Hao Shao, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, Gestwicki Lab


Hao Shao received his Ph.D. in 2014 from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, under the supervision of Profs. Peter M. Fischer and Shudong Wang. His graduate work focused on the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of highly selective CDK9 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Shao received extensive training in medicinal chemistry during his doctoral studies, including molecular docking, organic synthesis, pharmacokinetics, and cancer biology.

As a postdoctoral scholar in the Gestwicki laboratory, Dr. Shao continues to work on small molecule drug discovery. Instead of classic enzyme inhibitors, he is working on more challenging targets, which are traditionally considered undruggable, by inhibiting protein-protein interactions and allosteric sites. He also extends his interests to high-throughput screening, assay development, and drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases. One of his projects is to develop Hsp70 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

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