Weiguo Andy Tao

Associate Professor (MCMP Courtesy Appointment)
Specialization: Proteomics and biological mass spectrometry


Ph.D. 2001, Purdue University (R. Graham Cooks)
Postdoctoral Fellow 2002-2004, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle


The mission of our research group is to bridge technology with biomedical discovery. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics is the kind of research that is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together biology, chemistry, instrumentation, statistics, and bioinformatics. Proteomics thus holds significant promise for the discovery of diagnostic or prognostic protein markers, for the detection of new therapeutic targets and as a powerful tool to further our understanding of basic biological processes and mechanisms. The realization of these expectations relies on the development of novel chemistry and instrumentation.

Our group focuses on the development of novel strategies and reagents to efficiently target and discover proteins of important biological relevance as potential biomarkers. Such proteins of interest are typically low in abundance, dynamically expressed, and post-translationally modified. The subject, called targeted proteomics, therefore involves the integration of a number of technologies including the selective targeting of proteins with activities of interest, multi-step sample preparation, and mass spectrometry. Examining changes in these proteins within cells under different physiological conditions will offer insights into understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms that cannot currently be obtained through traditional biological studies that usually focus on the detailed analysis of individual biomolecules.

Current projects in my group are:

  1. Functional proteomics in vitro and in living cells using soluble nanopolymers
  2. Biomarker discovery using Ossabaw swine as the animal model for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease
  3. Profiling of protease substrates in apoptotic cells
  4. Molecular signaling in cancer cells: phosphoproteomics

Honors and Credentials

2011-2016 Purdue University Faculty Scholar

2007-2012 NSF CAREER Award

2007 Seed for Success Award, Purdue University

2006 American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Research Award

2002-2004 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship


1. R01GM088317 (PI: Tao WA) 09/01/10-08/31/15, NIH/NIGMS, New Proteomic Technologies for the Analysis of Tyrosine Kinase Signaling Pathways

2. R21 RR025802 (PI: Tao WA) 03/01/09-02/28/12, NIH/NCRR, Proteomic studies of dendrimer-based nanomedicines

3. CHE-0645020 (PI: Tao WA) 7/01/07-6/30/12, NSF Career development award, Soluble Nanopolymers for Targeted Proteomics in vitro and inLiving Cells

4. R01 CA115465-03 (PI: Geahlen R) 12/0106-11/30/11, NIH/NCI, Syk and Associated Proteins in Breast Cancer

6. R21RR031246 (PI: Ouyang Z) 08/09/10-05/31/13, NIH/NCRR, Paper Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Device for Direct Analysis of Biofluids

7. NIFA (PI: Xu JR) 01/15/10-01/14/13, USDA, The interactome of pathogenicity factors in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

Representative Publications

Hu L, Iliuk A, Galan J, Hans M, Tao WA (2011). Identification of Drug Targets in vitro and in Living Cells by Soluble Nanopolymer-based Proteomics. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50(18): 4133-36.

Iliuk AB, Hu L, Tao WA (2011). Aptamer in bioanalytical applications. Anal Chem. 83(12): 4440-52.

Iliuk A, Martinez J, Hall MC, Tao WA (2011). Phosphorylation assay based on functionalized soluble nanopolymer. Anal. Chem. 83(7): 2767-74.

Galan J, Paris L, Zhang H, Min J, Adler J, Geahlen RL and Tao WA (2011). Identification of Syk-interacting proteins using a novel amines-specific isotopic tag and GFP nanotrap. J. Am. Soc Mass Spec. 22(2): 319-28.

Iliuk AB, Martin VA, Alicie BM, Geahlen RL and Tao WA (2010). In-depth analyses of kinase-dependent tyrosine phosphoproteomes based on metal ion functionalized soluble nanopolymers. Mol Cell Proteomics. 9: 2162-2172.

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