John Kao

Vilas Distinguished Professor

Room: room 3140
ECB
1550 Engienering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Ph: +16082632998
Wjkao@wisc.edu

Primary Affiliation:
Biomedical Engineering

Additional Affiliations:
School of Pharmacy, Surgery


Education

Biomedical Engineering, JHU, BS

Biomedical Engineering, Case Western, MS

Macromolecular Sciences and Engineering, Case Western, PhD

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech, postdoc

Material Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich, postdoc

Education

Biomedical Engineering, JHU, BS

Biomedical Engineering, Case Western, MS

Macromolecular Sciences and Engineering, Case Western, PhD

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech, postdoc

Material Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich, postdoc

Research Interests

Dr. Kao’s overall research goal focuses on elucidating the dynamic interaction amongst the host, biomimetic biomaterial constructs, and therapeutic entities in the promotion of host response and healing. Project highlights include:

  • Discovery to development leading to a first-in-human clinical study of in situ photopolymerized semi-interpenetrating network for dermal wounds.
  • Better understand the underlying biology and the mechanisms of the wound healing event from inflammation to granulation and end stage healing as mediated by biofunctionalized materials.
  • Study the role mesenchymal stem cells in wound healing and the 3-way regulation thereof amongst the cell-encapsulating biomaterials, therapeutic cells, and the host response.
  • Elucidate specific material-mediated function of monocytes, keratinocytes, fibroblasts and the paracrine relationship thereof.
  • Develop in situ polymerized multifunctional materials via “click chemistry” for wound healing, drug delivery, and cell transplantation.
  • Study stroma-cancer axis using microfluidic ECM-mimics for drug screening and underlying pathology.
  • Developing novel biomarkers and microscopy methods to analyze pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and correlate ECM remodeling with disease progression and outcome.

Publications

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Search&term=kao%20wj

Links

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Pharmacy, Surgery, and Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Dean of International Studies
  • Assistant Executive Director of UW NIH-CTSA (ICTR)
  • Executive Director of UW Shanghai Innovation Office

Personal Statement

Dr Kao’s overall research focuses on the role of biomaterials in the management of various pathological conditions including cancer and wound healing. He has been noted nationally and internationally as a pioneer in using biomimetic biomaterials to probe the specific biological mechanisms at protein, cellular, tissue, and organism levels that impact host biocompatibility. Dr Kao has the background in the design and characterization of biofunctionalized technologies to complement the dynamic host response and wound healing. Moreover, his extensive involvement with industry, regulatory, and public policy-making agencies has enabled him to build a record in successfully translating enabling technologies to pre-clinical and clinical applications, an important perspective that has given him necessary tools and experiences to decipher this most complex process. As a PI or co-PI, he has received funding from NIH, NSF, and other university-, federally-, and privately-funded grants. The biomaterial technology developed in his laboratory is currently in a Phase I clinical trial.

 

Prof. Kao produced more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in top journals (average 32 citations per paper), more than 160 abstracts, and multiple book chapters and patents within the last 15 years. He has received numerous national and international recognitions including the Vilas Associate at UW-Madison, elected Fellow and Secretary of Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering where fellows are only inducted every four years, and elected Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. By working with various advocacy groups, Dr Kao has championed increased appropriation and the passage of critical legislations to support research enterprise and entrepreneurial activities. Prof. Kao has mentored more than 60 graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral research associates, visiting scholars, clinicians and clinician scientists in his laboratory who have gone on to success in a diverse range of career paths including clinical practice, industry, academia including faculty positions, regulatory agencies, and technology transfer offices. Some continued to pursue a second advanced degree (including JD and MD) beyond completing their graduate training with Dr. Kao.  This reflects the unique interdisciplinary and high-scope educational training that Prof Kao emphasizes.

 

Dr Kao has built a consistent track record of success in the development of bioengineering to impact clinical medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, and emergent technologies. Noted for this expertise, he joined ICTR to lead its new therapeutic development program in responding to the new NIH mandate and the changing landscape of private-public partnership in translational research. In this role, Dr Kao has built a collaborative relationship between ICTR, various international pharmaceutical companies, other CTSI centers, and internal UW-Madison units to jointly develop new therapeutic technologies and to repurpose existing drug products. He recognizes that therapeutics discovery to development is a risky and expansive proposition even for one comprehensive organization. Dr Kao firmly believes in risk sharing by working together to poll resources and expertise to increase the likelihood of success for all parties.

 

In summary, Dr. Kao has demonstrated a consistent track record of success and productivity in the growth area of biomaterials as it applies to clinical medicine, emergent technologies, and fundamental biology.

Courses

Summer 2014

  • PHMSCI 430 - Biological Interactions with Materials

  • BME 990 - Research and Thesis
  • BME 890 - Pre-dissertation Research
  • BME 790 - Master\'s Research and Thesis
  • BME 699 - Advanced Independent Study
  • BME 399 - Independent Study
  • BME 430 - Biological Interactions with Materials
  • BME 389 - Honors in Research
  • BME 990 - Research and Thesis
  • BME 890 - Pre-dissertation Research
  • BME 790 - Master\'s Research and Thesis
  • BME 699 - Advanced Independent Study
  • BME 399 - Independent Study
  • BME 489 - Honors in Research
  • BME 389 - Honors in Research
  • BME 990 - Research and Thesis
  • BME 890 - Pre-dissertation Research
  • BME 790 - Master\'s Research and Thesis
  • BME 399 - Independent Study
  • BME 489 - Honors in Research
  • Secondary Contact

    room 7123
    Rennebohm Hall
    777 Highland Ave
    Madison, WI 53705

    Alt Email: wjkao@wisc.edu


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