Gao is a world-leading virologist and immunologist who has made some great contributions for the filed. He is well known for his scientific contributions to the understanding of the molecular recognition of immune receptors to their ligands and molecular basis of the pathogenicity of pathogens, in particular, influenza viruses and other enveloped viruses, which provide insight into drug and antibody development and the prevention and control of infections worldwide. Gao obtained his PhD (DPhil) degree from Oxford
University, UK and did his postdoc work in both Oxford University and Harvard University (with a brief stay in Calgary University). Gao worked in Beijing Agricultural University (1986-1991), Oxford University (2001-2006), Institute of Microbiology, CAS (2004-2008, Director General). Gao is a member (academician) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (elected in 2013), a fellow of The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS, also known as The World Academy of Sciences) (elected in 2014), a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology (AAM, elected in 2015); an associate (foreign) member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology organization) (elected in 2016), a fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) (elected in 2016), a fellow of RSE (Royal Society of Edinburgh) (elected in 2017), a fellow of AAS (African Academy of Sciences) (elected in 2017), a member (academician) of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (elected in 2018).

Research Interests

Gao's research interests include virus entry/release mechanism and host immune receptor recognition. His group research is mainly focusing on the virus entry and release, esp. influenza virus interspecies transmission (host jump), structure-based drug-design and structural immunology. He is also interested in virus ecology, esp. the relationship between influenza virus and migratory birds or live poultry markets and the bat-derived virus ecology and molecular biology. He has so far published over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 20 books or book chapters, with an H-index of 70 (till April, 2019). His research has recently expanded on public health policy and global health strategy. His heroic roles in fighting against Ebola outbreak in 2014 by spending two months (between September to November) during the peak outbreak in Sierra Leone, leading a China Mobile Test Laboratory, is highly appreciated worldwide. Gao's contribution in science is not only for basic life/medical sciences but also for clinical-related
preventive medical sciences and public health, which can be reflected from his "grand-slam" publications in 5 top-niche scientific journals, i.e., Nature, Science, Cell, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology