Tao Lab

Graduate Student Mentor
COBRE Project Leader

Primary Research Focus

The Tao Lab focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms underlying pathophysiological osteoblast function to effectively treat skeletal diseases like inborn osteosclerosis and osteosarcoma as well as to guide therapies like bone regeneration.

Skeletal NOTCH proteins regulate embryogenesis and play a critical role in osteoblast function and in skeletal development and homeostasis. Pathological notch signaling has emerged as a critical disease-mechanism for skeletal diseases.

The lab’s main goal is to dissect molecular mechanisms underlying NOTCH-related skeletal diseases, particularly within the setting of pathological osteoblast functions.

Dr. Tao’s research may provide novel mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of skeletal diseases, explore regulatory and biochemical mechanisms in molecular detail in vivo, and open new opportunities for effective treatments of the diseases.

About the Tao Lab

Lab Projects and News

Meet the Tao Team

Tao Lab Alumni

2019


  • Fang Fang, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow in Tao Lab from 2015-2019. Current: Human Genome Scientist at Fulgent Genetics LLC
  • Dakota Callahan – 2019 BRIN Scholar summer student from the University of Sioux Falls 
  • Josephine Conn – 2019 SPUR Scholar summer student from the Carleton College
  • Mykayla Palmer – 2019 Medical Student Research Program (MSRP) Scholar summer student from the medical school of the University of South Dakota
  • Anthony Restaino – 2019 Child Health Innovative Research program (CHIRP) Scholar summer student from the medical school of the University of South Dakota
  • Austyn Smithback – 2019 Sanford PROMISE Scholar summer student from the Harrisburg High School

2018


  • Mykayla Palmer – 2018 SPUR Scholar summer student from the University of South Dakota
  • Collin Sorensen – 2018 BRIN Scholar summer student from the Mount Marty College

2017


  • Eric Fogarty – 2017 PhD Rotation Graduate Student from basic biological sciences program at University of South Dakota
  • Ralph Helmuth – 2017 BRIN Scholar summer student from the Dakota Wesleyan University, and 2017-2018 SPUR Scholar student part-time intern
  • Kirby Rickel – Research Associate in Tao lab from 2015-2017. Current: Ph.D. Graduate student at University of South Dakota
  • Baylee Slevira – 2017 SPUR Scholar summer student from the Beloit College. 

2016


  • Paige Bosshardt – 2016 Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Scholar summer student from the University of Northwestern St. Paul
  • Kaitlyn Dorn – 2016 BRIN Scholar summer student from the Augustana University
  • Eric Fogarty – 2016 PhD Rotation Graduate Student from basic biological sciences program at University of South Dakota
  • Shimara Gunawardana – 2016 PhD rotation student from biochemistry program at the South Dakota State University.