Xian (Phoebe) Zhou

PhD, MHM, BPharma
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Natural Products Pharmacology, NICM Health Research Institute

Dr Xian (Phoebe) Zhou is a research fellow at NICM Health Research Institute with a focus on natural products research. She joined NICM HRI in 2017 and plays an important role in strengthening the preclinical research program, focusing on synergistic mechanistic actions among constituents in complex herbal formulations. The key focus of her role is to investigate complex natural products and the challenges they pose for quality assurance and regulatory compliance. Dr Zhou's research establishes and develops reliable quality control methods and biological assays for investigating the bioactivity and interactions (e.g. synergy and antagonism) between compounds in complex fractions and mixtures.

Dr Zhou has a strong and continuing interest in synergistic interaction studies aimed at identifying synergistic interactions among constituents in complex combination at various biological targets and exploring the mechanistic actions at molecular level and associated signalling pathways. During her PhD, she investigated the synergistic actions on various herbal combinations using in vitro models.

Dr Zhou has published several review papers and original articles focused on synergistic interactions. Over the last six years of her research career, she has also been actively involved in other numerous collaborative projects on quality control of herbal medicines and nomenclature compendium of Chinese herbal medicines.

Research focus

  • Synergistic mechanisms
  • Anti-inflammatory bioassays
  • Angiogenesis bioassays
  • Cell apoptosis bioassays
  • Quality control of herbal products

Awards and recognitions

  • 2014, Nomination for International Student of the Year, Western Sydney University
  • 2013-2016, International Postgraduate Research Scholarships, Western Sydney University
  • 2007, 3rd Class Scholarship, Chinese Pharmaceutical University


  • 2017 PhD, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • 2011 Masters of Herbal Medicines (Honours), The University of Sydney, Australia
  • 2009 Bachelor of Pharmacy, Chinese Pharmaceutical University, China


For a full list of publications please see: