Zhihui Qin Ph.D.

Zhihui Qin Ph.D.


Assistant Professor


Pharmaceutical Sciences

Office Location

EACPHS, Room 3144





Zhihui Qin Ph.D.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry (2000), Peking University Health Science Center

Positions and Employment

  • 2013- Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University
  • 2010-2013 Research Assistant Professor (Dr. Judy L. Bolton, Dr. Gregory R. J. Thatcher), Department of Medicinal Chemistry &Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 2005-2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate (Dr. Judy L. Bolton, Dr. Gregory R. J. Thatcher), Department of Medicinal Chemistry &Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago; Research: drug discovery and chemical toxicology
  • 2002-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow (Dr. John-Stephen Taylor), Department of Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis; Research: nucleic acid chemistry
  • 2000-2002 Postdoctoral Fellow (Dr. Zhao Yu-fen), Departemnt of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Research: nucleic acid chemistry, phosphorus chemistry
  • 1995-2000 Graduate Research Assistant (Drs. Cai Meng-Shen, Li Zhong-Jun), Departemnt of Chemical Biology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China; Research: carbohydrate chemistry, peptide chemistry

Areas of Expertise

  • Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry (LC-MS)
  • Drug Metabolism (bioactivation, biotransformation and metabolite identification)

Primary Research Interest

Dr. Qin's current cancer drug discovery project focuses on the discovery of multifunctional hybrid drugs and drug combinations that can synergistically inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells and leukemia cells.

Recent Publications

1. Zhihui Qin, Siyu Ou, Liping Xu, Kathleen Sorensen, Yingxue Zhang, Dan-ping Hu, Zhe Yang, Wen-Yang Hu, Fei Chen, Gail S. Prins Design and synthesis of isothiocyanate-containing hybrid androgen receptor (AR) antagonists to downregulate AR and induce ferroptosis in GSH-deficient prostate cancer cells  Chemical Biology and Drug Design, 2021. DOI: 10.1111/cbdd.13826

2. Wen-Yang Hu, Liping Xu, Bailing Chen, Siyu Ou, Kendall M. Muzzarelli, Dan-Ping Hu, Ye Li, Zhe Yang, Donald J. Vander Griend, Gail S. Prins and Zhihui Qin       Targeting prostate cancer cells with enzalutamide-HDAC inhibitor hybrid drug 2-75  The Prostate, 2019, 79, 1166-1179.   

3.   Yi Liao, Liping Xu, Siyu Ou, Holly Edwards, Daniel Luedtke, Yubin Ge, and Zhihui Qin H2O2/peroxynitrite-activated hydroxamic acid HDAC inhibitor prodrugs show antileukemic activities in AML cells   ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2018, 9, 635-640.

4.    Yi Liao, Xiaojia Niu, Bailing Chen, Holly Edwards, Liping Xu, Chengzhi Xie, Hai Lin, Lisa Polin, Jeffrey W. Taub, Yubin Ge, Zhihui Qin      Synthesis and antileukemic activities of piperlongumine and HDAC Inhibitor hybrids against acute myeloid leukemia cell   Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2016, 7974-7990.

5.  Rayna Rosati, Bailing Chen, Mugdha Patki, Thomas McFall, Siyu Ou, Elisabeth Heath, Manohar Ratnam, Zhihui Qin      Hybrid enzalutamide derivatives with histone deacetylase inhibitor activity decrease heat shock protein 90 and androgen receptor levels and inhibit viability in enzalutamide-resistant C4-2 prostate cancer cells      Molecular Pharmacology, 2016, 90(3), 225-237. 

6.  Jia Luo, Sue H. Lee, Lawren VandeVrede, Zhihui Qin, Sujeewa Piyankarage, Ehsan Tavassoli, Rezene T. Asghodom, Manel Ben Aissa, Mauro Fà, Ottavio Arancio, Lan Yue, David R. Pepperberg, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Reengineering a neuroprotective, clinical drug as a procognitive agent with high in vivo potency and with GABAA potentiating activity for use in dementia  BMC Neuroscience 2015, 16, 67-76. 

7.   Lawren VandeVrede, Ehsan Tavassoli,  Jia Luo, Zhihui Qin, Lan Yue, David R. Pepperberg, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Novel analogues of chlormethiazole are neuroprotective in four cellular models of neurodegeneration by a mechanism with variable dependence on GABA(A) receptor potentiation         British Journal of Pharmacology, 2014, 171(2), 389-402.

8.   Zhihui Qin      Modulating nitric oxide signaling in CNS for Alzheimer’s Disease therapy (review)  Future Medicinal Chemistry 2013, 5, 1451-1468.  

9.  Lawren VandeVrede, Ramy Abdelhamid, Zhihui Qin, Jaewoo Choi, Sujeewa Piyankarage, Jia Luo, John Larson,  Brian M. Bennett,  Gregory R. J.  Thatcher      An NO donor approach to neuroprotective and procognitive estrogen therapy overcomes loss of NO synthase function and potentially thrombotic risk    PLOS ONE 2013, 8, e70740.

10.   Zhihui Qin, Jia Luo, Lawren VandeVrede, Ehsan Tavassoli, Mauro Fa’, Andrew F. Teich, Ottavio Arancio, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Design and synthesis of neuroprotective methylthiazoles and modification as NO-chimeras for neurodegenerative therapy     Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2012, 55, 6784-6801. 

11. Bradley Michalsen, Teshome Gherezghiher, Jaewoo Choi, Esala Chandrasena, Zhihui Qin,  Gregory R.J.  Thatcher, Judy L. Bolton      Selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) lasofoxifene forms reactive  quinones similar to estradiol            Chemical Research in Toxicology 2012,  25, 1472-1483.

12. Teshome Gherezghiher, Bradley Michalsen, Esala Chandrasena, Zhihui Qin, Johann Sohn, Gregory R. J. Thatcher, Judy L. Bolton      The naphthol selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), LY2066948, is oxidized to an o-quinone analogous to the naphthol equine estrogen, equilenin     Chemico-Biological Interactions 2012, 196, 1-10. 

13.  Isaac T. Schiefer, Samer Abdul-Hay, Huali Wang, Michael Vanni, Zhihui Qin, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Inhibition of amyloidogenesis by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and their hybrid nitrates   Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2011, 54, 2293-2306. 

14.  Kuan-Wei Peng, Minsun Chang, Yue-Ting Wang, Zhican Wang, Zhihui Qin, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Unexpected hormonal activity of a catechol equine estrogen metabolite reveals reversible glutathione conjugation            Chemical Research in Toxicology 2010, 23, 1374-1383.

15.  Kuan-Wei Peng, Huali Wang, Zhihui Qin, Gihani T. Wijewickrama, Meiling Lu, Zhican Wang, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Selective estrogen receptor modulator delivery of quinone warheads to DNA triggering apoptosis in breast cancer cells      ACS Chemical Biology, 2009, 4(12), 1039-1049.  

16.  Zhihui Qin, Irida Kastrati, Rezene T. Ashgodom, Daniel D. Lantvit, Cassia R. Overk, Yongsoo Choi, Richard B. van Breemen, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher Structural modulation of oxidative metabolism in design of improved benzothiophene selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)    Drug metabolism and Disposition, 2009, 37(1), 161-169.  

17. Bolan Yu, Zhihui Qin, Gihani T. Wijewickrama, Praneeth Edirisinghe, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher      Comparative methods for analysis of protein covalent modification by electrophilic quinoids formed from xenobiotics            Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2009, 20, 728-741.  

18.  Zhican Wang, Praneeth Edirisinghe, Johann Sohn, Zhihui Qin, Nicholas E. Geacintov, Gregory R. J. Thatcher, Judy L. Bolton      Chemical Research in Toxicology 2009, 22, 1129-1136. 

19.  Zhihui Qin, Irida Kastrati, R. Esala P. Chandrasena, Hong Liu, Ping Yao, Pavel A. Petukhov, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher    Design & synthesis of benzothiophene SERMs with modulated oxidative activity & receptor affinity    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2007, 50, 2682-2692.

20.  Hong Liu, Zhihui Qin, Gregory R. J. Thatcher, Judy L. Bolton       Uterine peroxidase oxidizes raloxifene and desmethylated arzoxifene to diquinone methides   Chemical Research in Toxicology 2007, 20, 1676-1684.

21.  Cassia R. Overk, Kuan-Wei Peng, Rezene T. Asghodom, Irida Kastrati, Daniel D. Lantvit, Zhihui Qin, Jonna Frasor, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher    Structure-activity relationships for a family of benzothiophene selective estrogen receptor modulators including raloxifene and arzoxifene    ChemMedChem 2007, 2, 1520-1526.

22.  Bolan Yu, Birgit M. Dietz, Tareisha Dunlap,  Irida Kastrati,  Daniel D. Lantvit, Cassia R. Overk, Ping Yao, Zhihui Qin, Judy L. Bolton, Gregory R. J. Thatcher     Structural modulation of reactivity/activity in design of improved benzothiophene SERMs: Induction of chemopreventive mechanisms    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics  2007,  6,  2418-2428.

23.  Minsun Chang, Cassia Overk, Kuan-Wei Peng, Zhihui Qin, Ping Yao, Judy, L. Bolton, Irida Kastrati, Gregory R.J. Thatcher      Activation of estrogen receptor-mediated gene transcription by the equine estrogen metabolite, 4-methoxyequilenin, in human breast cancer cells    Endocrinology 2007, 148, 4793-4802.

24. Tamara S. Dowers, Zhihui Qin, Gregory R. J. Thatcher, Judy L. Bolton  Bioactivation of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)    Chemical Research in Toxicology 2006, 19, 1125-1137 (review).

25.  He-Qing Huang, Shu-Chun Li, Zhihui Qin, Sheng-Li Cao, Yun Yao, Yu-Shi Liu, Huai-Yu Li, Meng-Shen Cai, Zhong-Jun Li, You-En Shi      Synthesis and bioactivities of two multiple antigen peptides as potential vaccine against schistosoma    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2005, 15, 2415-2419.

26.  Zhihui Qin, Chang-Xue Lin, Yong Ju, Yu-Fen Zhao      Synthesis of serine/alanine conjugated 3',5'-TpT  Nucleosides, Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids  2003,  22,  63-69.

27.  Zhihui Qin, Chang-Xue Lin, Yi Chen, Yong Ju, Yu-Fen Zhao      Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of serine/alanine conjugated 5'-UMP and 3',5'-dithymidine phosphoramidates      Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry  2002,  16(20),  1997-2002.

28.  Zhihui Qin, Hong Liu, Hui Li, Meng-Shen Cai, Zhong-Jun Li      Synthesis of a potential tetrasaccharide ligand for E-selectin  Carbohydrate Research   2002, 337, 621-628.

29.  Zhihui Qin, Hui Li, Meng-Shen Cai, Zhong-Jun Li      Bromonium ion-promoted glycosidic bond formation and simultaneous bromination of an activated aryl aglycon     Carbohydrate Research   2002, 337(1), 31-36.