Established in 1969 by the Section Executive Board, the award is given in recognition of meritorious contributions to the welfare and distinction of the section, as demonstrated by contributions to education, research, and section or community service. The ACS major award plaque will be presented to Gao at the Southwest Regional Meeting in October.
Gao is an expert in nucleic acid chemistry, biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance technology, structural biological chemistry, and combinatorial chemistry. Her research involves the interface of chemistry and biological sciences. Holding patents in biochip technologies, Gao is currently focusing on understanding the relationships of function and structure of complex genomes of humans and other species.
Past award recipients include UH professors Karl Kadish, Larry Kevan, Jay Kochi, Mamie Moy, B. Montgomery Pettitt, and Randolph Thummel.