Dr. Cao grew up in Fushun, Liaoning China, and later studied for his MPH and PhD at Tianjin Medical University, just outside of Beijing. His education is based in immunology, virology, and microbiology. Some of his earlier research interests were in studying HCV, HIV and their therapies. However, for the last 15 years, he has since used his immunological background to study the mechanisms and treatment applications related to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. He has become a leading researcher in the field of Alzheimer's treatments, as it relates to vaccinations and natural therapies.
University of South Florida, Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Tampa, FL, USA
Post Doc, Immunology
Post Doc, Molecular Biology
Tianjin Medical University
PhD, Medical Microbiology and Virology
Tianjin Medical Univesity
MPH, Biostatistics and Epidemiology
University of South Florida, Dept. of Pathology
Tampa, FL, USA
Post Doc, Cancer Biology
Therapeutic Use of THC/CBD
Our lab is one of a few studying potential benefits that extremely low doses of THC and CBD may have as it relates to Alzheimer's. Low doses of these molecules, too low to induce neuron damage, can inhibit amyloid beta peptide aggregation and enhance mitochondrial activity. We are studying the therapeutic benefit of these molecules in animal models of Alzheimer's.
We have examined the effects that different chemical compounds such as Caffeine and Melatonin have on the Alzheimer's disease progress. In animal studies with these molecules, we have seen that there are levels of cognitive improvement and decreased levels of amyloid beta peptide. Our current work relates to mechanisms of action of these compounds and how we can better deliver them to the sites of disease.
Our lab has been studying different methods, in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry, to deliver therapeutics in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. One field of interest is by using nanoparticle encapsulation to enhance delivery of compounds and better sensitization to peptides.
Dendritic Cell Vaccines
Dendritic cell (DC) therapy, also known as a dendritic cell vaccine, is a process that has been approved for the treatment of various cancers. The patient's dendritic cells are taken from the blood and cultured in the lab to identify a certain antigen or protein. They are then re-injected back into the patient. Our lab is the only lab working to sensitize DCs to different pathological peptides in both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in the hope of mounting a safe, yet effective, immune response.
From our data, long-term exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) treatment prevents cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's transgenic (Tg) mice and improves memory in normal mice. As a reference, EMF signals from cell phones are within the 450-2100 MHz range and our studies were carried out at 918 MHz. We are currently studying EMF as it relates to mitochondrial function.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
We have worked with HIV for some time now, and most recently we examined the blood of long-term non-progressor patients, and how they can hold off HIV advancement to AIDS without the use of drugs or other therapeutics.