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Faculty & research

Xiaohu Gao

Faculty Photo



We develop novel nanomaterials and bioassays for detection, analysis and treatment of human diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and neurological disorders. In general, we are interested in any technology that is interesting, innovative, and impactful on biology and medicine.


  • PhD, Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2004
  • BS, Chemistry, Nankai University, China, 1998

Previous appointments

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, 2004-2005

Select publications

  1. Li, M.A. Baird, M.A. Davis, W. Tai, L.S. Zweifel, K.M. Adams Waldorf, M. Gale Jr, L. Rajagopal, R.H. Pierce, X.H. Gao Dramatic enhancement of the detection limits of bioassays via ultrafast deposition of polydopamine. Nature Biomedical Engineering 1, 0082 2017.
  2. Zrazhevskiy, L.D. True, and X.H. Gao, Multicolor multicycle molecular profiling (M3P) with quantum dots for single-cell analysis, Nature Protocols, 8, 1852-1869, 2013
  3. Zrazhevskiy, X.H. Gao, Quantum dot imaging platform for single-cell molecular profiling, Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms2635, 2013.
  4. Y.D. Jin , C. Jia , S.W. Huang, M. O’Donnell and X.H. Gao, Multifunctional nanoparticles as coupled contrast agents, Nature Communications, 2010, 10.1038/ncomms1042.
  5. Y.D. Jin and X.H. Gao, Plasmonic fluorescent quantum dots, Nature Nanotechnology. 2009, 4, 571-576
  6. X.H. Gao, Y. Cui, R.M. Levenson, L.W.K. Chung, and S.M. Nie, In vivo cancer targeting and imaging with semiconductor quantum dots, Nature Biotechnology 2004, 22, 969-976.
  7. M.Y. Han, X.H. Gao, J. Su, and S.M. Nie, Quantum-dot-tagged microbeads for multiplexed optical coding of biomolecules, Nature Biotechnology 2001, 19, 631-635.

Honors & awards

  • 2010 Faculty innovator award, College of Engineering, University of Washington
  • 2007 CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2013 Elected fellow of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering)