Principal Investigator & Program Director of Bone & Cartilage Biology and Tissue Engineering
Tongji Medical University, MD, 1986
Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, MPH, 1991
Shandong University, PhD, 2005
Dr. Gao joined SPRI full time in Jan 28, 2020. Dr. Gao spent 21 years doing biomedical research in China and became full professor in 2002 in China. She was a director of Biochip Laboratory and Associate Director of Shandon Medicinal and Biotechnological Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Science in charge of research, graduate student education and international collaboration. She has won many scientific progress awards and hold more than 10 Chinese Patents and have 90+ publications in China. She has mentored 8 master students during this period. After received PhD in 2005 from Shandong University major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr. Gao came to USA as postdoctoral fellow in Medical College of Wisconsin in 2007.
In 2009, Dr. Gao joined Dr. Johnny Huard’s Lab as a postdoctoral associate in Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and has been focusing on stem cells and bone tissue engineering research. She has published three first author papers including journal “Biomaterials” during her postdoctoral training and served as leading co-investigator for Dr. Huard ‘s NIH-funded R01 on bone tissue engineering and gained comprehensive training in stem cell biology and bone tissue engineering through this project. She has won many career awards such as New Investigator Recognition Award from ORS, AFIRM Career Enrichment Award, Young Investigator Travel Awards from ASBMR and ASGCT.
In 2015, Dr. Gao followed Dr. Huard and joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston as an Assistant Professor as well as Visiting Scientist for Steadman Philippon Research Institute. She has been leading Dr. Huard’s bone and cartilage biology group in Dr. Huard’s lab. She has 18 publications in bone, cartilage tissue engineering and biology in Dr. Huard’s lab with 8 first author papers and 4 co-corresponding author papers and other co-author papers in this field. She has trained one postdoctoral fellow and 2 graduate students and 3 technicians (CRSM) and become an associate member of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth in 2018. Dr. Gao has been a leading co-investigator for Dr. Huard’s RO1 project on “Bone abnormalities defect healing in muscular dystrophy” and R21 project “The Use of Coacervate Technology as a New Drug Delivery System for Musculoskeletal Tissue Repair”. Dr. Gao’s contributions on microfracture enhancement therapy within Dr. Huard’s team has led to several Clinical trials from DOD or RMIP from NIH directed by Dr. Huard in SPRI.
In Dr. Huard’s team CRSM in SPRI, Dr. Gao’s goal is to use her expertise in bone and cartilage tissue engineering and biology to develop new therapies to treat orthopaedic injuries and “keep people active”.