George F. Gao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gao Fu
26 January 2020, at a press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Born (1961-11-15) 15 November 1961 (age 62)
Other namesGeorge F. Gao
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsVirology and immunology

Gao Fu (Chinese: 高福; pinyin: Gāo Fú; born 15 November 1961), also known as George Fu Gao, is a Chinese virologist and immunologist. He served as Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention from August 2017 to July 2022[1] and has been Dean of the Savaid Medical School of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences since 2015.

Early life and education[edit]

Gao was born in Ying County, Shuozhou, Shanxi province in 1961.[2] He entered Shanxi Agricultural University and was assigned to study veterinary medicine even though he did not want to be a veterinarian.[3]

After graduating in 1983, he entered the graduate school of Beijing Agricultural University, where he earned a master's degree in microbiology and veterinary epidemiology in 1986.[4] This enabled him to change his career direction to infectious disease research, and he joined the faculty of the university as a teaching assistant and later lecturer in virology.[3]

Education and career abroad[edit]

In 1991, Gao went to the United Kingdom to study at Oxford University, where he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1994 under the supervision of David H. L. Bishop and Ernest A. Gould.[4] After a three-month stint at the University of Calgary in Canada, he returned to Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher, working under John I. Bell, Andrew McMichael and Bent K. Jakobsen.[4]

In 1999, Gao moved to Harvard Medical School as a Wellcome Trust International Travelling Fellow and conducted research under Don Craig Wiley and Stephen C. Harrison until 2001. From 2001 to 2004, Gao taught at Oxford University, serving as a lecturer, doctoral supervisor, and group leader.[4]

Career in China[edit]

After 13 years abroad, Gao returned to China in 2004 to serve as Professor and Director of the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).[3] In 2008 he was appointed Vice President of Beijing Institutes of Life Science and Director of the National Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microorganism and Immunology of the CAS. He has also been an adjunct professor at Oxford since 2010.[4]

Gao was appointed Deputy Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2011. He was promoted to Director in August 2017, succeeding Wang Yu (王宇).[5][6]

In 2015, Gao was appointed Dean of the Savaid Medical School of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.[7] He also serves as Vice President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.[8]

In 2020, Gao contributed to research on SARS-CoV-2.[9]


Gao's main research focus is on the mechanism of viral entry and release, especially the cross-species transmission (host jump) of the influenza virus. He also studies viral ecology, including the ecology of the flu virus in migratory birds and poultry markets.[10] He was the first to describe the cross-species transmission mechanism of the H5N1 avian flu virus.[11]

Gao's research also involves public and global health policy. During the peak of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, he spent two months leading the China Mobile Test Laboratory in Sierra Leone from September to November, playing a role that is described by the US National Academy of Sciences as "heroic" in fighting the epidemic.[10]

As of 2019, Gao has published 20 books or book chapters and over 500 peer-reviewed research papers,[10] including those on newly discovered pathogenic viruses such as the SARS virus and the H7N9 avian flu virus.[11]

Other activities[edit]

Honours and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "最新!中国工程院院士沈洪兵任中国疾控中心主任,高福因年龄原因不再担任".
  2. ^ 全世界一起做科学,全世界共享技术,全世界共享人类文明的成果. China Science Communication. 29 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Watts, Geoff (28 July 2018). "George F Gao: head of China CDC signals a more global outlook". The Lancet. 392 (10144): 274. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31658-1. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 30064643. S2CID 51889455.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Gao Fu". University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Gao Fu". Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. ^ 国家卫生计生委党组任命高福同志为中国疾病预防控制中心主任. (in Chinese). 4 August 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Professor George Fu Gao". Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study, City University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Professor George F. Gao" (PDF). University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  9. ^ Wang, Chen; Horby, Peter W.; Hayden, Frederick G.; Gao, George F. (24 January 2020). "A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern". The Lancet. 395 (10223): 470–473. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30185-9. PMC 7135038. PMID 31986257.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "George F. Gao". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b Abe, Tesuya (15 May 2014). "Contagious enthusiasm". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  12. ^ Board of Directors Archived 5 October 2022 at the Wayback Machine Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).
  13. ^ "GISAID - Former Members SAC". Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Professor George F. Gao" (PDF). University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e "George F. Gao, DPhil (Oxon), MSc". ICREID. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  16. ^ 关于公布2013年中国科学院院士增选和外籍院士选举结果的公告. CAS (in Chinese). 19 December 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  17. ^ 高福研究员当选爱丁堡皇家学会(RSE)外籍院士. CAS (in Chinese). 20 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  18. ^ Zhang Yan (张艳), ed. (25 December 2017). 中国疾控中心主任高福院士当选非洲科学院院士. The Paper (in Chinese). Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Prof. George Fu Gao Elected as Foreign Associate of NAS". CAS. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  20. ^ He Liping 贺梨萍 (22 October 2019). 高福当选美国国家医学科学院外籍院士,同批中唯一中国科学家. The Paper (in Chinese). Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  21. ^ "George F. Gao". German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Retrieved 26 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Wang Yu (王宇)
Director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Succeeded by