Zhenquan Jia

Zhenquan Jia

Bernard-Glickman Dean's Professor

(336) 256-0078
321 Sullivan Building


Free radical toxicology; environmental cardiovascular inflammation and injury; redox signaling; amelioration of vascular dysfunction and toxicity with bioactive compounds.


Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Insitute and State University (Virginia Tech)


Research in my laboratory is focused on investigating environmental chemical-induced vascular inflammation and injury with a special interest on understanding the possible signaling mechanisms involved. The environmental chemicals of interest include the anthracycline quinone (known as doxorubicin), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-derived- quinones, acrolein, and nanoparticles. In line with this research, funded by the NIH, we are also actively investigating the molecular mechanism(s) of action of novel bioactive compounds that target and reduce toxicant-mediated cardiovascular inflammation. Our approaches include cell- and molecular biology techniques, and physiologically relevant animal models.

Recent Publications:

Khan, A., and Jia, Z. (2023). Recent insights into uptake, toxicity, and molecular targets of microplastics and nanoplastics relevant to human health impacts. iScience 26, 106061. 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106061.

Ahmed, H., Amin, U., Sun, X., Pitts, D.R., Li, Y., Zhu, H., and Jia, Z. (2022). Triterpenoid CDDO-IM protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response and cytotoxicity in macrophages: the involvement of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.) 247, 683-690. 10.1177/15353702211066912.

Khan, S., Chavez, J., Zhu, X., Chiu, N.H.L., Zhang, W., Yin, Z., Han, J., Yang, J., Sigler, R., Tian, S., Zhu, H; Li, Y; Wei, J; Yi, X, Jia, Z. (2021). Carbon Nanodots Inhibit Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein-Induced Injury and Monocyte Adhesion to Endothelial Cells Through Scavenging Reactive Oxygen Species. J Biomed Nanotechnol 17, 1654-1667. 10.1166/jbn.2021.3125.

Fowler, J., Tsui, M.T., Chavez, J., Khan, S., Ahmed, H., Smith, L., and Jia, Z. (2021). Methyl mercury triggers endothelial leukocyte adhesion and increases expression of cell adhesion molecules and chemokines. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.) 246, 2522-2532. 10.1177/15353702211033812.

Dunphy, A.; Patel, K.; Belperain, S.; Pennington, A.; Chiu, N.H.; Yin, Z.; Zhu, X.; Priebe, B.; Tian, S.; Wei, J.; Yi, X, Jia, Z (2021).  Modulation of macrophage polarization by carbon nanodots and elucidation of carbon nanodot uptake routes in macrophages. Nanomaterials 2021, 11, 1116:1-16.

Khan, S., A. Dunphy, M. S. Anike, S. Belperain, K. Patel, N. H. L. Chiu and Jia Z (2021). Recent Advances in Carbon Nanodots: A Promising Nanomaterial for Biomedical Applications. Int J Mol Sci 22(13): 1-31.

Tian, S., Nakamura, J., Hiller, S., Simington, S., Holley, D.W., Mota, R., Willis, M.S., Bultman, S.J., Luft, J.C., DeSimone, J. M. DeSimone, Jia Z, N. Maeda and X. Yi (2020). New insights into immunomodulation via overexpressing lipoic acid synthase as a therapeutic potential to reduce atherosclerosis. Vascular pharmacology 133-134, 106777. 10.1016/j.vph.2020.106777.

Shukla, H., R. Chitrakar, H. A. Bibi, G. Gaje, A. Koucheki, M. A. Trush, H. Zhu, Y. R. Li and Jia, Z (2020). “Reactive oxygen species production by BP-1,6-quinone and its effects on the endothelial dysfunction: involvement of the mitochondria.” Toxicol Lett 322: 120-130.

Liu, S., M. T. Tsui, E. Lee, J. Fowler and  Jia, Z (2020). “Uptake, efflux, and toxicity of inorganic and methyl mercury in the endothelial cells (EA.hy926).” Sci Rep 10(1): 9023.

Shukla, H., G. Gaje, A. Koucheki, H. Y. Lee, X. Sun, M. A. Trush, H. Zhu, Y. R. Li and Jia, Z (2020). “NADPH-quinone oxidoreductase-1 mediates Benzo-[a]-pyrene-1,6-quinone-induced cytotoxicity and reactive oxygen species production in human EA.hy926 endothelial cells.” Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 404: 115180.

Ji, Z., Z. Yin, Jia, Z and J. Wei (2020). “Carbon Nanodots Derived from Urea and Citric Acid in Living Cells: Cellular Uptake and Antioxidation Effect.” Langmuir 36(29): 8632-8640.


Complete list of publications in google scholar


Environmental Health Science II (Bio-632)
Current Research in Environmental Health Science (BIO-634)
Molecular Toxicology (Bio-635)
Essentials of Toxicology (BIO-488)
Current Topics in Biology (BIO 449)
Toxicological Research Laboratory (BIO 597)
Molecular Approaches to Research (Bio-482)