Website: Cao Lab

Accepting Students to Lab: Yes


  • PhD in Bioengineering, University of Washington
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Fudan University

Research Interests

The Cao Lab at the University of Washington is a dynamic and interdisciplinary research group that focuses on two exciting and innovative research directions: mucosal immunoengineering and microbiome pharmaceutics. We aim to develop innovative and translatable tools that can prevent and treat a host of immunological disorders, including allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, as well as infectious diseases. Currently, our lab is deeply engaged in developing therapeutics that modulate the immune system by specifically targeting the microbiome and its associated metabolites. By leveraging advanced drug delivery tools and microbiome modulation strategies, we aspire to unravel the complex interplay between the microbiome and various organ systems. This will not only expand our scientific understanding but also harness the potential of the microbiome to forge new pathways in improving human health.


Dr. Cao received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Fudan University (Shanghai, China) in 2013, and completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 2018. Following his doctoral studies, he pursued postdoctoral training in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago from 2019-2023. In June 2023, Dr. Cao joined the Department of Pharmaceutics as an Assistant Professor.

Selected Publications