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Pharmacy staff profile

Dr Hu Zhang

PositionSenior Research Fellow
QualificationsMD(Anhui), PhD(Otago)
Research summaryPharmaceutical sciences


My research areas have been the following inter-related areas: biopharmaceutical analysis, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, toxicity, drug discovery and development. My research interests are preclinical study of bioactives, especially anti-aging agents in various animal models and the extrapolation of these results to humans, uptake of drugs into the brain, and the transport and metabolism of xenobiotics.

I have an interest in disease biomarker identification and their potential use in drug discovery and development. Since 2005, I have been collaborating with Dr. Ping Liu (Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology) on the contribution of the arginine metabolic pathway to age-associated cognitive decline. We are currently funded by the New Zealand Neurological Foundation and Health Research Council of New Zealand. Knowledge gained from these work will contribute significantly to our basic understanding of the neurobiology of brain ageing and may lead to discovery of a LC/MS based metabolomic biomarker and the development of agmatine-based therapeutics for cognitive decline during ageing and in Alzheimer's disease.


Liu, P., Gupta, N., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Smith, P. F. (2017). Further studies of the effects of aging on arginine metabolites in the rat vestibular nucleus and cerebellum. Neuroscience, 348, 273-287. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.02.033

Mazlan, M., Hamizah, H. S., Taridi, N. M., Jing, Y., Liu, P., Zhang, H., … Damanhuri, H. A. (2017). Effects of aging and tocotrienol-rich fraction supplementation on brain arginine metabolism in rats. Oxidative Medicine & Cellular Longevity, 2017, 6019796. doi: 10.1155/2017/6019796

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2017). Maternal immune activation leads to increased nNOS immunoreactivity in the brain of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Synapse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/syn.22011

Knox, L. T., Jing, Y., Bawazier-Edgecombe, J., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2017). Effects of withdrawal from repeated phencyclidine administration on behavioural function and brain arginine metabolism in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, 153, 45-59. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2016.12.006

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2017). Effects of maternal immune activation on brain arginine metabolism of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Schizophrenia Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.05.016