Song Gao
Song Gao
Research Assistant Professor

Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences
The University of Houston, USA
Phone: 713-795-8306
E-mail: sgao4@Central.UH.EDU 


  • 09/1999-07/2004, Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
  • 09/1992-07/1996, B.S. in Pharmacy, Shandong University, Jinan, China



Dr. Song Gao obtained his PhD from the Institute of Matera Media, Peking Union Medical College in medicinal chemistry. After his postdoctoral training in the University of Arizona and the University of Houston, he works as an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, the University of Houston. Dr. Gao has a broad background in pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry, with specific training in bioactive natural product identification from herbal, organic synthesis, drug absorption, metabolism, and drug bioanalysis. Dr. Gaos research interest focuses on improving efficacy and reducing side effect of drug candidate through intervening the bioavailability.


Research Interest

  • Drug absorption, metabolism, and pharmacokinetics.
  • Bioanalysis of small and large molecules.
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Quality control of herbal medicines or dietary supplements


Professional Activities:

03/2014-present Research Assistant Professor The University of Houston
06/2013-02/2014 Senior Research Scientist MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas
08/2011-06/2013 Research Assistant Professor The University of Houston
11/2007-07/2011 Postdoctoral fellow The University of Houston
10/2005-10/2007 Postdoctoral fellow The University of Arizona
10/2004-09/2005 Postdoctoral fellow Arizona State University


Honors and Awards


  1. Taijun Yin, Guangyi Yang, Yong Ma, Beibei Xu, Ming You, Ming Hu, and Song Gao*, Developing an activity and absorption-based quality control platform for Chinese traditional medicine: Application to Zeng-Sheng-Ping, J Ethnopharmacol.2015, 172; 195-201. PMID: 26099633.
  2. Song Gao*, Jing Zhao, Taijun Yin, Yong Ma, Beibei Xu, Anthony N. Moore, Pramod K. Dash, and Ming Hu, J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2015 Feb 7;986-987C:54-59. PMID: 25706567.
  3. Shufan Ge, Song Gao, Taijun Yin, Ming Hu, Determination of Pharmacokinetics of Chrysin and Its Conjugates in Wild-type FVB and Bcrp1 Knockout Mice Using a Validated LC-MS/MS Method, J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25715997.
  4. Song Gao*, Taijun Yin, Beibei Xu, Yong Ma, Ming Hu, Amino acid facilitates absorption of copper in the Caco-2 cell culture model, Life Sciences, Life Sci. 2014 Jul 25;109(1):50-6.
  5. Tongmeng Yan, Song Gao, Tongmeng Yan, Song Gao, Xiaojuan Peng, Jian Shi, Cong Xie, Qiang Li, Linlin Lu, Ying Wang, Fuyuan Zhou, Zhongqiu Liu, Ming Hu, Significantly Decreased and More Variable Expression of Major CYPs and UGTs in Liver Microsomes Prepared from HBV-Positive Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Matched Pericarcinomatous Tissues Determined Using an Isotope Label-free UPLC-MS/MS Method, Pharm Res. 2014 [Epub ahead of print], PMID: 25288013.
  6. Beibei Xu, Guangyi Yang, Shufan Ge, Taijun Yin, Ming Hu, and Song Gao*, Validated LC-MS/MS method for the determination of 3-hydroxflavone and its glucuronide in blood and bioequivalent buffers: application to pharmacokinetic, absorption, and metabolism studies, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2013; 85:245-252.
  7. Guo Ma, Baojian Wu, Song Gao, Yong Ma, Ming Hu, Mutual regioselective inhibition of human UGT1A1-mediated glucuronidation of four flavonoids, Mol Pharm, 2013; 10: 2891-2903. PMID:23786524.
  8. Song Gao, Sumit Basu, Guangyi Yang, and Ming Hu, Oral Bioavailability Challenges of Natural Products Used in Cancer Chemoprevention, Progress in Chemistry, 2013; 25: 1553-1574.
  9. Beibei Xu, Song Gao, Baojian Wu, Taijun Yin, and Ming Hu, Absolute quantification of UGT1A1 in various tissues and cell lines using isotope label-free UPLC-MS/MS method determines its turnover number and correlates with its glucuronidation activities, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2013; 88C:180-190.
  10. Jie He, Song Gao, Ming Hu; Diana Chow, Vincent Tam. A validated UPLC-MS/MS method for the quantification of polymyxin B in mouse serum and epithelial lining fluid: application to pharmacokinetic studies. J of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy [Epub ahead of print].PMID 23341128. 2013.
  11. Ling Ye , Xiaoshan Yang , Zhen Yang , Song Gao , Taijun Yin , Wei Liu , Feng Wang , Ming Hu, Zhongqiu Liu,The role of efflux transporters on the transport of highly toxic aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine, and their hydrolysates, as determined in cultured Caco-2 and transfected MDCKII cells, Toxicol Lett, 2013; 216:86-99. PMID: 23200901
  12. Tao Niu, Smith DL, Zheng Yang, Song Gao, Taijun Yin, Zhihong Jiang, Ming You, Gibbs RA, Petrosino JF, Ming Hu, Bioactivity and bioavailability of Ginsenosides are dependent on the glycosidase activities of the A/J mouse intestinal microbiome defined by pyrosequencing. Pharm Res. 2013; 30:836-46. PMID: 23254888.
  13. Song Gao, Sumit Basu, Zhen Yang, Arijita Deb, Ming Hu, Bioavailability Challenges Associated with Development of Saponins as Therapeutic and Chemopreventive Agents, Curr Drug Targets. 2012;13(14):1885-99. 2012
  14. Ling Ye, Song Gao, Qian Feng, Wei Liu, Zhen Yang, Ming Hu, and Zhongqiu Liu, Development and validation of a highly sensitive UPLC-MS/MS method for simultaneous determination of aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine, and five of their metabolites in rat blood and its application to a pharmacokinetics study of aconitine, mesaconitine, and hypaconitine, 2012; Xenobiotica, 42: 518-525, PMID: 22188409.
  15. Yian Wang, Ruisheng Yao, Song Gao, Weidong Wen, Yinqiu Du,Eva Szabo, Ming Hu, Ronald A. Lubet, and Ming You, Chemopreventive effect of a mixture of Chinese Herbs (antitumor B) on chemically induced oral carcinogenesis, Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2013 Jan;52(1):49-56. PMID 22086836.
  16. Zhen Yang, Wei Zhu, Song Gao, Taijun Yin, Ming Hu, Breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) determines distribution of genistein phase II metabolites: reevaluation of the roles of ABCG2 in the disposition of Genistein,Drug Metab Dispos. 2012; 40:1883-1893. PMID: 22736306.
  17. Zhen Yang, Jingrong Wang, Tao Niu, Song Gao, Taijun Yin, Ming You, Zhihong Jiang, and Ming Hu, Inhibition of P-glycoprotein leads to improved oral bioavailability of compound K, an anticancer metabolite of red ginseng extract produced by gut microflora, Drug Metab Dispos.2012; 40:1538-44PMID: 22584255.
  18. Baojian Wu, Wen Jiang, Taijun Yin, Song Gao, Ming Hu, A new strategy to rapidly evaluate kinetics of glucuronide efflux by breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2), Pharm Res. 2012: 29:3199-208. PMID:22752253.
  19. George R. Pettit, Rui Tan, Guan-Hu Bao, Noeleen Melody, Dennis L. Doubek, Song Gao, Jean-Charles Chapuis, and Lee Williams, Antineoplastic Agents. 587. Isolation and Structure of 3-Epipancratistatin from Narcissus cv. Ice Follies (1). Journal of natural products. 2012: 75:771-773. PMID: 22413911.
  20. Constance Lay Lay Saw, Anne Yuqing Yang, David C. Cheng, Sarandeep S.-S. Boyanapalli, Zheng-Yuan Su, Tin Oo Khor, Song Gao, Jingrong Wang, Zhi-Hong Jiang, and Ah-Ng Tony Kong, Pharmacodynamics of Ginsenosides: Antioxidant Activities, Activation of Nrf2, and Potential Synergistic Effects of Combinations, Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2012; 25: 1574-1580. PMID: 22780686.
  21. Song Gao, Yaming Xu, Frederick A. Valeriote, A. A. Leslie Gunatilaka Pierreiones A-D, Solid Tumor Selective Pyranoisoflavones and Other Cytotoxic Constituents from Antheroporum pierrei, Journal of natural products. 74(4): 852-856, 2011
  22. Yaming Xu, Song Gao, Daniel P. Bunting, A.A. Leslie Gunatilaka, Unusual withanolides from aeroponically grown Withania somnifera, Phytochemistry. 2011; 72: 518-522. PMID: 21315384.
  23. Song Gao, Zhen Yang, Taijun Yin, Ming You, and Ming Hu, Validated LC-MS/MS method for the determination of maackiain and its sulfate and glucuronide in blood: Application to pharmacokinetic and disposition studies. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2011; 55:288-293. PMID:
  24. Zhen Yang, Song Gao, Jingrong Wang, Taijun Yin, Yang Teng, Baojian Wu, Zhihong Jiang, Ming You, and Ming Hu, Enhancement of Oral Bioavailability of Ginsenoside 20(s)-Rh2 through Improved Understanding of its Absorption and Efflux Mechanisms. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 39(10):1866-1872, 2011
  25. Wei Liu, Zhijie Zheng, Xi Liu, Song Gao, Ling Ye, Zhen Yang, Ming Hu, and Zhongqiu Liu, Sensitive and robust UPLC-MS/MS method to determine the gender-dependent pharmacokinetics in rats of emodin and its glucuronide. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2011; 54: 1157-1162. PMID: 21195574.
  26. Song Gao, Wen Jiang, Taijun Yin, and Ming Hu, Highly Variable Contents of Phenolics in St. John’s Wort Products Affect Their Transport in the Human Intestinal Caco-2 Cell Model: Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Rationale for Product Standardization, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58: 6650-6659, 2010
  27. Song Gao and Ming Hu, Bioavailability challenges associated with development of anti-cancer phenolics, Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. 2010:10: 550-567. PMID: 20370701.
  28. Fan Li, Jin Cai Lu, Xiao Xue, Song Gao, Beibei Xu, Bai Yi Cao, Jing Jing Zhang,  27-Hydroxyoleanolic acid type triterpenoid saponins from Anemone raddeana rhizome, Natural Product Communications. 2010: 5: 197-200. PMID: 20334126.
  29. Fan Li, Jincai Lu, Beibei Xu, Song Gao, Hongfen Zhang, Runxiang Liu, Oleanane Saponins from Rhizome of Anemone raddeana, Helvetica Chimica Acta. 2010; 93: 58-64. PMID:
  30. Jincai Lu, Beibei Xu, Song Gao, Fan Li, Structure elucidation of two triterpenoid saponins from rhizome of Anemone raddeana Regel, Fitoterapia, 2009, 80: 345-348, PMID: 19414062.
  31. Zhen Yang, Song Gao, Taijun Yin, Kaustubh H. Kulkarni, Yang Teng, Ming You, Ming Hu, Biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic characterization of matrine as determined by a sensitive and robust UPLC-MS/MS method, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2010; 51: 1120-1127, 2010. PMID: 20034755.
  32. Zhen Yang, Wei Zhu, Song Gao, Haiyan Xu, Baojian Wu, Rashim Singh, Lan Tang, Kaustubh Kulkarni and Ming Hu, Simultaneous determination of genistein and its four phase II metabolites in blood by a sensitive and robust UPLC-MS/MS method: Application to an oral bioavailability study of genistein in mice, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2010; 53: 81-89. PMID: 20378296.
  33. Jincai Lu, Beibei Xu, Song Gao, Fan Li, Hongfen Zhang, Runxiang Liu, Structure elucidation of two triterpenoid saponins from rhizome of Anemoneraddeana Regel. Fitoterapia. 345-348, 2009
  34. Jincai Lu, Beibei Xu, Song Gao, Hiroyuki Kodama, A new superoxide-generation inhibitor from rhizome of Anemone raddeana Regel, Chinese Chemical Letters. 694-697, 2009.
  35. Song Gao, Jing Liu, Guangmiao Fu, Youcai Hu, and Shishan Yu. Resveratrol/ Phloroglucinol Glycosides from the Roots of Lysidice rhodostegia, Planta Medica.73: 163-166, 2007
  36. Xianfu Wu, Youcai Hu, Song Gao, Shishan Yu, Yuehu Pei, Wenzhao Tang, and Xiangzhong Huang, Two new compounds from the roots of Lysidice rhodostegia. J of Asian Natural Products Research. 2007, 9, 471-477, 2007
  37. Youcai Hu, Xianfu Wu, Song Gao, Shishan Yu, Yue Liu, Jing Qu, Jing Liu, and Yunbao Liu. Novel Phloroglucinol Derivatives from the Roots of Lysidice rhodostegia.Organic letters.2006: 8: 2269-2272. PMID: 16706503.
  38. Song Gao, Guangmiao Fu, Lihua Fan, Shishan Yu and Dequan Yu. Flavonoids from Lysidice rhodostegia Hance, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 2005: 47: 759-763. PMID:
  39. Song Gao, Guangmiao Fu, Lihua Fan, Shishan Yu and Dequan Yu. Compounds from Lysidice rhodostega Hance, J of Chinese Natural Products. 3: 145-147, 2005
  40. Gunagmiao Fu, Yinghong Wang, Song Gao, Meijun Tang, and Shishan Yu. Five new cytotoxic triterpenoid saponins from the roots of Symplocos chinensis, Planta Medica.2005;71: 666-672. PIMD: 16041654.
  41. Lijie Cui, Zeper Abliz, Min Xia, Liyan Zhao, Song Gao, Wenyi He, Yun Xiang, Feng Liang and Shishan Yu. On-line identification of phenanthroindolizidine alkaloids in a crude extract from Tylophora Atrofolliculata by liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 18: 184-190, 2004
  42. Song Gao, Nan Feng, Shishan Yu, Dequan Yu, and Xiaoliang Wang. Vasodilator phloroglucinols and flavanols from Lysidice rhodostega Hance, Planta Medica.2004; 70: 1128-1134. PMID: 15643545.
  43. Song Gao, Shishan Yu and Dequan Yu. Two new phloroglucinol glycosides from Lysidice rhodostega Hance, Chinese Chemical Letters. 2004; 15: 313-315. PMID:
  44. Xueshi Huang, Song Gao, Shishan Yu and Xiaotian Liang. Cytotoxic alkaloids isolated from Tylophora atrofolliculata Metc., Planta Medica.2004; 70: 441-445. PMID: 15124090.
  45. Meijun Tang, Diandian Shen, Youcai Hu, Song Gao, and Shishan Yu. Cytotoxic Triterpenoid Saponins from Symplocos chinensis, J Natural Products. 67:1969-1974, 2004
  46. Xueshi Huang, Song Gao, Lihua Fan, Shishan Yu, Xiaotian Liang, Studies on Chemical Constituents from the Flower of Tylophora atrofolliculata Metc. China J of Chinese Materia Medica. 295:1108-1109, 2004
  47. Zuoping Li, Song Gao, Cunshu Hao, Guimin Fan, Studies on Chemical Constituents from the Flower of Albizzia jul ibrissin Durazz,China J of Chinese Materia Medica, 2000; 25:103-104.



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