Dr Zimei Wu

PhD (Otago, Drug delivery), MSc (Chinal Pharmaceutical University; Pharmacokinetics)


Dr. Wu’s research interests lie primarily in the area of safe and effective drug delivery through injection. Her recent research focuses on developing strategies for ‘tumour-targeted delivery’ of small anticancer molecules, especially using ‘smart’ liposomes. She also researches dermal/transdermal drug delivery. At Auckland, she has attracted $NZ 1M as Principal Investigator in contestable research funding including a Marsden Fast-Start and a NZ-China Research Alliance Project (from MSI). Publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zimei_Wu

Dr Wu is the receipt of the 2009 NZ-China Scientist Exchange Scholarship from the Royal Society of New Zealand. She is President of the Controlled Release Society NZ Local Chapter (http://www.nzcrs.org.nz), and a Global CRS Young Scientists Committee member. Within the School she serves in the Education Committee with the aim to improve teaching quality and student amenities. She was honored with a 'Best Teacher" prize from her Pharmacy undergraduate students (2013).


Research | Current

Research interests

  • Preformulation underpinning formulation design
  • Conventional and novel drug delivery systems 
  • Liposomal formualtion and clinical applications
  • Injectable formulation of poorly water soluble drugs
  • Pharmacokinetics

Research projects

  1. Novel strategy to delivery hypoxia-activated prodrug to cancer cells. (as Principal Investigator) Funded by Royal Society of New Zealand (Marsden)   

  2. Novel drug delivery systems to improve anticancer chemotherapy. (as Principal Investigator)  Funded by NZ Ministry of Science and Innovation. This project is a collaboration project with China Pharmaceutical University and China Ministry of Science and Technology.

  3. New strategy to overcome multidrug resistance in cancer (as co-Investigator): funded by Cancer Society of New Zealand

  4. Nanotechnology to improve oral absorption of rhein. (as Principal Investigator). Funded by New Zealand Pharmacy Education and Research Foundation.  This project is a collaboration project with China Pharmaceutical University, was supported by Royal Society of New Zealand.

Teaching | Current

  • Pharmaceutical sciences (to pharmacy undergraduate and postgraduate students): Pharmaceutics, Formulation and drug delivery, and Pharmacokinetics

Postgraduate supervision


Mimi Yang  

Emma Kang

Manju Kanamala

Marvin Tang

Joy Reginald-Opara 

(Dr) Grant Cave (main supervisor Prof Jamie Sleigh)

Saiful Azmi (main supervisor Dr Darren Svirskis)

Kamal Patel  (main supervisor Dr Vijayalekshmi Sarojini)


Abrar Alharbi

Abeba Amare

Patrick Pan 

Noor Tawfeet (with Dr Darren Svirskis)


NZ-China Scientists Exchange Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand. 2009    


Course coordinator

  • Pharmacy 311: Module leader for Hepatic and Renal Diseases

  • Pharmacy 750: Pharmaceutical Formulation (Postgraduate, 30pt)

Areas of expertise

Drug Delivery

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Honorary Professor, School of Pharmacy, Binzhou Medical University, China. 2010         

  • Technology for Industry Fellowship. NZFRST. 2002 

  • Visiting Scholarship from China Pharmaceutical University, funded by University of Otago. 1999

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zhang, W., Li, C., Jin, Y., Liu, X., Wang, Z., Shaw, J. P., ... Liu, J. (2018). Multiseed liposomal drug delivery system using micelle gradient as driving force to improve amphiphilic drug retention and its anti-tumor efficacy. Drug delivery, 25 (1), 611-622. 10.1080/10717544.2018.1440669
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruce Baguley, John Shaw
  • Li, Z., Zhang, Y., Zhang, K., Wu, Z., & Feng, N. (2018). Biotinylated-lipid bilayer coated mesoporous silica nanoparticles for improving the bioavailability and anti-leukaemia activity of Tanshinone IIA. Artificial cells, nanomedicine, and biotechnology, 1-10. 10.1080/21691401.2018.1431651
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40786
  • Chapman, R., Harvey, M., Davies, P., Wu, Z., & Cave, G. (2017). Liposome supported peritoneal dialysis in rat amitriptyline exposure with and without intravenous lipid emulsion. Journal of liposome research, 1-7. 10.1080/08982104.2017.1403445
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Grant Cave
  • Yin, X., Chi, Y., Guo, C., Feng, S., Liu, J., Sun, K., & Wu, Z. (2017). Chitooligosaccharides Modified Reduction-Sensitive Liposomes: Enhanced Cytoplasmic Drug Delivery and Osteosarcomas-Tumor Inhibition in Animal Models. Pharmaceutical research, 34 (10), 2172-2184. 10.1007/s11095-017-2225-0
  • Chi, Y., Yin, X., Sun, K., Feng, S., Liu, J., Chen, D., ... Wu, Z. (2017). Redox-sensitive and hyaluronic acid functionalized liposomes for cytoplasmic drug delivery to osteosarcoma in animal models. Journal of Controlled Release, 261, 113-125. 10.1016/j.jconrel.2017.06.027
  • Kang, W., Svirskis, D., Sarojini, V., McGregor, A. L., Bevitt, J., & Wu, Z. (2017). Cyclic-RGDyC functionalized liposomes for dual-targeting of tumor vasculature and cancer cells in glioblastoma: An in vitro boron neutron capture therapy study. Oncotarget, 8 (22), 36614-36627. 10.18632/oncotarget.16625
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Darren Svirskis, Viji Sarojini
  • Yang, M. M., Wilson, W. R., & Wu, Z. (2017). pH-Sensitive PEGylated liposomes for delivery of an acidic dinitrobenzamide mustard prodrug: Pathways of internalization, cellular trafficking and cytotoxicity to cancer cells. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 516 (1-2), 323-333. 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.11.041
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: William Wilson
  • Yang, M. M., Kanamala, M., Tang, M., & Wu, Z. (2017). pH-sensitive liposomes for intracellular and tumour targeted drug delivery. In B. R. Pearson (Ed.) Liposomes : historical, clinical and molecular perspectives (pp. 135-170). New York, United States: Nova Science Pub Inc..


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