Chemical Biology and Biochemistry
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute, 2004-2007
Selected Honors and Awards: Smith Family Young Investigator Award, 2007 Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2001-2004, Stanford University
The Gao lab works in the general areas of organic chemistry and chemical biology. Specifically, we are interested in understanding and ultimately gaining control over the functions of cell membranes. As a defining feature of a cell, the cell membrane hosts close to one third of the entire proteome and mediates numerous signaling pathways. Our lab uses organic synthesis to create novel peptides and peptidomimetics that functionally mimic natural membrane proteins, including channel formers and lipid-targeting proteins. Research activities as such allow us to elucidate new chemical principles of protein-membrane interactions. Synthetic molecules that are active on biomembranes may also serve as novel antibiotics and tumor imaging agents.
Representative Key Publications:
Fang Wang, Luoheng Qin, Christopher J. Pace, Patrick Wong, Ryan Malonis and Jianmin Gao, “Solubilized Gramicidin A as Potential Systemic Antibiotics”, ChemBioChem, 2012, 13, 51-55.
Hong Zheng, Fang Wang, Qin Wang and Jianmin Gao, “Cofactor-Free Detection of Phosphatidylserine with Cyclic Peptides Mimicking Lactadherin”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 15280-15293.
Christopher Pace and Jianmin Gao, “Exploring and Exploiting Polar- Interactions with Fluorinated Aromatic Amino Acids,” Acc. Chem. Res. 2013, 46, 907-915.
Christopher Pace, Hong Zheng, Ruben Mylvaganam, Diane Kim and Jianmin Gao, “Stacked Fluoroaromatics as Supra-molecular Synthons for Programming Protein Dimerization Specificity”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 103-107.