Dr. Gao’s research interests focus on understanding molecular mechanisms associated with progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer and metastasis to bone with the goal of identification of potential therapeutic targets for prostate cancer. Particular emphasis includes microRNAs, aberrant androgen receptor activation by cytokines and transcriptional factors such as Stat3 and NF-kB, targeting cell signaling pathways (AR, IL-6 and Stat3), and mechanisms of drug resistance in prostate cancer.
Dr. Gao’s lab was among the first to find that selenium regulates androgen signaling and that IL-4 activates the androgen receptor mediated by NF-κB and Stat6, made the discovery that IL-6 signaling in prostate cancer involves Stat3, defined Stat3 and NF-κB interactions in prostate cancer, discovered niclosamide as a novel inhibitor of androgen receptor variants (AR-V7), and identified several novel resistance mechanisms to enzalutamide/abiraterone/docetaxel including p52, IL-6/Stat3, intracrine androgens/AKR1C3, and ABCB1.
Dr. Gao has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in the area of prostate cancer. His research findings such as the discovery of niclosamide as a novel inhibitor of androgen receptor variants have translated into several clinical trials (NCT02807805, NCT03123978) that test the combination treatments with current therapies to advanced resistant prostate cancer. Another recent discovery of indomethacin as an inhibitor of AKR1C3 and synergizing enzalutamide has also translated into clinical trial (NCT02935205) to test the combination treatments with current therapies to advanced resistant prostate cancer.
Dr. Gao has served numerous NIH, NCI, DOD and VA merits, and American Cancer Society (ACS) review panels including SPORE and PPG study sections.
M.D., Sichuan Medical College, Chengdu, Sichuan, 1985
Ph.D., MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, 1995
John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, 1998
2018-2019 President, Society of Basic Urologic Research
American Association for Cancer Research
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Urological Association
Editorial Board, The Prostate, American J. of Pathology
European Urological Association
Society of Basic Urologic Research
Honors and Awards
Ralph deVere White Endowed Professor of Urologic Research, University of California, Davis, 2008
Research Career Scientist, VA Northern California Health Care System, Sacramento, CA, 2015,
Select Recent Publications
Liu C, Lou W, Zhu Y, Nadiminty N, Schwartz C, Evans CP, Gao AC. Niclosamide inhibits androgen receptor variants expression and overcomes enzalutamide resistance in castration resistant prostate cancer. Clin Can Res. 20:3198-210, 2014.
Liu C, Lou W, Zhu Y, Yang JC, Nadiminty N, Gaikwad NW, Evans CP, Gao AC. Intracrine androgens and AKR1C3 activation confer resistance to enzalutamide in prostate cancer. Can Res. 75(7):1413-22, 2015.
Nadiminty N, Tummala R, Liu C, Lou W, Evans CP, Gao AC. NF-kB/p52:c-myc:hnRNPA1 pathway regulates expression of androgen receptor splice variants and enzalutamide sensitivity in prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 14:1884-95, 2015.
Liu C, Armstrong C, Lou W, Lombard A, Evans CP, and Gao AC. Inhibition of AKR1C3 activation overcomes resistance to abiraterone in advanced prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 16(1):35-44, 2017.
Lombard AP, Liu C, Armstrong CM, Cucchiara V, Gu X, Lou W, Evans CP, Gao AC. ABCB1 mediates cabazitxel-docetaxel cross-resistance in advanced prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 16(10):2257-2266, 2017.
Lombard AP, Liu L, Cucchiara V, Liu C, Armstrong CM, Zhao R, Yang JC, Lou W, Evans CP, Gao AC. Intra versus inter cross-resistance determines treatment sequence between taxane and AR-targeting therapies in advanced prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 17(10):2197-2205, 2018.
Zhu Y, Liu C, Armstrong C, Lou W, Sandher A, Gao AC. Antiandrogens inhibit ABCB1 efflux and ATPase activity and reverse docetaxel resistance in advanced prostate cancer. Clin Can Res. 21:4133-42, 2015.
Zhu YZ, Liu, C.F., Nadiminty, N., Lou, W., Tummala, R., Evans, C.P., Gao, A. C. Inhibition of ABCB1 expression overcomes acquired docetaxel resistance in prostate cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 2013 12 (9): 1829-36.
Nadiminty N, Tummala R, Lou W, Zhu YZ, Evans CP, Gao AC. NF-kB2/p52 induces resistance to enzalutamide in prostate cancer: role of androgen receptor and its variants. Molecular Cancer Ther 2013 12 (8): 1629-37.
Tummala R, Nadiminty N, Lou W, Zhu YZ, Chen HW, Evans CP, Gao AC. Lin28 promotes growth of prostate cancer cells and activates the androgen receptor. American J. of Pathology. 2013 183 (1): 288-95.