Nan Hao

Dr Nan Hao

Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


My research interest lies in the broad fields of Synthetic Biology with the aim to combine biochemical studies with mathematical modeling to better understand the “design” features of the genome. This knowledge will inform the design of next generation synthetic platforms for biotechnology and bioremediation.

I am a Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow based in the School of Biological Sciences. My research aims to advance fundamental knowledge and addresses widespread but poorly understood processes in gene transcription such as transcriptional interference, transcriptional roadblocking, feedback control and DNA looping, all of which are likely to be highly significant for regulation of gene expression. In addition, one important aspect of my research is to apply mathematical thinking to understand the ‘design’ features of the genome.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow (Level B) University of Adelaide and CSIRO joint appointment
    2017 - 2017 ARC DECRA Fellow (Level B) University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2015 - 2016 ARC DECRA Fellow (Level A) University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2012 - 2014 Postdoc Research Fellow (Level A) University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2007 - 2008 Research Assistant University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2006 - 2007 Research Assistant University of Adelaide, Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Achievement Finalist ASBMB Adelaide Protein Group (APG) ECR Award
    2017 Invitation Invited Seminar Presentation Epigenetics Consortium of South Australia and Adelaide RNA Special Interest Group Seminar Australia
    2017 Invitation Invited Pitch US Department of Defence Representative Australia
    2016 Award Best presentation/poster in the ECR category OCE Cutting Edge Conference in Synthetic Biology Australia A$ 200
    2015 Invitation Invited Speaker School of Biological Sciences Inaugural Research Day
    2015 Fellowship ASBMB travel fellowship ASBMB Australia A$ 3000
    2012 Award Poster Award ASBMB ComBio conference Australia A$ 200
    2012 Research Award Postgraduate Academic Achievement Award The University of Adelaide Australia A$ 500
    2012 Award Writing up Award The University of Adelaide Australia A$ 3000
    2011 Award Chinese government award for outstanding self-financed students abroad China Scholarship Council China US$ 6000
    2011 Award Poster prize ASBMB Adelaide Protein Group Australia A$ 200
    2010 Achievement Finalist ASBMB Adelaide Protein Group Student Event Australia
    2008 Scholarship Adelaide Graduate Fee Scholarship - PhD scholarship The University of Adelaide
    2007 Award The Brian & Heather Forster Prize in Biochemistry - Top Honours The University of Adelaide Australia
    2005 Scholarship Summer Vacation Scholarship The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Chinese (Mandarin) Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2008 - 2012 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Biochemistry
    2007 - 2007 The University of Adelaide Australia B. Sc. (Honours, First class)
    2004 - 2006 The University of Adelaide Australia B. Sc. (Biomedical Science)
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2015 - 2015 2nd International Summer School on Synthetic and Systems Biology University of Catania Italy
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Hao, N., Sullivan, A. E., Shearwin, K. E., & Dodd, I. B. (2021). The loopometer: a quantitative in vivo assay for DNA-looping proteins. Nucleic Acids Research, 49(7), 1-16.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2021 Hao, N., Chen, Q., Dodd, I. B., & Shearwin, K. E. (2021). The pIT5 Plasmid Series, an Improved Toolkit for Repeated Genome Integration in E. coli. ACS Synthetic Biology, 10(7), 1633-1639.
    DOI
    2019 Hoffmann, S. A., Hao, N., Shearwin, K. E., & Arndt, K. M. (2019). Characterizing transcriptional interference between converging genes in bacteria. ACS Synthetic Biology, 8(3), 466-473.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC3
    2019 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2019). Positive and negative control of enhancer-promoter interactions by other DNA loops generates specificity and tunability. Cell Reports, 26(9), 19 pages.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS13 Europe PMC9
    2019 Hao, N., Crooks, M. T., Palmer, A. C., Dodd, I. B., & Shearwin, K. E. (2019). RNA polymerase pausing at a protein roadblock can enhance transcriptional interference by promoter occlusion. FEBS Letters, 593(9), 903-917.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2017 Hao, N., Palmer, A. C., Dodd, I. B., & Shearwin, K. E. (2017). Directing traffic on DNA - How transcription factors relieve or induce transcriptional interference. Transcription, 8(2), 120-125.
    DOI Scopus13 Europe PMC11
    2017 Hao, N., Sneppen, K., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2017). Efficient chromosomal-scale DNA looping in Escherichia coli using multiple DNA-looping elements. Nucleic Acids Research, 45(9), 5074-5085.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS5 Europe PMC3
    2017 Hao, N., & Shearwin, K. (2017). Hidden secrets of sigma54 promoters revealed. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 42(12), 931-932.
    DOI
    2017 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2017). Programmable DNA looping using engineered bivalent dCas9 complexes. Nature Communications, 8(1), 1-12.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS35 Europe PMC22
    2016 Silginer, M., Burghardt, I., Gramatzki, D., Bunse, L., Leske, H., Rushing, E., . . . Roth, P. (2016). The aryl hydrocarbon receptor links integrin signaling to the TGF-β pathway. Oncogene, 35(25), 3260-3271.
    DOI Scopus38 WoS33 Europe PMC24
    2016 Hao, N., Palmer, A., Ahlgren-Berg, A., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2016). The role of repressor kinetics in relief of transcriptional interference between convergent promoters. Nucleic Acids Research, 44(14), 6625-6638.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS13 Europe PMC9
    2014 Hao, N., Krishna, S., Ahlgren-Berg, A., Cutts, E., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2014). Road rules for traffic on DNA - systematic analysis of transcriptional roadblocking in vivo. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(14), 8861-8872.
    DOI Scopus26 WoS24 Europe PMC14
    2013 Hao, N., & Whitelaw, M. (2013). The emerging roles of AhR in physiology and immunity. Biochemical Pharmacology, 86(5), 561-570.
    DOI Scopus121 WoS116 Europe PMC81
    2013 Hao, N., Bhakti, V., Peet, D., & Whitelaw, M. (2013). Reciprocal regulation of the basic helix-loop-helix/Per-Arnt-Sim partner proteins, Arnt and Arnt2, during neuronal differentiation. Nucleic Acids Research, 41(11), 5626-5638.
    DOI Scopus17 WoS18 Europe PMC17
    2012 Hao, N., Lee, K., Furness, S., Bosdotter, C., Poellinger, L., & Whitelaw, M. (2012). Xenobiotics and loss of cell adhesion drive distinct transcriptional outcomes by aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling. Molecular Pharmacology, 82(6), 1082-1093.
    DOI Scopus20 WoS20 Europe PMC15
    2011 Hao, N., Whitelaw, M. L., Shearwin, K. E., Dodd, I. B., & Chapman-Smith, A. (2011). Identification of residues in the N-terminal PAS domains important for dimerization of Arnt and AhR. Nucleic Acids Research, 39(9), 3695-3709.
    DOI Scopus27 WoS26 Europe PMC26
    2010 Whelan, F., Hao, N., Furness, S., Whitelaw, M., & Chapman-Smith, A. (2010). Amino acid substitutions in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand binding domain reveal YH439 as an atypical AhR activator. Molecular Pharmacology, 77(6), 1037-1046.
    DOI Scopus18 WoS15 Europe PMC15
    Hao, N., Agnew, D., Krishna, S., Dodd, I. B., & Shearwin, K. E. (n.d.). Analysis of Infection Time Courses Shows CII Levels Determine the Frequency of Lysogeny in Phage 186. Pharmaceuticals, 14(10), 998.
    DOI
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2017 Hao, N., Priest, D., Dodd, I., & Shearwin, K. (2017). Programmable DNA looping in vivo. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australia-China Symposium on Synthetic Biology. Brisbane.
    2017 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2017). Understanding and Manipulating Chromosomal-Scale DNA Looping in Escherichia coli. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2017 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) : Proceedings. Vancouver, Canada.
    2017 Hao, N. (2017). Programmable DNA looping using engineered bivalent dCas9 complexes. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASBMB ComBio conference. Adelaide.
    2017 Hao, N. (2017). Programmable DNA looping using engineered bivalent dCas9 complexes. Poster session presented at the meeting of Synthetic Biology Australasia Conference. Sydney.
    2016 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2016). Road Rules for Traffic on DNA: Gene Regulation by Encounters between Transcribing RNA Polymerases and DNA-bound Proteins. Poster session presented at the meeting of Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED). Chicago, USA.
    2016 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2016). Understand DNA looping in vivo - a synthetic biology approach. Poster session presented at the meeting of OCE Cutting Edge Conference in Synthetic Biology. Canberra.
    2015 Hao, N., Krishna, S., Shearwin, K., & Dodd, I. (2015). Road Rules for Traffic on DNA: Gene Regulation by Encounters between Transcribing RNA Polymerases and DNA-bound Proteins. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2nd International Synthetic & Systems Biology Summer School. Taormina - Sicily, Italy.
    2015 Hao, N. (2015). Understanding and manipulating long-range DNA looping in vivo. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASBMB ComBio conference. Melbourne.
    2014 Hao, N. (2014). Road Rules for Traffic on DNA: Gene Regulation by Encounters between Transcribing RNA Polymerases and DNA-bound Proteins. Poster session presented at the meeting of The 13th Asian Conference on Transcription. Melbourne.
    2012 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., Dodd, I., Whitelaw, M., & Chapman-Smith, A. (2012). Reverse Bacterial Two Hybrid: A New Tool for Studying Dimeric Protein Interactions. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASBMB ComBio conference. Adelaide.
    2009 Hao, N., Shearwin., Dodd, I., Whitelaw, M., & Chapman-Smith, A. (2009). Reverse Bacterial two Hybrid (RevB2H) method for studying protein-protein interactions. Poster session presented at the meeting of Network in Genes and Environment in Development (NGED) Forum. Palm Cove, Queensland.
    2009 Hao, N., Shearwin, K., Dodd, I., Whitelaw, M., & Chapman-smith, A. (2009). A novel Reverse Bacterial two Hybrid (RevB2H) method for studying protein-protein interactions and screening for potential therapeutics. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) SA Scientific Meeting. Adelaide.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2012 Hao, N. (2012). Regulation of Eukaryotic Transcription by bHLH/PAS Transcription Factors AhR and Arnt. (PhD Thesis, The University of Adelaide).
    2007 Hao, N. (2007). Searching for HIF-1α/Arnt PAS Domain Interacting Proteins. (The University of Adelaide).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2015 Hao, N. (2015). Science Under the Volcano - Australian Biochemist Magazine. Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc..
Current Funding

2017-2021             Dr. Nan Hao, Developing orthogonal Cas/anti-Cas pairs as building blocks for genetic circuit design. CSIRO Future Science Fellowship in Synthetic Biology, $505,000

 

Previous Funding

2018-2019             Dr. Nan Hao, A/Prof. Keith Shearwin, Dr. Carol Hartley, Dr. Lawrence Lee and Dr. Colin Scott, Nanomachine v2.0. CSIRO SynBio FSP Pitch Award, $10,000

2016-2018             Dr. Ian Dodd, A/Prof. Keith Shearwin, Prof. Kim Sneppen, and Dr. Nan Hao, Understanding and manipulating long-range DNA looping in gene regulation. NHMRC project grant (APP1100651), $351,025   

2015-2017             Dr. Nan Hao, Traffic on DNA: interplay between RNA polymerases and DNA-bound proteins. ARC DECRA fellowship (DE150100091), $366,000

Undergraduate Teaching

Human Perspectives (SGDE)

Honours in Biochemistry (research grant proposal and thesis assessment)

Laboratory placement supervision

2017: Grace Tulysewski

2016: Emi Schutz, Daniel Reed

2015: Alejandra Isabel

2014: Trang Pham, Jade Foeng, Andrew J. Hayes, Queenie Tangseefa, Dominique Jackson

2013: Jia Quyen Truong‎, Byron Shue

2012: Duncan McKenzie

2011: Benjamin Lee (exchange student from Singapore)

2010: Lauren A. Watkins

Undergraduate practical demonstrating

2010 semester 2          Level II MBS Practical series B

2010 semester 1          Level III Biochemistry course

2010 semester 1          Level II MBS Practical series A

2010 semester 1          Level II MBS Practical series C

2009 semester 2          Level II MBS Practical series B

2009 semester 1          Level III Biochemistry course

2009 semester 1          Level II MBS Practical series A

2008 semester 2          Level II MBS Practical series B

2008 semester 1          Level III Biochemistry course

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Bacteriophage based applications in synthetic biology Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Lawrence Daniel Beltrame
    2018 Co-Supervisor Phage based antibacterial proteins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hannah Rose Bonham
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Investigating catalytically inactive Cas proteins as transcriptional roadblocks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Alana Jane Donnelly
  • Position: Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow
  • Phone: 83135362
  • Email: nan.hao@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 2
  • Room: 2 41
  • Org Unit: Molecular and Biomedical Science

Connect With Me
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