Personal profile

Chinese Name


Research Interests

Professor Zhang is a faculty member of School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University. He has more than 30 years of research experience in the isolation, identification, structure elucidation, analysis, synthesis and biological evaluation of small molecules of natural products, leading to the publication of more than 170 peer-reviewed papers and dozens of granted patents. His current research interest is focused on drug discovery and development from natural resources, as well as the development of botanical dietary supplements from herbal medicines. Specifically, Professor Zhang is interested in finding natural lead compounds from plants found in the Lingnan region of China, and in developing dietary supplements from traditional herbal medicines against different disease targets and pathogens such as cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), flu viruses, Ebola/Marburg viruses, athlete’s foot fungi, tuberculosis, dental bacteria and cancer chemoprevention.




HKBU:            School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University

KIB:                State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China,

Kunming Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences

Kunming, Yunnan, China

UIC:                Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of

Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago





(i). Academic Qualifications

Postdoc. (04/99-09/03):       in Natural Products Chemistry, UIC

Ph.D. (09/91-09/94):            in Phytochemistry, KIB, Excellent Award of President Scholarship awarded by the president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

M.S. (09/85-08/88):             in Phytochemistry, KIB

B.S. (09/81-07/85):              in Organic Chemistry, Yunnan University, Kunming, China, 1st Class Honor, and awarded with University Annual Scholarship from 1982-1985


(ii). Professional Qualifications/Membership


Member, American Chemical Society (March 09, 2000-present)

Member, American Society of Pharmacognosy (July 14, 2000-present)

Member, China Association of Chinese Medicine (中華中醫藥學會) (March 19, 2012-present)

Member, Hong Kong Pharmacology Society (October 8, 2014-present)

Member, Botanical Society of China (BSC) (中國植物學會) (November 20, 2013-present)

Member, Good Proactice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GPTCM RA) (Sep 25, 2017-present)

Member, International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM) (2016-present)

Convener of Academic Advisory Board of the 17th IPSCM (International Postgraduate Symposium on Chinese Medicine)

Member, The Society of Hong Kong Scholars (香港學者協會) (June 28, 2012-present)

Council Member, The Society of Hong Kong Scholars (香港學者協會) (Jan 19, 2018-present)

Member of Technical Support Group, the 1st Term of Advisor Committee of the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute (GCMTI) (1 April 2019 to 31 July 2023).





09/2019-present              Professor, Director, Teaching and Reseach Division, HKBU

09/2019-present              Fellow, HKBU-UIC Joint Institute of Rsearch Studies (JIRS)

08/2012-present              Research Professor, HKBU’s Institute of Research and

Continuing Education Shenzhen) (IRACE)

09/2018-08/2019             Professor, Teaching and Reseach Division, HKBU

12/2011-8/2018               Associate Professor, Teaching and Reseach Division, HKBU

01/2010-12/2014             Adjunct Professor, The Key Laboratory of Chemistry for NaturalProducts of Guizhou Province and Chinese Academy of Sciences

08/2007-11/2011             Research Associate Professor, UIC

10/2003-07/2007             Research Assistant Professor, UIC

11/1997-12/2002             Professor, KIB

04/1997-10/1997             Visiting Scholar, Xechem Inc., New Jersey, USA

05/1995-10/1997             Associate Professor, KIB

05/1991-04/1995             Assistant Professor, KIB

01/1993-01/1994             Visiting Scientist, Tokushima University, Japan


III. Journal Publications (>170)


  1. Li WF, Liang ZM, Zhao CL, Tsang NY, Li JX, Liu YH, He K,  Pan LT,  Rong LJ, Zhou J,* Zhang HJ.* 3,4-Seco-isopimarane diterpenes from the twigs and leaves of Isodon flavidus. Molecules 2022; 27 (10), Article 3098 (10 pages).
  2. Nga Yi Tsang, Wan-Fei Li, Elizabeth Varhegyi, Lijun Rong,* and Hong-Jie Zhang.* Ebola entry inhibitors discovered from Maesa perlarius. International Journal of Molecular Sciences2022; 23 (5), Article 2620 (20 pages).
  3. Deng R, Zou J, Zhao CL, Yang YM, Ku CF, Zhu Y, Liang ZM, Ye JH, Pan LT,* Zhang HJ.* Bioactive icetexane and abietane diterpenes from Isodon phyllopodus. Natural Product Research 2021; 1-9; E-pub Ahead of Print.
  4. Zhu Z, Liu LF, Su CF, Liu J, Tong BCK, Iyaswamy A, Krishnamoorthi S, Sreenivasmurthy SG, Guan XJ, Kan YX, Xie WJ, Zhao CL, Cheung KH, Lu JH, Tan JQ, Zhang HJ, Song JX,* Li M.* Corynoxine B derivative CB6 prevents Parkinsonian toxicity in mice by inducing PIK3C3 complex-dependent autophagy. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2022; E-pub Ahead of Print.
  5. Guguloth SK, Lakshmi AR, Rajendran R, Rajaram K, Chinnasamy T, Huang JD, Zhang HJ, Senapati S, Durairajan SSD.* A mechanistic review on plant-derived natural inhibitors of human coronaviruses with emphasis on SARS-COV-1 and SARS-COV-2. Current Drug Targets 2022; E-pub Ahead of Print.
  6. Chen SC, Tsang NY, Jiang HW,# Zhang HJ, Ge X, Wu YN, Shen Y, Wenxia WX, Li JL.* Cytotoxic tigliane diterpenoids from Euphorbia neorubella. Natural Product Research 2021; 1-5; E-pub Ahead of Print.
  7. He K, Juan Zou, Yu-Xue Wang, Chen-Liang Zhao, Jiang-Hai Ye, Jing-Jie Zhang, Lu-Tai Pan,* and Hong-Jie Zhang.* Rubesanolides F and G: two novel lactone-type norditerpenoids from Isodon rubescens. Molecules 2021; 26 (13), Article 3865 (9 pages).
  8. XXu XY, Wong DY, Li YP, Deyrup ST,* Zhang HJ.* Plant-derived lignans as potential antiviral agents: a systematic review. Phytochemistry Reviews 2021, May 31, 1-51.
  9. Zhang JN, Xia YX, Zhang HJ.* Natural cyclopeptides as anticancer agents in the last 20 years. International Journal of Molecular Sciences2021; 22 (8), Article 3973 (58 pages).
  10. Zhao Y, Ku CF, Xu XY, Tsang NY, Zhu Y, Zhao CL, Liu KL, Li CC, Rong LJ, Zhang HJ.* Stable axially chiral isomers of arylnaphthalene lignan glycosides with antiviral potential discovered from Justicia procumbens. The Journal of Organic Chemistry 2021; 86 (8), 5568-5583.
  11. Aziz MA, Sarwar MS,* Akter T, Uddin MS, Song X, Zhu Y, Islam MS, Zhang HJ.* Polyphenolic molecules targeting STAT3 pathway for the treatment of cancer. Life Sciences 2021; 268, Article 118999 (17 pages).
  12. Wong-Deyrup SW, Song X, Ng TW, Liu XB, Zeng JG, Qing ZX, Deyrup ST, He ZD,* Zhang HJ.* Plant-derived isoquinoline alkaloids that target ergosterol biosynthesis discovered by using a novel antifungal screening tool. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2021; 137, Article 111348 (12 pages).
  13. Zhao LH, Rupji M, Choudhary I, Osan R, Kapoor S, Zhang HJ, Yang CH,* Aneja R.* Efficacy based ginger fingerprinting reveals potential antiproliferative analytes for triple negative breast cancer. Scientific Reports 2020; 10, Article 19182 (11 pages).
  14. Duan DN, Ge X, Jiang XW, Zhang HJ, Zhao Y, Li JL,* Zhang W,* Li JY.* Diphyllin improves high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice through brown and beige adipocytes. Frontiers in Endocrinology 2020; 11, Article 592818 (13 pages).
  15. Yang CB,# Zhu Z,# Tong BCK, Lyaswamy A, Xie WJ, Zhu Y, Sreenivasmurthy SG, Senthilkumar K, Cheung KH, Song JX, Zhang HJ, Li M*. A stress response p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB202190 promoted TFEB/TFE3-dependent autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis independent of p38. Redox Biology 2020; 32: 101445.
  16. Sarwar MS, Xia YX, Liang ZM, Tsang SW, Zhang HJ.* Mechanistric pathways and molecular targets of plant-derived anticancer ent-kaurane diterpenes. Biomolecules 2020, 10 (1), article 144 (17 pages).
  17. Li QJ, Zhao CL, Ku CF, Zhu Y, Zhu XJ, Zhang JJ, Deyrup ST, Pan LT,* Zhang HJ.* Two new bioactive diterpenes identified from Isodon interruptus. Bioorganic Chemistry 2020, 95 (2020), Article number: 103512 (5 pages).
  18. Xu XY, Wang DY, Ku CF, Zhao Y, Cheng H, Liu KL, Rong LJ,* Zhang HJ.* HIV lignans from Justicia procumbens. HIV lignans from Justicia procumbens. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines 2019, 17 (12), 945-952.
  19. Xu XY, Tsang SW,#Guan YF, Liu KL, Pan WH, Lam CS, Lee KM, Xia YX, Xie WJ, Wong WY, Lee MML, Tai WCS, Zhang HJ.* The in vitro and in vivo antitumor effects of plant-derived miliusanes and their induction of cellular senescence. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2019, 62 (3), 1541-1561.
  20. Wang MZ,* Si TX, Ku CF, Zhang HJ,* Li ZM, Zheng-Ming Li, Chan ASC.* Synthesis of javanicunines A and B, 9-deoxy-PF1233s A and B, and absolute configuration establishment of javanicunine B. The Journal of Organic Chemistry 2019, 84 (2), 831-839.
  21. Xia YX, Lam CS, Li WF, Sarwar MS, Liu KL, Lee KM, Zhang HJ,* Tsang SW.* Flexicaulin A, an ent-kaurane diterpenoid, activates p21 and inhibits the proliferation of colorectal carcinoma cells through a non-apoptotic mechanism. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019, 20 (8), article 1917 (14 pages).
  22. Kos J, Ku CF, Kapustikova I, Oravec M, Zhang HJ,* Jampilek J.* 8-Hydroxyquinoline-2-carboxanilides as antiviral agents against avian influenza virus. ChemistrySelect 2019, 4 (15), 4582-4587.
  23. Li XW, Si TX, Ku CF, Zhang HJ, Wang MZ,* Chan ASC. Synthesis of 2,6-dimethoxy-9-phenyl-1H-phenalen-1-one and structural revision of  the benzoindenone from Eichhornia crassipes. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung B (Zeitschrift Fur Naturforschung Section B-A Journal of Chemical Sciences) 2019 Feb, 74 (2), 183-189.
  24. Martinez-Lopez A, Persaud M, Chavez MP, Zhang HJ, Rong LJ, Liu SF, Wang TT, Sarafianos SG, Diaz-Grifferoa F.* Glycosylated diphyllin as a broad-spectrum antiviral agent against Zika virus. EBioMedicine 2019, 47 (September), 269-283.


IV. Others


A. Journal editor

  1. Associate Editor ─ Pharmaceutical Biology, (2017-present).
  2. Guest editor, The Journal Current Medicinal Chemistry, for special issue of “Advances in the development of potential anti-invasive drugs and strategies focused on overcoming drug resistance”.
  3. Guest editor, The Journal Current Organic Chemistry, for special issue of “Anti-infective drug discovery based on diversified plant natural compounds”.
  4. Guest editor, The Journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, for special issue of “Can Natural Products Reduce the Side Effects of Cancer Therapies?” (2018).
  5. Guest editor, The Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences, for special issue of “Plant Natural Products for Human Health” (2019).
  6. Guest editor, The Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences, for special issue of “Plant Natural Products for Human Health” (2022).


B. Honours, awards and prizes

  1. Patents: >20 patents granted in China, USA, European countries, Japan, Singapore, etc.
  2. 2021: School Outstanding Performance Award in Teaching, Hong Kong Baptist University.
  3. 2020: School Outstanding Performance Award in Research Supervision, Hong Kong Baptist University.
  4. 2017: President’s Award for Outstanding Performance of Scholarly Work, Hong Kong Baptist University.
  5. 2002: First-Grade Award of Natural Science of Yunnan Province, China in the project of “Study of Diterpenoids from Isodon Plants and their Biological Activity”.
  6. 1996: Young and Middle-aged Leader Award in Science & Technology Realms of Yunnan Province, China.
  7. 1992: Second-Grade Award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the project of “Research on Bioactive Diterpenoids in Isodon Plants of Labiatae”.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


Dive into the research topics where Hongjie ZHANG is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
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