About Iria

About Iria

Iria Pharma, LLC originated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October, 2016 through joint effort of Prof. Jianjun Cheng and Dr. Kaimin Cai in Champaign, Illinois. Iria is dedicated to developing the next-generation cancer targeting and drug delivery technology for cancer treatment. We are actively seeking commercial partners and strategic collaborators for translational research and development.


Professor Jianjun Cheng, Co-founder

Prof. Cheng is the founder and scientific advisor of Iria Pharma. He is the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC. Dr.. Cheng is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Chemical Society-Division of Polymer Chemistry, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Cheng has received numerous awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010 and UIUC Distinguished Promotion Award. His research includes cancer targeting, nanomedicine, gene and drug delivery, polypeptide chemistry and application. He is the co-inventor of 29 patents and co-authored over 150 publications.

Dr. Kaimin Cai, CTO/Co-founder

Dr. Kaimin Cai cofounded Iria Pharma and will direct the R&D effort of Iria to advance the leading cancer targeting technology toward translation. Dr. Cai obtained his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC under the advisement of Prof. Jianjun Cheng. He graduated from Peking University with a BS degree in chemistry in 2012. Dr. Cai has extensive experience in the synthesis and design of trigger-responsive drug delivery vehicles drug formulation and in vivo tumor models and animal studies. He has received multiple awards including the Illinois Technology Foundation Fifty for the Future Award, the Beckman Institute Fellowship, Racheff-Intel Award for excellent research in recognition of his interdisciplinary research achievements on cancer targeting.