Dr. Chinh Dao earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Microbiology from The University of Iowa in 1996. He earned his Doctorate in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University in 2002 where the focus of his thesis work was peptide binding by Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II molecules and peptide exchange catalyzed by Human Leukocyte Antigen DM. He completed his post-doctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute on both its La Jolla, California, campus and its sister institute in West Palm Beach, Florida.
While at Scripps La Jolla, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dong-Er Zhang, in the Division of Molecular and Experimental Medicine and the Department of Oncovirology. His post-doctoral work at Scripps La Jolla largely focused on studying cellular responses to type I interferons and more specifically on the interferon regulated gene ISG15. He transitioned into the Advanced Technologies and Drug Discovery programs at Scripps Florida as a research associate. His primary work in Florida helped to validate higher throughput technologies in analyzing interactions between large classes of transcription factors. More specifically, he examined the interactions between the potent transcriptional coactivator Mastermind-like (MAML) and whole families of other transcriptional regulators. He also participated in assay development that contributed to the drug discovery programs aimed at finding new therapeutics for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease and hypercholesterolemia.
His research has been supported by an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein post-doctoral award and his on-going work at Drake University has been supported by Iowa NASA Space Grant Consortium grants. His research program at Drake attempts to understand host reactions in host-microbe interactions by looking specifically at how interferons and other cytokines affect cellular functions. Dr. Dao is also interested in how microbial community analysis might be used as indicators to assess relative health of individuals as well as soil and water ecosystems. He was selected as a 2010 fellow for The University of Iowa's FUTURE in Biomedicine Program.