Gang Bao, PhD

  • Recruited to: Rice University
  • Recruited from: Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University
  • Award: Established Investigator

Gang Bao is a nationally recognized bioengineer who conducts a wide-range of research in genome editing and nanomedicine for diagnosing and treating human diseases. He joined Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering in March 2015.

Among his ongoing projects, Bao is working on targeted genome modification using engineered nucleases, the development of magnetic nanoparticles for use as imaging contrast agents and for ablation of tumors, and the application of fluorescent molecular beacons for specific RNA detection in living cells.

Bao established an outstanding track record in basic and translational research as a principal investigator at Johns Hopkins and at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. He brings to Texas two decades of significant experience in the development of leading research and education programs in biomedical engineering. Three multidisciplinary centers, directed by Bao at Georgia Tech, focused on the detection and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and sickle-cell disease, along with pediatric nanomedicine approaches for improving children’s health.

To date, more than 24 of Bao’s nanotechnologies have U.S. patents or provisional patents. They include nanostructured probes such as fluorescent molecular beacons, semiconductor quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles for use as contrast agents to study diseases and to analyze the underlying biological processes, as well as design tools for nuclease-based genome editing.

New research in the Bao lab is supported by a $6 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The work will focus on a high level of integration and synergy between physician-scientists and clinicians as well as in the development of programmatic, education and cross training components for a highly specialized workforce in biology, clinical medicine, and the quantitative sciences.

Bao is the author of more than 150 refereed journal publications, two books and four book chapters. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2007), the American Physical Society (2007), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2009) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009).