Dr. Peng GAO, PhD


Research Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology

Email: gaopeng@hku.hk


ORCID : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6877-6388



Research Interests:

1.  Alternative strategies to tackle antibiotics resistance

2.  Biofilm related infections

3.  The interaction between bacteria, virus and the host environment


Selected publications:

1.   Peng Gao, Yuanxin Wei, Rachel Evelyn Wan, Ka Wing Wong, Ho Ting Venice Iu, Sherlock Shing Chiu Tai, Yongli Li, Pak Leung Ho, Kwok Yung Yuen, Julian Davies, Richard Yi Tsun Kao. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics enhance virulence and exacerbate the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus. Microbiology Spectrum, (2022): e00640-22.

2.   Peng Gao*, Yuanxin Wei, Ho Ting Venice Iu, Sherlock Shing Chiu Tai, Pak Leung Ho, Kwok Yung Yuen, Julian Davies, Richard Yi Tsun Kao*. Anti-virulence agent as compensate of β-lactam antibiotics in treating staphylococcal infections. Antibiotics, 2022, 11, 819. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics11060819.

3.    Jianzhou Meng†, Peng Gao†, Xiao Wang, Yan Guan, Yishuang Liu, Chunling Xiao (co-first author). Dig deeper to save the old anti-tuberculosis target: D-Alanine: D-alanine ligase with a novel inhibitor, IMB-0283. Frontier in Microbiology. 2020; 10:3017. 

4.   Peng GaoPak Leung Ho, Bingpeng Yan, Kung Hong Sze, Julian Davies, and Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Suppression of Staphylococcus aureus virulence by a small-molecule compound, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018;115(31):8003-8.

5.    Runming Wang†, Tsz-Pui Lai†, Peng Gao†, Hongmin Zhang†, Guixing Ma, Pak-Leung Ho, Patrick Chiu-Yat Woo, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Hongyan Li, and Hongzhe Sun. Bismuth antimicrobial drugs serve as broad-spectrum Metallo-β-lactamase inhibitors. Nature Communications, 2018; 9: 439.

6.    Peng Gao, Julian Davies, and Richard Yi Tsun Kao. Dehydrosqualene desaturase as a novel target for antimicrobial therapeutics in Staphylococcus aureus, mBio, 2017; 8:e01224-17.

7.   Peng Gao, Yanli Wang, Iván Villanueva, Pak Leung Ho, Julian Davies and Richard Yi Tsun Kao. Construction of a Multiplex Promoter Reporter Platform to Monitor Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Gene Expression and the Identification of Usnic Acid as a Potent Suppressor of psm Gene Expression, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2016; 7: 1344,

8.    Haibo Wang, Minji Wang, Xiaohan Xu, Peng Gao, Qi Zhang, Hongyan Li, Aixin Yan, Richard Kao, Hongzhe Sun. Multi-target mode of action of silver against Staphylococcus aureus endows it with capability to combat antibiotic resistance. Nature Communications, 2021 Jun 7;12(1):3331. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23659-y.

9.    Jie Shen, Peng Gao, Shan Han, Richard Y.T. Kao, Shuilin Wu, Xuanyong Liu, Shi Qian, Paul K. Chu, Kenneth M.C. Cheung. Kelvin W.K. Yeung. A tailored positively-charged hydrophobic surface eliminates the risk of implant associated osteomyelitis. Acta Biomaterialia. 2020 Sep 15;114:421-430.


Patent and translational research

1.   Richard Yi Tsun Kao; Peng Gao; Xuechen Li; Ming Liu. Compounds affecting pigment production and methods for treatment of bacterial diseases; PCT ISR & WO with international application No. PCT/IB2018/055459,  2019-01-24

2.   Richard Yi Tsun Kao; Hin Cheung Yam; Peng Gao; Ho Ting Iu. Antimicrobial compounds and methods for use thereof. PCT ISR & WO with international application No. PCT/CN2017/087898, 2017-12-21

3.    ALS-4, a drug candidate for anti-staphylococcal infection based on patent PCT/IB2018/055459 has been cleared Phase 1 Clinical Trial on Jan 2022.


Joining our team:

We invite enthusiastic applicants for the positions of Research assistant, MPhil, PhD, and Postdoctoral researcher. Please submit a cover letter outlining your research interests and your CV to Dr. GAO if you are interested (gaopeng@hku.hk).