Meet the PI

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Jinming Gao, Ph.D.

Jinming Gao is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Cell Biology, Otolaryngology, and Pharmacology at UT Southwestern.  He also directs an NCI-sponsored Nano-Immune-Engineering Center. He holds the Elaine Dewey Sammons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, in Honor of Eugene P. Frenkel, M.D.

Jinming Gao and his group study the science of nanotechnology and cancer. Through molecular cooperativity, his group innovate nanotechnology platforms to image and perturb cancer hallmarks with the goal to transform patient care. In cancer diagnosis, the Gao Group designed proton transistor nanoparticles that digitize tumor acidotic signals from dysregulated cancer cell metabolism. Pegsitacianine, one such nanosensor,  received Breakthrough Therapy Designation in cytoreductive surgery of peritoneal metastasis. In cancer therapy, Gao’s lab discovered synthetic polymers for non-canonical activation of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway with improved tumor and cell selectivity and antitumor immunity over small molecule agonists. A nanoparticle STING agonist has entered first-in-human trials in 2023. Gao's discoveries elucidate new tumor acidotic metabolism and the important role of type I dendritic cells in STING-targeted immunotherapy.

Gao received a BSc in chemistry from Peking University, a PhD in physical organic chemistry from Harvard University, and postdoctoral training in biomedical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published over 150 scientific articles with over 37,000 citations and holds 16 US and 72 foreign patents. He co-founded OncoNano Medicine to develop therapies for cancer. He is a fellow of National Academy of Inventors, the highest professional recognition to academic inventors.