Chao Zhang

Scientific Founder / Chair of Advisor

Professor Zhang is Associate Professor of Chemistry in University of Southern California. He has 20 years drug discovery experiences, and 100 publications including Nature and Sciences. His patents were licensed by many companies. Professor Zhang got his B.S. from Peking University and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Since 1998, Professor Chao Zhang has been engaged in the research of protein kinases. He is one of the world’s top scientists in the field of protein kinases. Professor Kevan Shokat, the founder of the protein kinase field, is Professor Zhang Chao’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral advisor. Professor Kevan Shokat founded Intellikine, Inc. in 2007 using his work in this field. In 2011, the company was acquired by Takeda for US$190 million.

Since 2004, Professor Chao Zhang has been engaged in research in the field of covalent kinase inhibitors. He and Professor Jack Taunton, in 2005, jointly published a general method for the efficient discovery of covalent kinase inhibitors in Science. This method was subsequently widely used in industry and opened the era of targeted therapy for covalent kinase inhibitors. Examples are Ibrutinib and Teresa (annual sales of each is approximately US$2 billion). Professor Jack Taunton, based on this technology, founded Principia Biopharma in 2008. The company’s BTK project was sold to Sonorife for $800 million in 2018.

Since 2011, Professor Chao Zhang has established his own laboratory at the University of Southern California and has been engaged in research in the field of chemical proteomics. He is one of the top scientists in this field.