Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
Rui Gao, Ph.D.

Mind + Muscle

Rui Gao, Ph.D.

Student Associate


Dr. Rui Gao is a Student Associate in the firm’s Biotechnology group, where she assists in patent prosecution and analysis. Her technical areas of expertise include biochemistry and molecular biology, anti-cancer chemotherapy, pharmacogenetics, DNA damage and repair, and topoisomerase inhibitors.

Prior to joining Sterne Kessler, Dr. Gao was a Post-doc Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Her work focused on the DNA damage induced by topoisomerase inhibitors and the repair pathways involved in response to such lesions. Her research was selected by the Journal of Biological Chemistry for "Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award" in 2014. Dr. Gao is the first author of 7 research publications.

Dr. Gao has been an associate member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Woman in Cancer Research (WICR) since 2007. She is also a recipient of  NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (2012) and Outstanding Graduate Research Award (2010). 


  • Gao R, Schellenberg W, Huang SY, Abdelmalak M, Marchand C, Nittiss KC, Nittiss JL, Williams S and Pommier Y. Proteolytic Degradation of Topoisomerase II (Top2) Enables the Processing of Top2-DNA and -RNA Covalent Complexes by Tyrosyl-DNA-phosphodiesterase 2 (TDP2). J Biol Chem. 2014
  • Pommier Y, Huang SY, Gao R, Das BB, Murai J and Marchand C. Tyrosyl-DNA-phosphodiesterases (TDP1 and TDP2). DNA Repair. 2014
  • Marchand C, Huang SY, Dexheimer TS, Lea WA, Mott BT, Chergui A, Naumova A, Stephen AG, Rosenthal AS, Rai G, Murai J, Gao R, Maloney DJ, Jadhav A, Jorgensen WL, Simeonov A, PommierY. Biochemical Assays for the Discovery of TDP1 Inhibitors. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Jul 14
  • Gao R, Das B, Chatterjee R, Abaan O, Agama K, Matuo R, Vinson C, Meltzer P, Pommier Y. Epigenetic and genetic inactivation of tyrosyl-DNA- phosphodiesterase 1 (TDP1) in human lung cancer cells from the panel. DNA Repair. 2013
  • Gao R, Huang SY, Marchand C, Pommier Y. Biochemical characterization of human Tyrosyl DNA Phosphodiesterase 2 (TDP2/TTRAP): a Mg2+/Mn2+-dependent phosphodiesterase specific for the repair of topoisomerase cleavage complexes. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(36): 30842-52.
  • Ke Shi, Kayo Kurahashi, Gao R, Susan E Tsutakawa, John A Tainer, Yves Pommier, Hideki Aihara. Structural basis for TDP2 multifunctionality and recognition of 5'-phosphotyrosine adducts. Nature Structure & Molecular Biology. 2012 Oct 28.
  • Gao R, Reece KM, Sissung T, Fu SH, Venzon DJ, et al. Are race-specific ERCC1 haplotypes in melanoma cases versus controls related to the predictive and prognostic value of ERCC1 N118N? BMJ Open: 2013.
  • Gao R, Reece K, Price DK, Figg WD. The ERCC1 N118N polymorphism does not change cellular ERCC1 protein expression or platinum sensitivity. Mutat Res; 2011; 708(1-2): 21-27.
  • Gao R, Price DK, Dahut WL, Steinberg SM, Reed E, Figg WD. Genetic polymorphisms in XRCC1 associated with radiation therapy in prostate cancer. Cancer Biol Ther 2010; 10.
  • Gao R, Price DK, Sissung T, Reed E, Figg WD. Ethnic disparities in Americans of European descent versus Americans of African descent related to polymorphic ERCC1, ERCC2, XRCC1, and PARP1. Mol Cancer Ther 2008; 7:1246-50.
  • Clump DA, Yu JJ, Cho Y, Gao R, Jett J, Zot H, Cunnick JM, Snyder B, Clump AC, Dodrill M, Gannett P, Coad JE, Shurina R, Figg WD, Reed E, Flynn DC. A Polymorphic Variant of AFAP-110 Enhances cSrc Activity. Transl Oncol. 2010 Aug 1;3(4):276-85.
  • Xu M, Xing Q, Li S, Zheng Y, Wu S, Gao R, Yu L, Guo T, Yang Y, Liu J, Zhang A, Zhao X, He G, Zhou J, Wang L, Xuan J, Du J, Li X, Feng G, Lin Z, Xu Y, St Clair D, He L. Pharacogenetic effects of dopamine transporter gene polymorphisms on response to chlorpromazine and clozapine and on extrapyramidal syndrome in schizophrenia. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2010.
  • Xu M, Li S, Xing Q, Gao R, Feng G, Lin Z, St Clair D, He L. Genetic variants in the BDNF gene and therapeutic response to risperidone in schizophrenia patients: a pharmacogenetic study. Eur J Hum Genet 2010; 18:707-12.
  • Sissung TM, Baum CE, Kirkland CT, Gao R, Gardner ER, Figg WD. Pharmacogenetics of membrane transporters: an update on current approaches. Mol Biotechnol 2010; 44:152-67.
  • Sissung TM, Gardner ER, Gao R, Figg WD. Pharmacogenetics of membrane transporters: a review of current approaches. Methods Mol Biol 2008; 448:41-62.
  • Xing Q, Qian X, Li H, Wong S, Wu S, Feng G, Duan S, Xu M, Gao R, Qin W, Gao J, Meng J, He L. The relationship between the therapeutic response to risperidone and the dopamine D2 receptor polymorphism in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2007; 10:631-7.
  • Xing Q, Gao R, Li H, Feng G, Xu M, Duan S, Meng J, Zhang A, Qin S, He L. Polymorphisms of the ABCB1 gene are associated with the therapeutic response to risperidone in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Pharmacogenomics 2006; 7:987-93.
  • Wu SN*, Gao R*, Xing QH, Li HF, Shen YF, Gu NF, Feng GY, He L. Association of DRD2 polymorphisms and chlorpromazine-induced extrapyramidal syndrome in Chinese schizophrenic patients. Acta Pharmacol Sin 2006; 27:966-70.
  • Xing Q, Wang M, Chen X, Qian X, Qin W, Gao J, Wu S, Gao R, Feng G, He L. Identification of a novel ADAR mutation in a Chinese family with dyschromatosis symmetrica hereditaria (DSH). Arch Dermatol Res 2005; 297:139-42.
  • Xing Q, Chen X, Wang M, Bai W, Peng X, Gao R, Wu S, Qian X, Qin W, Gao J, Feng G, He L. A locus for familial generalized lentiginosis without systemic involvement maps to chromosome 4q21.1-q22.3. Hum Genet 2005; 117:154-9.
  • Wu S, Xing Q, Gao R, Li X, Gu N, Feng G, He L. Response to chlorpromazine treatment may be associated with polymorphisms of the DRD2 gene in Chinese schizophrenic patients. Neurosci Lett 2005; 376:1-4.
  • Duan S, Yin H, Chen W, Xing Q, Chen Q, Guo T, Gao J, Li X, Gao R, Liu Z, Gu N, Feng G, He L. No association between the serotonin 1B receptor gene and schizophrenia in a case-control and family-based association study. Neurosci Lett 2005; 376:93-7.
  • Duan S*, Gao R*, Xing Q, Du J, Liu Z, Chen Q, Wang H, Feng G, He L. A family-based association study of schizophrenia with polymorphisms at three candidate genes. Neurosci Lett 2005; 379:32-6.

* These authors contributed equally.

  • Admissions
      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

  • Education
    • J.D. Candidate (2020), American University Washington College of Law

    • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Maryland

    • M.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

    • B.S., Pharmacology, China Pharmaceutical University


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