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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Gao has broad and deep knowledge of Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Microbiology and Synthetic Biology. She initially studied a degree in Chemical Engineering at Tsinghua University, China; then completed her PhD in the Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, to engineer Candida tropicalis for the bioproduction of dicarboxylic acid, using tools of molecular biology and metabolic engineering.

After receiving her PhD degree, Dr Gao worked at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, as an Assistant Professor, then promoted to Associate Professor. In this period, she collaborated with industry partners to optimise the process of natural product biosynthesis.

In 2011, funded by the Marie-Curie International Incoming Fellowship, Dr Gao joined the group of Professor Rebecca Goss (initially at University of East Anglia, then moved to St Andrews in 2012). Then she developed her expertise in synthetic biology as a Research Associate at University of Edinburgh and University of York, before she joined Teesside University as a Lecturer in Biology from January 2019.

Summary of Research Interests

Natural product discovery and biosynthesis

Synthetic biology

Bioproduction optimisation


Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Hong currently leads the module Food Biotechnology, as well as lecturing on other modules within the School of Science, Engineering and Design, Teesside University.

PhD and Research Opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study or Post-doc research. Informal enquiries relating to research opportunities are welcomed.

PhD opportunities: Scholarships allow you to search for funded PhD opportunities

Post-doc research: We welcome applications from individuals who wish to apply for fellowships such as Marie Curie, Newton International Fellowships, etc.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Tsinghua University


Bachelor, Tsinghua University


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Research Output

Application of Serine Integrases for Secondary Metabolite Pathway Assembly in Streptomyces

Gao, H., Taylor, G., Evans, S., Fogg, P. & Smith, M., 18 Jun 2020, In : Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology. 5, 2

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 20 Downloads (Pure)

    A natural solution to photoprotection and isolation of the potent polyene antibiotic, marinomycin A

    Bailey, C., Zarins-Tutt, J. S., Agbo, M., Gao, H., Diego-Taboada, A., Gan, M., Hamed, R., Abraham, E., Mackenzie, G., Evans, P. A. & Goss, R., 21 May 2019, In : Chemical Science. 10, 32, p. 7549-7553 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 105 Downloads (Pure)

    Integrating vectors for genetic studies in the rare Actinomycete Amycolatopsis marina

    Gao, H., Murugesan, B., Hobbach, J., Evans, S., Stark, M. & Smith, M., 4 Jun 2019, In : BMC Biotechnology. 19, 1, 32.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 166 Downloads (Pure)

    Prospecting for new bacterial metabolites: a glossary of approaches for inducing, activating and upregulating the biosynthesis of bacterial cryptic or silent natural products

    Zarins-Tutt, J. S., Barberi, T. T., Gao, H., Mearns-Spragg, A., Zhang, L., Newman, D. J. & Goss, R. J. M., Jan 2016, In : Natural Product Reports. 33, 1, p. 54-72 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • Filipins: The first antifungal "weed killers" identified from bacteria isolated from the trap-ant

    Gao, H., Grüschow, S., Barke, J., Seipke, R. F., Hill, L. M., Orivel, J., Yu, D. W., Hutchings, M. & Goss, R. J. M., 1 Jan 2014, In : RSC Advances . 4, 100, p. 57267-57270 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 10 Citations (Scopus)