Shijie (SJ) Cao

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics at University of Washington

Postdoc, Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Washington

B.S.Pharm., Pharmacy, Fudan University

Pronouns: he/him/his

Contact:; Box #357610 

Office: Health Science Building, Room H272F 

Brad Cleveland

Lab Manager & Research Scientist


Brad has been involved in academic research for approximately 20 years and brings with him broad scientific knowledge and work experience in virology, immunology, vaccinology, and molecular biology.  After graduating from the University of Washington in 2001 with a degree in biochemistry (B.Sc.), he joined the lab of Dr. Shiu-Lok Hu at the University of Washington.  In Dr. Hu’s lab, he worked on developing an effective HIV-1 vaccine and better non-human primate models for AIDS.  Traveling, exploring the outdoors, and experiencing and learning about other world cultures are leisure-time activities which Brad enjoys.  


Lindsey Williams

Ph.D. Student, PSTP fellow, mim_c trainee, Department of Pharmaceutics


Lindsey is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Pharmaceutics. She graduated from UW in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, then moved on to a postbac at the Seattle VA Medical Center. There, she employed a human iPSC-derived blood-brain barrier (BBB) model to study mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease-related BBB dysfunction. Her experience cultivated strong interests in neuroimmune interactions and developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat neurological diseases. Currently, her project focuses on 1) developing a nanoplatform for the controlled delivery of immunoregulatory gut microbiome-derived metabolites, and 2) exploring the therapeutic potential of this platform in the context of multiple sclerosis.


Catherine Wright

Ph.D. Student (in rotation), Department of Pharmaceutics


Catherine is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Pharmaceutics. She graduated from Indiana University in 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry. At IU, she researched under Dr. Ken Mackie investigating the effects of adolescent THC use on microglia and synaptic pruning. Catherine began her research journey at Purdue University through a high school program, growing her interest in various aspects of biomedical science and drug development. She is excited to continue her journey in the Pharmaceutics Ph.D. program at UW.  


Charlie Leng

Undergraduate researcher, Biochemistry


Charlie is a senior undergraduate student at UW majoring in biochemistry. Passionate about many areas of STEM, he enjoys studying mathematics and learning Japanese in his spare time. He looks forward to broadening his horizons in biochemistry and learning from the experience of the other members of the Cao Lab.


Sudheshna Thirunahari

Undergraduate researcher, Biochemistry


Sudheshna is a junior at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in biochemistry with a minor in data science. She joined the Cao lab because she is interested in the topics of pathophysiology and immunotherapies and how they appear in the healthcare field. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine. Her hobbies include being a dance captain of UW Junoon, exploring the city with friends, and getting boba (specifically at Sunright Tea Studio) 


Lab Pets


Parent: Shijie

Favorite: massage, wet food

Hobbies: scratching


Parent: Shijie

Favorite: balls, bones

Hobbies: swimming


Parent: Shijie

Favorite: bones

Hobbies: teasing Panda


Parent: Lindsey

Favorite: socks, shoes

Hobbies: eating