 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting

We are thrilled to announce that our students won awards last week at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN!

Among the winners were Xuelian Jia, Tong Wang, and Elena Chung. 

Congratulations!

Posted March 27, 2023

Dr. Zhu contributed to the consensus study report from The National Academies for the EPA ORD

Dr. Zhu played a role in the consensus study report by offering practical suggestions on how the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at the Environmental Protection Agency can integrate emerging science and systems thinking into their research planning. This would enable ORD to enhance its effectiveness in addressing present and future environmental challenges. Find out more here.

Posted March 9, 2023

Xuelian Jia was awarded SOT Conferred Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods

Congratulations Xuelian, on this award! We look forward to you showcasing our group's research emphasizing alternative methods to animal testing at the upcoming SOT. 

Posted February 1, 2023

Welcome aboard to our newest Ph.D. student, Yitao Shen

We are excited to have you in our group. We look forward to your growth as a researcher and other successes. Welcome aboard!

Posted January 30, 2023

Tong Wang published his first-first author paper in our lab

Tong published his first-first author paper in the lab titled, "Integrating structure annotation and machine learning approaches to develop graphene toxicity models." Check it out here! 

Posted December 30, 2022

Dr. Zhu was awarded a new NSF grant

A new NSF grant was awarded to Dr. Zhu. This project titled "New Machine Learning Empowered Nanoinformatics System for Advancing Nanomaterial Design" was awarded a total of $800,000. Dr. Zhu is the leading PI of this four-year multi-PI collaborative research. 

Posted June 6, 2022

Heather successfully defended her PhD thesis

Heather successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis, "Predicting developmental and reproductive toxicity with AI and high-throughput screening data". Congratulations, Dr. Ciallella!

Posted August 26, 2022

Xuelian's research paper was recognized by NIEHS

NIEHS recognized Xuelian's research paper as the Extramural Paper of the Month. Please see the details of this report here

Posted August 3, 2022

Graduate students were recognized at the SOT annual meeting

Xuelian Jia was awarded the Best Graduate Student of the Computational Toxicology Speciality Section (CTSS). 

Heather Ciallella was awarded the CTSS Best Computational Toxicology Research Paper of the Year.

Posted March 31, 2022

Zhu lab published in the Journal of Hazard Materials

The research paper titled "Mechanism-driven Modeling of Chemical Hepatotoxicity Using Structural Alerts and an In Vitro Screening Assay" was published in the Journal of Hazard Materials. The first author is Xuelian Jia, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Zhu lab. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted September 10, 2022

Dr. Zhu published an editorial to describe the importance of sustainable chemistry in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, which is supported by the recent progress of low-cost and short-time methodologies. Please see the details of this editorial here.

Posted November 3, 2021

Dr. Zhu was awarded a new NIH grant

Dr. Zhu was recently awarded an NIH R35 grant titled “Discovering Chemical Activity Networks-Predicting Bioactivity Based on Structure”. The major research goal of this project is to use comprehensive in vitro, in vivo, and computational models to develop a predictive chemical network for risk assessment purposes. 

Dr. Robyn Tanguay at Oregon State University is the leading PI of this project, and the total amount awarded to Zhu lab is $576,818.

Posted November 3, 2021

The research paper, “Revealing Adverse Outcome Pathways from Public High-Throughput Screening Data to Evaluate New Toxicants by a Knowledge-Based Deep Neural Network Approach,” was published in Environmental Science and Technology. The first author is Heather Ciallella, a Ph.D. candidate in CCIB. We want to thank our collaborators, Dr. Lauren Aleksunes and Dr. Fabian Grimm, who contribute critically to this project. 

Please see the details of this paper here.

Dr. Zhu was awarded the 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. 

Please see the awardee list here.

Posted August 10, 2021

Zhu lab published a research paper on ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering

The research paper, titled “Construction of a Virtual Opioid Bioprofile: a Data-driven QSAR Modeling Study to Identify New Analgesic Opioids,” was published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. The first author is Xuelian Jia, who passed her oral exam as a Ph.D. candidate in CCIB. We want to thank our collaborator Dr. Morgan James who contribute critical helps to this project. 

Please see the details of this paper here

Posted August 10, 2021

Dr. Zhu was featured on Rutgers-Camden News

Dr. Zhu and his recently NIH-awarded project were featured in Rutgers-Camden News as a school research highlight. Please view this news here

Posted July 29, 2020

Zhu lab published a keynote paper on Drug Discovery Today

Zhu lab published a keynote review, titled “Advancing computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) by big data and data-driven machine learning modeling” on Drug Discovery Today. Linlin Zhao is the first author and Heather Ciallella is the second author. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted July 22, 2020

Dr. Zhu was awarded an NIH R01 grant

Dr. Zhu was awarded a five-year NIH R01 grant, titled “Mechanism-Driven Virtual Adverse Outcome Pathway Modeling for Hepatotoxicity, “from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This grant, with a total amount of $2,271,161, will provide Dr. Zhu necessary support to develop predictive models for potential liver toxicants using new AI algorithms and public big data sources. I want to specially acknowledge my long-time collaborator, Dr. Lauren Aleksunes, for her significant contributions to this project. 

I am also looking for talented students and postdocs to join my lab to work on this project.

Posted June 27, 2020

Dr. Zhu was awarded a research contract from Lubrizol

The Lubrizol Corporation provided Dr. Zhu with a one-year contract of $25,000 to study developmental toxicity. This collaboration project also involves using Lubrizol toxicity data for modeling purposes. 

Posted June 27, 2020

Zhu lab published on Nature Communications

The research paper, titled “Construction of a web-based nanomaterial database by big data curation and modeling friendly nanostructure annotations”, was published on Nature Communications. The first author was Xiliang Yan, who finished this project as a visiting student in Zhu lab. I want to thank Dr. Bing Yan for his supporting of experimental data as the major data source of this project. The paper can be viewed here.

Posted June 27, 2020

Linlin Zhao and Swati Sharma successfully defended their thesis in CCIB

In two virtual thesis defense seminars in April,

Linlin Zhao defended her Ph.D. thesis, titled “Computational modeling for chemical toxicity assessment in the big data era: combining data-driven profiling and mechanism-driven read-across”.

Swati Sharma defended her master thesis, “Hybrid modeling of reproductive and developmental toxicity”.

Congratulations to Dr. Linlin Zhao and Swati Sharma.

Posted June 27, 2020

Linlin’s research of liver toxicity modeling was published on Toxicological Science

Linlin’s research paper, titled “Mechanism-driven Read-Across of Chemical Hepatotoxicants Based on Chemical Structures and Biological Data”, was published on Toxicology Science. Please see the details of this paper here.

This is Linlin’s fourth first-author paper in her five year graduate study under my guidance and the sixth research paper in press from my group in the first two months of 2020. Congratulations.

Posted February 26, 2020

Dr. Zhu’s paper was recognized as the Top Citation Paper by Drug Discovery Today

Dr. Zhu’s review paper “From machine learning to deep learning: progress in machine intelligence for rational drug discovery” was recognized as the Top Citation Paper by Drug Discovery Today. This paper was cited over 100 times within the past two years (2018-2019) and can be viewed here.

Posted February 7, 2020

The paper of PM2.5 particle modeling was published by Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

The collaborative research of PM2.5 particle modeling for their potential inflammatory effects was published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. I want to thank Dr. Yan and his group for the contributions of original data and experimental validations. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted January 24, 2020

Dr. Zhu has ongoing collaborative research in 2020

Dr. Zhu has three collaborative research papers accepted in the first week of 2020:

Nanomaterial research on ACS Nano

Toxicity pathway study on Chemical Research in Toxicology

Food informatics on Food Chemistry

I want to thank all our collaborators for the multiple successful projects.

Posted January 9, 2020

Dr. Zhu published on Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Dr. Zhu published an editor-invited review titled “Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Modeling for Drug Discovery“, in the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Posted January 9, 2020

Dr. Zhu acquired a research contract from ExxonMobil

Dr. Zhu’s research is being supported by ExxonMobil for a one-year contract. This research project aims to develop predictive models for estrogen receptor binding models to evaluate new compounds for ExxonMobil.

Posted December 14, 2019

Dr. Zhu gave an invited seminar in Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Zhu gave an invited seminar titled “Big data, AI and intelligent modeling for modern computational toxicology” in the Department of Civil Engineering at Case Western Reserve University on November 15, 2019.

Posted November 20, 2019

Dan is departing from Rutgers-Camden this week

Daniel Russo, who passed his Ph.D. defense with honors in August 2019, will leave our school for his new job at the US FDA this week. In the past five years, he did excellent research under my guidance, resulting in 10 peer-reviewed papers and one book chapter, including this year’s NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month. He sets up an excellent model for future graduate students, and I wish him the best in his career path.

 

Farewell, Dr. Russo.

Posted November 13, 2019

Dr. Zhu’s recent EHP paper was featured by NIEHS

Dr. Zhu’s recent EHP paper (Daniel Russo as the first author) was featured by NIEHS as one of the Extramural Papers of the Month. Please see the details here.

Posted June 29, 2019

Dr. Zhu and his lab research were featured by ScienceNode

Dr. Zhu and Daniel Russo (PhD student of Zhu lab) were featured by ScienceNode for the recent research progress. Please see the details here.

Posted June 29, 2019

Dr. Zhu was interviewed by LiveScience

Dr. Zhu was interviewed by LiveScience together with Dr. Warren Casey, the director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods. This interview is about the current status and future of alternative toxicity models.

Please see the details of this interview here.

Posted June 29, 2019

The paper of hybrid read-across of chemical toxicity was accepted

The paper titled “Using a Hybrid Read-Across Method to Evaluate Chemical Toxicity Based on Chemical Structure and Biological Data” was accepted by Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. Congratulations to Linlin for her contributions and thanks to our collaborators from the Beijing Institute of Technology. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted April 25, 2019

Zhu lab’s research was featured by Rutgers media

One of Zhu lab’s research projects was featured by Rutgers Today with the title “New Algorithm Allows Faster, Animal-Free Chemical Toxicity Testing”. Please see this media report here.

Posted April 18, 2019

The nanomodeling paper was accepted by Nanoscale

The paper titled “In silico profiling nanoparticles: predictive nanomodeling using universal nanodescriptors and various machine learning approaches” was published on Nanoscale. I want to acknowledge Xiliang for his hard work on this project and the contributions from Dr. Yan. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted April 15, 2019

The perspective was selected as the cover paper of the coming issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology

Congratulations again to Heather for her contributions.

Posted April 8, 2019

The acute toxicity big data modeling paper was published on Environmental and Health Perspectives

The paper titled “Nonanimal Models for Acute Toxicity Evaluations: Applying Data-Driven Profiling and Read-Across” was published on Environmental and Health Perspectives. This three year project was finally published and it represented a major milestone of the big data modeling research in my lab. I would like to thank Dan for his hard work as a PhD student and the great contributions of all authors: Dr. Strickland, Dr. Karmaus, Dr. Wang, Dr. Shende, Dr. Hartung and Dr. Aleksunes. Without you guys, this project will not be possible.

Please see the details of this paper here (an open access paper).

Posted April 2, 2019

The perspective of computational toxicology in big data era was published on Chemical Research in Toxicology

The perspective titled “Advancing Computational Toxicology in the Big Data Era by Artificial Intelligence: Data-Driven and Mechanism-Driven Modeling for Chemical Toxicity” was published on Chemical Research in Toxicology. I want to thank Heather for her contributions to this paper and the invitation of CRT editor board. Please see the details of this paper here.

Posted March 25, 2019

Dr. Zhu was recognized as an awardee by the SOT 2019 annual meeting

Dr. Zhu was awarded the Colgate-Palmolive Grant for Alternative Research by SOT in the 2019 annual meeting and attended the awards ceremony on March 10th. Please see the report of Dr. Zhu’s award by NIEHS here.

Posted March 24, 2019

Dr. Zhu gave a talk about rational material design at Rutgers-New Brunswick

Dr. Zhu gave an invited lecture titled “Digital Nano: Rational Design of Biocompatible Nanomaterials by Digitalizing Nanostructures” at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology of Rutgers-New Brunswick on March 5th. Please see the details of this event here.

Posted March 24, 2019

Doctoral student Daniel Russo was featured by Rutgers News

The recent success of Dan was featured by Rutgers news. Please see the media report here.

Posted January 23, 2019

Dr. Zhu’s research project was featured by the Society of Toxicology

Dr. Zhu’s research project titled “Computational Adverse Outcome Pathway Modeling for Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity (DART)” was featured by the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and was awarded a one-year grant support from Colgate-Palmolive.

Please see all SOT award recipients here.

Posted January 22, 2019

Wenyi’s nanohydrophobicity paper was accepted

The paper titled “Universal nanohydrophobicity predictions using virtual nanoparticle library” was accepted by the Journal of Cheminformatics. I want to acknowledge the contributions of Wenyi, who has started her new career in a company after graduation, and Dr. Yan’s Lab.

Please see the details of the paper here.

Posted January 22, 2019