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Dr. Jinming Gao is a distinguished researcher and professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he focuses on the intersection of nanotechnology and cancer research. With a strong academic background in chemistry and biomedical engineering, Dr. Gao leads a research group that aims to develop innovative nanotechnology platforms to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

One notable achievement of the Gao Group is the development of proton transistor nanoparticles, such as Pegsitacianine, which can digitize tumor acidotic signals stemming from dysregulated cancer cell metabolism. This nanosensor has received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the Food and Drug Administration and has shown promising results in Phase 2 clinical trials for identifying unresected residual diseases in cancer patients.

In cancer therapy, Dr. Gao's lab has discovered synthetic polymers that can non-canonically activate the STING pathway, leading to improved tumor and cell selectivity and enhanced antitumor immunity. A nanoparticle STING agonist from this research has entered its first-in-human trial in 2023.

Currently, the Gao Group is focusing on using proton transistor nanoparticles to study tumor acidotic biology and immune evasion, as well as developing nano-immune-engineering strategies to activate innate and adaptive immunity for safe and effective cancer immunotherapy.


Peking University , Chemistry
Graduate School
Harvard University (1996)

Research Interest

  • Acidotic transistor medicine (ATOM)
  • Molecular cooperativity in nanomedicine design
  • Nano-immune-engineering
  • STING immunity


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
  • Immuno-engineering to Improve Immunotherapy (I3) Center Award, Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative, National Cancer Institute