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Zhaokang Cheng Lab WSU Cardiovascular Research Laboratory

Current lab members

Zhaokang Cheng, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Washington State University
412 East Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA  99202-2131
(509) 358-7741

Jingrui Chen, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Jingrui Chen joined Washington State University in September 2018. His research interests have primarily revolved around the heart. During his Ph.D. training, Jingrui had developed skills in myocardial infarction, ischemia-reperfusion, TAC model preparation and echocardiography. His current research focuses on the cardiotoxicity of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin and the role of RBL2 in ischemia-reperfusion injury and cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

Yuening Liu, B.S.

Ph.D. student

My name is Yuening Liu, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Toledo and then joined Dr. Cheng’s lab in 2016 as a PhD student. My research focused on the roles of PRKAR1A in physiological hypertrophy and myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury. My goal is to provide scientific evidence for therapeutic targets and develop more effective treatments to improve therapeutic options for cardiovascular disease. Under Dr. Cheng’s mentorship and support, I am highly motivated and capable of doing research independently but also working in a team. During my training, I have gained more in-depth knowledge of cardiovascular research and am ready to pursue my career in the field. Outside the lab, I enjoy traveling and hiking with family and friends.



Peng Xia, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate
New Investigator Travel Award recipient, American Heart Association, 2018
First Place Award in Oral Presentation, College of Pharmacy Research Day, 2018

I joined Dr. Zhaokang Cheng’ lab in 2016. During this period, I focused on Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. It was absolutely an amazing experience. I have got several first-author publications, awards, and grant-writing experience. I really appreciate all the advice both in my academic career development and in my life.

Current: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Joshua Gallo, B.S.

Rotation graduate student

Mehedi Rahman

Rotation graduate student

Erika Nicole Bautista

PharmD student

Shayne Fontes

PharmD student

My name is Shayne Fontes and I joined Dr. Cheng’s lab in 2019 as a PharmD student. My research focused on the role of PKA in congestive heart failure. My academic interests include cardiology and oncology.

Maya Fletcher

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program student
Gonzaga University

Shelby Coates

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program student
Pacific Lutheran University

Stephanie Dong

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program student
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill