Laboratory members

Linchen He (PhD Candidate)

Linchen He graduated from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where he received a Master of Environmental Management degree and a certificate in Sustainable System Analysis. He is broadly trained in the field of environmental engineering, science, and environmental nanotechnology. His research interests include exploring the link between air pollution exposure and hormone balance & metabolic dysfunction and understanding how air pollution exposure affects pediatric asthma. He is also interested in developing sustainable environmental and/or technological systems to both improve environmental quality and solve environmental problems. In his free time, he loves to play guitar and work out in the gym. |

Xiaoxing Cui (PhD Candidate)

Xiaoxing is a fifth year Ph.D. student at Duke University. For her thesis research, she performed the study design, biomarker selection, subject recruitment, hospital visits and statistical analysis for two randomized, double-blind crossover studies to evaluate the health impact of an air filtration device in asthmatic children (NCT03282864) and healthy adults (NCT02736487). She was responsible for assessing cardiovascular outcomes and respiratory inflammation during clinical visits and overseeing the collection, unique numbering, storage and biochemical analysis of biological specimens (urine, saliva, nasal fluid, blood). She had been the leading researcher of two multidisciplinary teams, each with 12+ members with diverse backgrounds in engineering, analytical chemistry, medicine, and nursing.
Previous to Ph.D. training at Duke, Xiaoxing obtained a Master of Science in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and completed a five-year Bachelor of Medicine program at Peking University. |

Gina Daniel

Gina is a second year Master of Environmental Management student at the Nicholas School with a concentration in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health. She completed her undergraduate degree at Duke University, earning a B.S. in Environmental Sciences. Her Masters Project research with the EBC Laboratory is on the human health impact of air filtration interventions in asthmatic children with a focus on peak expiratory flow health measurements. |

Peijia Yan

Peijia Yan is a second-year Master of Environmental Management student at Duke University studying in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health. Born and grew up in Guangzhou, one of the largest cities in China, Peijia is concerned about the adverse health effects caused by environmental pollution, especially air pollution problem, in both urban and rural areas of China. Peijia is currently doing laboratory-based research in Dr. Zhang’s lab for her Master‘s Project. The aim for her project is to evaluate the relationship between biomarkers of diesel exhaust exposure and biomarkers of oxidative stress in urine and blood samples. |

Erik Yan

Erik Yan is a first-year MsC Global Health student with a B.A. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry. His previous research training includes in vivo and in vitro oncology techniques with Pfizer, which influenced his interest in air pollution. He spent two years in the start-up industry working on alternative fuel projects that focused on the development of electric vehicle adoption and EVSE technologies in California. His research interests include nitro-PAHs, air pollution biomarker detection strategies, and nanomaterial-cell interactions. |

Yanbo Teng (Post Doc, DKU)

Yanbo Teng is a postdoctoral fellow of the Global Health Research Center at Duke Kunshan University. He received doctoral training at department of pharmacy, National University of Singapore and expertise in organic synthesis and toxicology. Before that, he worked as a regulatory chemist in Rotam Cropsciences. Now his research focuses on novel biomarker development and the complex interactions between human factors and environmental exposures in order to understand how risk factors affect human health at the individual and population levels. |

Yuqiao Song(DKU)

Yuqiao Song received a mater degree in environmental engineering from Wuhan University. She serves as research and administrative assistant of Prof Jim Zhang in Duke Kunshan University. |

Drew Day, PhD

Drew uses field studies in China to evaluate human cardiopulmonary responses to interventions that prevent exposure to ambient and indoor air pollutant mixtures. Using biomarkers of cardiopulmonary disease risk in biofluids as well as in evaluations of cardiovascular and pulmonary function, he is attempting to associate different types of cardiopulmonary responses and exposures to different components of the air pollutant mixture, including PM2.5, ozone, and ozone-reaction products. The different ways in which the interventions, which include policy-based air pollutant emission reductions as well as personal exposure reduction through different filtration strategies, reduce certain pollutants allow for the separate evaluation of different types of air pollutant exposures and their health effects under real-world conditions. |

Mingquan Li (Post Doc)

Dr. Mingquan Li is a postdoctoral researcher working under professors Jim Zhang’s and Dalia Patino Echeverri’s mentorship. His main research interest is to investigate environmental economics and management as it relates to: (1) Environment and Sustainable Development; (2) Environmental efficiency and environmental total factor productivity: modelling and case study; (3) Environmental regulation, industrial relocation and environment/pollution; (4) Electricity policy, environmental pollution and economic development in China.

Jicheng Gong (Post Doc)

Jicheng is working as a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Zhang’s lab. His research interests include (1) discovering novel biomarkers to investigate the health effects of occupational and environmental toxic exposures and the underlying physiological mechanisms, (2) examining the effects of genetic variance on the human response to environmental toxicants, and (3) developing exposomic methods to investigate the association between human exposure and disease. |

Ming Kei (Jake) Chung, PhD (Research Scientist, DKU)

jake-chungDr. Chung received doctoral training at the Center for Exposure Biology at UC Berkeley and has expertise in exposure biomarker assessment and discovery by immunoassays and mass spectrometry. He has research interests in adductomics, metabolomics, and exposomics, with a recent focus on developing methods to study the blood exposome. His long-term research goals are to discover unknown environmental risk factors for chronic diseases through exposome-wide association studies (EWAS) and to study the molecular effects caused by environmental exposures using a systems biology approach.

Hailong Han, BS (Laboratory Technician)


Hailong received a B.S in applied chemistry from Heilongjiang University in China and has significant experience conducting water and air pollution monitoring along with various laboratory based sample analysis methods. |

Marlyn Duarte, MSc (Research Analyst II)


Marlyn has eight years of experience managing and implementing all aspects of research projects and studies, from recruiting and data collection to study design. She is also experienced in research safety/compliance as well as industrial hygiene. Marlyn serves as administrator for  the RESAC and RAMNUC Centers and as hygiene officer for the EBC laboratory to ensure compliance with safety training and Duke safety policies. She’s an avid hiker who likes to bird watch and photograph the nature surrounding NC. |