Zhiyuan Tian, Ph. D.,Professor
School of Chemical Sciences
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS)
Telephone: 0086-10-69672554
Address: 388 Academy III, No.8, Yanqi Lake East Rd., Huairou District , Beijing 101408, China

Research Areas

Our research group is interested in photochemistry, the photoactive functional materials and their potential applications. Specifically, we focus on the design and synthesis of functional materials with stimuli-response features to light and their potential applications in biological imaging (super-resolution fluorescence imaging and multimodality correlative imaging), biological optical detection (mapping of tumor markers) and antitmor treatment (photoactivated synergistic antitumor with multilevel mechanisms) and etc. Our research interests also include the optical/photonic properties of nanostructures and the potential application of these fundamental properties in the design of new classes of opto-functional materials. The ongoing projects in our group include: (1) dynamic contrast super-resolution fluorescence imaging and its applications in bioimaging, (2) fluorescent tags and sensors, and (3) photoactive materials and their application in diagnosis and treatment of cancers.


Ph. D. 2005, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), Beijing, China 
B. Sc. 1995, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China


Working Experience

  • 2011.03-present: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Professor of Chemistry;

  • 2005.11-2011.02: Queen's University (Canada); Washington State University (USA); University of Washington (USA); Clemson University (USA), Postdoctoral Research Associate; 

  • 1995. 09-2000.07: State-Owned No. 752 Factory (Wuhan), Ministry of Electronic Industry, Assistant Engineer

Honors & Distinctions

  1. Excellent Graduate Course Award (college level),UCAS, 2023

  2. Beijing Universities Excellent Undergraduate Education Team, 2022

  3. LiPei Outstanding Teacher Award, UCAS,2020

  4. Excellent Award of Education & Teaching Achievements, UCAS, 2020

  5. ZhuLiYueHua Outstanding Teacher Award, CAS,2020

  6. Baosteel Outstanding Teacher Award, Baosteel Education Fundation, 2019

  7. Recipient of "CAS Distinguished Research Fellow Program", 2017

  8. Rated as“Excellent”in the final review of CAS xx Plan Program, 2016

  9. Recipient of "CAS xx Plan Program", 2011

  10. Excellent Prize of the President Scholarship for Postgraduate Students, CAS, 2004. 


Monograph Chapters

  1. Z. Y. Tian, W. W. Wu, A. D. Q. Li, Photoswitchable Nanoprobes for Biological Imaging Applications (Chapter 1), in "Trace Analysis with Nanomaterials", Editor: David T. Pierce & Julia Xiaojun Zhao, Wiley-VCH, 3-30.
  2. W. W. Wu, Z. Y. Tian, A. D. Q. Li, Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Biological Imaging, in "Comprehensive Biomaterials", Editor: Paul Ducheyne, Elsevier, 393-403.
  3. Z. Y. Tian, Photoswitching-enabled Novel Optical Imaging: Innovative Solutions for Real-world Challenges in Fluorescence Detections, in "2014 Science Development Report", Editted by CAS, Science Press,120-125

Selected publications since 2011

  1. Jiaqi Meng et al, MOFs-based nanoagent enable sequential damage to cancer-associated fibroblast and tumor cells for phototriggered tumor microenvironment regulation, Small, 2024, 20, 2304491. Frontispiece

  2. Ming Liu et al, A near-infrared fluorescent probe to superoxide anion with second-level response time for in situ evaluating interstitial cystitis, Sens. Actuators B: Chem. 2023, 396, 134580.

  3. Jiaqi Meng et al, Generation of whole tumor cell vaccine for on-demand manipulation of immune responses against cancer under near-infrared laser irradiation, Nature Communications, 2023, 14, 4505.

  4. Ming Liu et al, A double donor-π-acceptor type hydrogen sulfide fluorescent probe with nanomolar level sensitivity and second level response time for evaluating metformin-induced hepatotoxicity, Sens. Actuators B: Chem. 2022, 359, 131572. 

  5. Weier Bao et al, MOFs-based nanoagent enables dual mitochondrial damage in synergistic antitumor therapy via oxidative stress and calcium overload, Nature Communications, 2021, 12: 6399.

  6. Yanlin Lv et al, Near-infrared light-triggered platelet arsenal for combined photothermal-immunothreapy against cancer, Science Advances, 2021, 7: eabd7614.

  7. Kaiquan Zhang et al, A long-wavelength turn-on fluorescent probe for intracellular nanomolar level peroxynitrite sensing with second-level response, Talanta, 2020, 219, 121354. 

  8. Ming Liu et al, Single-chromophore-based therapeutic agent enables green-light-triggered chemotherapy and simultaneous photodynamic therapy to cancer cells, ACS Appl. Bio Mater., 2019, 2, 3068. 

  9. Kaiquan Zhang et al, A single-chromophore-based agent enables rapid sensing of intracellular hypochlorous acid and in-situ photodynamic therapy to cancer cells, Anal. Chem. Acta, 2019, 1061, 142. 

  10. Ming Liu et al, A super-sensitive ratiometric fluorescent probe for monitoring intracellular subtle pH fluctuation, Sens. Actuators B: Chem. 2018, 273, 167.

  11. Yuanlin Zhang et al, A turn-on fluorescent probe for detection of sub-ppm levels of a sulfur mustard simulant with high selectivity, Anal. Chem., 2018, 90, 5481. 

  12. Yanlin Lv et al, Cancer cell membrane-biomimetic nanoprobes with two-photon excitation and near-infrared emission for intravital tumor fluorescence imaging, ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 1350. 

  13. Xiaoke Jie et al, A new colorimetric, near-infrared fluorescent probe for rapid detection of palladium with high sensitivity and selectivity, Talanta, 2018,183, 164.

  14. Hui Ding et al, Beyond a carrier: graphene quantum dots as a probe for programmatically monitoring anticancer drug delivery, release, and response, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9, 27396. 

  15. Yuanlin Zhang et al, A BODIPY-based fluorescent probe for detection of subnanomolar phosgene with rapid response and high selectivity, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9, 13920. 

  16. Jian Zhang et al, A flavone-based turn-on fluorescent probe for intracellular cysteine/homocysteine sensing with high selectivity, Talanta, 2016,146, 41. 

  17. Jie Wang et al, Photoswitching near-infrared fluorescence from polymer nanoparticles catapults signals over the region of noises and interferences for enhanced sensitivity, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2016, 8, 4399.    

  18. Yanlin Lv et al, Conjugated polymer-based hybrid nanoparticles with two-photon excitation and near-infrared emission features for fluorescence bioimaging within the biological window, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7, 20640. 

  19. Wei Wan et al, Antiphase dual-color correlation in a reactant−product pair imparts ultrasensitivity in reaction-linked double-photoswitching fluorescence imaging, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 4312. 

  20. Yanlin Lv et al, Single-fluorophore-based fluorescent probes enable dual-channel detection of Ag+ and Hg2+ with high selectivity and sensitivity, Anal. Chem. Acta, 2014, 839, 74. 

  21. Heng Liu et al, Development of polymeric nanoprobes with improved lifetime dynamic range and stability for intracellular oxygen sensing, Small, 2013, 9, 2639.  

  22. Zhiyuan Tian et al, Photoswitching-enabled novel optical imaging: innovative solutions for real-world challenges in fluorescence detections, Acc. Chem. Res. 2013, 46, 269.  

  23. Zhiyuan Tian et al, Photoswitching-induced frequency-locked donor-acceptor fluorescence double modulations identify the target analyte in complex environments,J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 16092. 


  1. NSFC (grant No. 22277120,540,000 RMB), 2023--2026, PI

  2. Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (Key program,960,000 RMB), 2021--2022, PI

  3. NSFC (grant No. 22077121,630,000 RMB), 2021--2024, PI

  4. NSFC (grant No. 21773241,650,000 RMB), 2018--2021PI

  5. NSFC (grant No. 21573234,800,000 RMB), 2016--2019PI

  6. Instrument Developing Project of CAS (grant No. yz201455, 4190,000 RMB), 2015-2017, PI

  7. NSFC (grant No. 21373218,840,000 RMB), 2014--2017PI

  8. NSFC (grant No. 21173262,620,000 RMB), 2012--2015PI


  1. Prof. Jiannian Yao (Academician of CAS), Prof. Yongsheng Zhao, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China. 

  2. Prof. Guanghui Ma (Academician of CAS), Prof. Wei Wei, Institute of Process Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) , China.

  3. Chief Physician Zihui Meng, Department of Surgery of the Liver, Biliary and Pancreas, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

  4. Prof. Alexander. Li, Department of Chemistry and Center for Materials Research, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, U. S. A.  

Group members

Postdoctoral fellow:Dr. Ming Liu,Dr. Weier Bao
Ph. D. candidateJiaqi Meng, Zicheng Wang, Xiaojuan Li, Zhecheng Ma, Qun Li
M. Sc. candidate: Ning Xu, Tang Li, Xiyan Wang, Qijun Wu

Academic Participation

  1. BioMedical Engineering Materials (BMEMat, ISSN: 2751-7446) Editorial board member (1st)
  2. Acta Physio-Chimica Sinica (ISSN:1000-6818) Editorial board member (5th)
  3. Member of devision of molecular photonics & excited state chemistry (1st)Chinese Chemical Society