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Meet the Team

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​Principal Investigator

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Xiaoran Hu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Syracuse University 2-050 CST

xhu156 [at] | (315)443-9489

Affiliation: BioInspired Institute | Upstate Cancer Center

Biography: Xiaoran joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 2022. Xiaoran grew up in Henan province in China and received a B.S. from Nanjing University. During his doctoral studies with Prof. Samuel Thomas at Tufts, Xiaoran developed strategies to control the self-assembly of polymers using light. Xiaoran then conducted his postdoc research in polymer mechanochemistry at Caltech, mentored by Prof. Maxwell Robb. After that, Xiaoran furthered his postdoctoral training in biomaterials with Profs. Shaoyi Jiang and Geoffrey Coates at Cornell. ​Honors and Awards 2019 ACS PMSE Distinguished Poster Nominee 2018 Finalist, ACS Eastman Chemical Student Award in Applied Polymer Science 2016 Tufts Graduate Student Research Competition Award 2016 Graduate Research Excellence at Tufts Fellowship 2016 Tufts Graduate Student Travel Award


2022 Postdoc Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering & Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell

2021 Postdoc Division of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

2017 Ph.D. in Chemistry, Tufts University

2010 B.Sc. in Chemistry, Nanjing University

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Dr. Xuancheng Fu

B.S., Jilin University, China

Ph.D., Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Xuancheng was raised in Jilin, China. He received his Ph.D. degree from ICCAS under the guidance of Professor Shu Wang, developing light-responsive biomaterials. Before joining Syracuse, Xuancheng was a lecturer at Beijing Sports University, where he conducted research on Point-of-Care Testing methods for doping detection. Xuancheng is interested in developing advanced materials systems for gene therapy applications. (NetID: xfu122)

Graduate & Undergraduate Students


Cijun Zhang 

Doctoral Student, 2021-present

B.S., Nankai University, China

Cijun was raised in Hebei, China. Cijun conducted undergraduate research in the total synthesis of Seco-dendrobine alkaloids with Prof. Guangxin Liang. After graduation, he worked as a research assistant in Dr. Ran Hong's lab at Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) CAS to study the total synthesis of erythrina and gelsedine alkaloids. Cijun started his graduate study at SU under the supervision of Prof. Ivan Korendovych in 2021 and conducted research in the directed evolution of enzymes and catalytical peptides. He transferred to the Hu Lab in May 2023 to study organic materials chemistry. Cijun is also known as a certified chess master in China with the title of Chinese Chess Association Master earned in 2010, and he is pursuing FIDE International Master in chess tournaments. His other interests are poetry, fencing, and board games. Cijun interested in physical organic and materials chemistry (NetID: czhang54)

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Bowen Xu 

Doctoral Student, 2022-present

B.E., Hefei University of Technology, China

M.S., University of Southern California

Bowen was raised in Xi'an, China. He studied materials science and machine learning and received a master's degree from USC before moving to Syracuse. Bowen is interested in developing gene-delivery materials. Outside of the lab, Bowen is an energetic person who likes basketball, skiing, and travel. (NetID: bxu102) 


Diego Silva

Public Health & Chem '25

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Franklin Zhu

Bio '25


Michelle Wu

Pub Healt'24

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Luke Westbrook

Biochem '25

JOIN US We're recruiting graduate students with interest in: organic synthesis, polymer and materials science, drug delivery.

Alumni James Peden Undergraduate Researcher 2023

We are committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive group culture where researchers from diverse backgrounds are equally welcomed and respected. 

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