Dr. GAO Peng


Research Assistant Professor

Email: gaopeng@hku.hk

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

HKU Scholars Hub: https://repository.hku.hk/cris/rp/rp02794


Dr. Peng Gao obtained his bachelor’s degree from Beijing Normal University, Master degree from Peking Union Medical College, Tsinghua University, and PhD degree from The University of Hong Kong. He became a research assistant professor after completing his postdoctoral work at The University of Hong Kong. Dr. Gao’s research focuses on finding alternative solutions to combat antibiotic resistance, such as anti-virulence agents, antibiotics adjuvants, vaccines, bacteriophages, microbiome modulators and biofilm eradicators. He also studied the interaction between host and microbe, and the co-infection of bacteria and viruses.

Research focus

  1. Alternative strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
  2. Biofilm-related infections.
  3. The interaction between bacteria, virus, and the host environment.

selected publications

  1. Peng Gao *, Yuanxin Wei, Suying Ho, Pok-Man Lai, Han Liu, Sherlock Shing Chiu Tai, Victor Yat Man Tang, Pradeep Halebeedu Prakash, Kong-Hung Sze, Jonathan Hon Kwan Chen , Hongzhe Sun, Xuechen Li, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao*. SaeR as a Novel Target for Antivirulence Therapy against Staphylococcus aureus. Emerging microbe & infection. 2023,12:2, DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2023.2254415
  2. Bingpeng Yan, Kingchun Fung, Sen Ye, Pok-Man Lai, Yuan Xin Wei, Kong-Hung Sze, Dan Yang, Peng Gao* and Richard Kao*. Linoleic acid metabolism activation in macrophages promotes the clearing of intracellular Staphylococcus aureus. Chemical Science. 2022, 13, 12445 – 12460
  3. 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, 10 (4), e00640-22
  4. Peng Gao, Pak 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. 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.
  6. 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 (co-first author). Bismuth antimicrobial drugs serve as broad-spectrum Metallo-β-lactamase inhibitors. Nature Communications, 2018; 9: 439.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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,

patents 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.