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Dayong Gao

Faculty Photo

Origincell Endowed Professorship
Mechanical Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Bioengineering

  • dayong@uw.edu
  • (206) 543-1411
  • MEB 254

Biography

Dr. Dayong Gao is the ORIGINCELL Endowed Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Director of the Center for Cryo-Biomedical Engineering and Artificial Organs, an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Bioengineering, and a Principal Investigator of the Center for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Prior to joining the University of Washington in 2004, Dr. Gao was the Baxter Healthcare Corporation Endowed Chair of Engineering, the  Alumni Endowed Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and an Adjunct Professor of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and the Departments of Physiology and Surgery at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Dr. Gao’s research primarily focuses on (1) cryo-biomedical engineering and fundamental cryobiology: the investigation of mechanisms of critical cryoinjury and cryoprotection to living biomaterials at low temperatures, and the development of optimal methods, novel technology, and precision instruments for long-term cryopreservation-biobanking of living cells, tissues, and organs for applications in regenerative medicine, cellular/gene therapy, tissue engineering, stem cell-organ transplantation, cancer therapy, vaccine and new drug development, disease screening, artificial insemination/in vitro fertilization, and conservation of endangered species, etc., (2) the interdisciplinary science and technology of artificial organs, ranging from membrane and material science to the development of novel portable artificial kidney-liver systems, and (3) bio-instruments and micro-sensors (BioMEMS) for rapid and cost-effective diagnosis of diseases with high sensitivity and specificity.

Dr. Gao’s research work has been continually supported by prestigious funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, US National Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, Washington Research Foundation, and other industrial corporations. 

Dr. Gao has published over 500 peer-reviewed research articles (including over 250 full journal papers), over 35 chapters in 21 books, and over 30 US and international patents. Currently, he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Electronics Cooling and Thermal Control, Deputy Editor of the Biopreservation and Biobanking Journal, and Editorial Board Member of other 9 scientific journals. Dr. Gao has been actively invited as a plenary or keynote speaker, presenting at major conferences, research institutions, and universities worldwide. He has delivered over 200 scientific meeting presentations. He has trained and supervised over 200 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting professors, and research scientists/technologists. Dr. Gao is a member of many professional committees, serving on many national and international panels and review boards, including USA Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Naval Medical Research, NASA, Arizona Disease Control Research Commission, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Alberta Science and Research Investments Program, Ireland Science Foundation, etc.

As an internationally renowned scientist and leader in cryobiology, cryo-biomedical engineering, and cryopreservation-biobanking technology, Dr. Gao was elected and has been serving (2016-present) as President-Elect, President, and Past-President of the Society for Cryobiology (the International Society for Low Temperature Biology and Medicine, founded in 1964, USA). He was Chairman of the 1996 Annual Meeting of the Society for Cryobiology, Chairman of the World Conference in Cryobiology and Cryo-medicine in 2004, and Chairman of the International Conference of Cryobiology and Biobanking in 2017. Dr. Gao has actively collaborated with hospitals and biotech corporations since 1991 and has successfully developed optimal techniques, protocols, and instruments for long-term cryopreservation of human immune cells, pancreatic islets, sperm/oocytes/ovarian tissues, platelets, adipose cells/tissues, adipose cell-derived stem cells, skins, arteries, corneas, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells, and engineered tissues, etc. Recently, supported by major grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NIH, Dr. Gao has served as Director and PI of an international consortium to develop optimal technology to cryopreserve human mucosal immune cells and tissues for the development of HIV vaccines and new drugs/microbicides. Dr. Gao has continued promoting technology transfer and entrepreneurship, and providing support, services, and education to medical centers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation programs on the application of cryo-biotechnology in global health initiatives.

In the field of artificial organs, Dr. Gao and his research team have made significant technology breakthroughs in the development of novel artificial kidney-liver systems for the treatment of end stage kidney and/or liver diseases. The new system has already saved numerous lives of patients with acute and chronic liver failure in clinical trials. His research accomplishments in artificial organs and bio-instruments were well reflected in his book “Artificial Kidney: Fundamentals, Research Approaches and Advances”, and his chapters published in a series of professional books and medical textbooks, including “Pediatric Dialysis”, “Critical Care Nephrology”, “Chronic Kidney Disease: Dialysis and Transplantation”,  “Handbook of Dialysis Therapy”, “Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering”, “New Insights into Membrane Science and Technology: Polymeric, Inorganic and Bio-functional Membranes”, “Handbook of Thermal Science and Engineering”, and “Contributions to Nephrology”, etc.  Dr. Gao was elected and honored as the Baxter Healthcare Endowed Chair of Engineering by the Baxter International Inc. (one of the top 2 world-leading corporations in artificial organs, medical instruments, and biotechnology) and the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Gao received numerous international/national honors and awards, including the Fellow of AIMBE (American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering), Fellow of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), Fellow of the Society for Cryobiology with the Basil J. Luyet Medal, Member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, American Heart Association Award, American Cancer Society Award, Asian American Engineer of the Year Award, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Research Award, Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award, Washington Foundation Innovation Award, and International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Special Service Award. Most recently, the Dayong Gao Young Investigator Award has been named and established by the Society for Cryobiology to recognize the most outstanding young cryobiologist or cryo-biomedical engineer worldwide, every year from 2019. (https://www.societyforcryobiology.org/dayong-gao-young-investigator-award).

Education

  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, the Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 1991
  • B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, 1983

Previous appointments

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Supported by the NIH Awards), the Cryobiology Research Institute, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN, 1991-1992

Research Statement

Professor Gao's research focuses on the following areas:

  1. Cryo-biomedical engineering and fundamental cryobiology: the investigation of mechanisms of critical cryoinjury and cryoprotection to living biomaterials at low temperatures, and the development of optimal methods, novel technology, and precision instruments for long-term cryopreservation-biobanking of living cells, tissues, and organs for applications in regenerative medicine, cellular/gene therapy, tissue engineering, stem cell and organ transplantation, cancer therapy, vaccine and new drug development, disease screening, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, conservation of endangered species, and other medical and agricultural fields.
  2. Interdisciplinary science and technology of artificial organs, ranging from membrane and material science to the development of novel portable artificial kidney-liver systems for the treatment of end-stage kidney and/or liver failure diseases.
  3. Bio-instruments and micro-sensors (BioMEMS) for rapid and cost-effective diagnosis of diseases with high sensitivity and specificity

Honors & awards

  • The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Special Service Award, 2020
  • Fellow, The American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2020
  • The Dayong Gao Young Investigator Award has been named and established by the Society for Cryobiology to recognize the most outstanding young cryobiologist or cryo-biomedical engineer worldwide, every year since 2019. This prestigious award is used to inspire and encourage young investigators to continue developing new ideas, theory, technology, and breakthroughs in cryobiology/cryo-biomedical engineering. One awardee is elected annually by the Society Award Committee through application, nomination, and peer-review processes. The award is presented to the elected awardee at the Society Annual International Conference with an Award Certificate and a Cash Prize.
  • Fellow, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2019
  • Member, The Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS), 2017
  • Fellow, The Society for Cryobiology (International Society for Low Temperature Biology and Medicine, founded in 1964, USA), 2016
  • Basil J. Luyet Medal, The Society for Cryobiology, 2016
  • The ORIGINCELL Endowed Professorship, University of Washington, 2016
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Research Award, 2014
  • Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) 2013 Award
  • Washington Foundation Innovation Award, 2006
  • The Baxter Healthcare Corp Endowed Chair in Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2003
  • The Alumni Endowed Professorship, University of Kentucky, 2000
  • The American Cancer Society Award, 2000
  • The Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award, 2000
  • The American Heart Association Young Investigator Award, 1998

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