Hua Wang
Hua Wang
Assistant Professor
(217) 300-7097
202 Materials Science & Eng Bld

For more information


  • B.S. Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China (2012)
  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC (2016)


Dr. Hua Wang joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in August 2020. He obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC (2016) and did his postdoc with Prof. David J. Mooney at Harvard University and Wyss Institute. His professional awards include Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship and Wyss Technology Development Fellowship.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering 

Research Statement

Our laboratory aims to understand how cells can be manipulated and engineered to facilitate targeted delivery of therapeutics and regulate intercellular interactions, in order to improve and innovate therapies for cancers, injured tissues, autoimmune disorders, and other diseases. In one path towards this goal, we utilize chemistry, chemical biology, and synthetic biology tools to modify or engineer cells for subsequent tracking and targeted modulation in vivo. In another path, we develop biomaterials that can home and manipulate immune cells in vivo, and apply them to the development of cancer vaccines, cell therapies, and medical devices. New molecules, polymers, and biomaterials that can serve as diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical supplies/devices are also of our interest.

Research Interests

  • Metabolic Cell Labeling and Targeting
  • Immunoengineering for Regenerative Medicine
  • Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Biomaterials

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Wang H, Wang R, Cai K, He H, Liu Y, Yen J, Wang Z, Xu M, Sun Y, Zhou X, Yin Q, Tang L, Dobrucka IT, Dobrucki LW, Chaney EJ, Boppart SA, Fan TM, Lezmi S, Chen X, Yin L, Cheng J. Selective In Vivo Cell Labeling Mediated Cancer Targeting. Nature Chemical Biology 2017, 13, 415-424. [Link]
  • Wang H, Mooney D. Biomaterial-Assisted Targeted Modulation of Immune Cells in Cancer Treatment. Nature Materials 2018, 17, 761-772. [Link]
  • Wang H, Sobral M, Zhang D, Cartwright A, Li A, Dellacherie M, Koshy S, Wucherpfennig K, Mooney D. Metabolic Labeling and Targeted Modulation of Dendritic Cells. Nature Materials 2020, 19, 1244–1252. [Link]
  • Wang H, Najibi A, Sobral M, Seo BR, Lee JY, Wu D, Li A, Verbeke C, Mooney D. Biomaterial-Based Scaffold for In Situ Chemo-Immunotherapy to Treat Poorly Immunogenic Tumors. Nature Communications 2020, [Link]
  • Wang H, Mooney D. Metabolic Glycan Labeling for Cancer-Targeted Therapy. Nature Chemistry 2020, 12, 1102-1114. [Link]

Research Honors

  • National Inspirational Scholarship (2009)
  • Scholarship of Dalian Institute of Physics and Chemistry (2010)
  • National Undergraduate Innovative Research Funding (2010)
  • National Inspirational Scholarship (2011)
  • Rili Scholarship (2011)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship (2015-2016)
  • Wyss Technology Development Fellow (2017-2020)

Recent Courses Taught

  • MSE 457 (CHEM 480) - Polymer Chemistry
  • MSE 470 - Design and Use of Biomaterials
  • MSE 474 - Biomaterials and Nanomedicine
  • MSE 559 - Soft Materials Seminar
  • MSE 595 - Materials Colloquium

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