Dr. Di Zhang is the Vice President of Discovery at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. He has nearly 20 years of experience in new drug discovery for several renowned pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories and Janssen. Prior to joining Tavotek, Dr. Zhang was a Senior Investigator in the Biologics Research Department at Janssen, the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
Dr. Zhang began his career as a Senior Scientist and Project Leader in the Neuroscience department of AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories with responsibilities for research and discovery of novel small molecule analgesic drugs. During his tenure, he initiated and led multiple early pain drug discovery projects to the lead optimization stage and bought several late stage projects to the Phase I clinical development. He joined Janssen as a Senior Investigator to lead the research and development of novel biologics drugs for Oncology, Immunology and Chronic Infectious Disease indications. In particular, he led multiple Immuno-Oncology projects and bought immunostimulatory antibody molecules to the IND filing stage. In addition, his innovation in Fc engineering of immunostimulatory antibodies resulted in several high-profile publications and three patents.
Dr. Zhang obtained his B.S. in Molecular Biology from Nankai University of China. He got his Ph.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and then completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University. Dr. Zhang had solid training and extensive research experience in molecular and cell biology. He authored/co-authored over 20 publications in many prestigious journals, including a research article in Science.
Dr. Zhang has a major role in setting up the research facility for Tavotek Lab in the US, and research labs in China. He supervises daily lab operations for discovery research and is the major contributor for the establishment of Tavotek’s technology platforms. He is also the primary inventor of several proprietary technologies and leading assets for Tavotek.