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Contact Information

P: 864-656-2328

Campus Location

132 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29634


Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Profile Photo

Min Cao

Biological Sciences

Associate Professor

Undergraduate Program Coordinator - Microbiology

Jordan Hall 116 [Office]

Educational Background

Ph.D., Microbiology, Cornell University
B.S., Biochemistry, East China University of Science and Technology

Profile/About Me

Min Cao earned her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at the East China University of Science and Technology. She then joined the Department of Microbiology at Cornell University where she studied Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function sigma factors with Dr. John D. Helmann and earned a Ph.D. in 2002. From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Cao worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Helene Marquis at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her post-doctoral research was on the genetics and pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes. Dr. Cao joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson as an Assistant Professor in 2006 and joined the Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging in 2008. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013.

Courses Taught

MICR 4150/6150 - Microbial Genetics
MICR 4510 & 4520 - Advanced Microbiology Lab II, III
BIOL/MICR 4910 - Undergraduate Research in Microbiology
BIOL/MICR 4930 - Senior Seminar
BIOL/MICR 4940 - Creative Inquiry course
BIOL 2000 - Biology in the News
MICR 8040 - MICR Core II
MICR 8070 - Current Topics in Microbiology
BIOL 8120 - Graduate Seminar

Selected Publications

Angeloni J, Dong Y, Wang Z, and Cao M. (2020) Bacterial second messenger 3',5'-cyclic diguanylate attracts Caenorhabditis elegans and suppresses its immunity. Commun Biol 3, 700 (2020).

Natarajan O, Angeloni JT, Bilodeau MF, Russi KE*, Dong Y, and Cao M. (2020) The immunomodulatory effects of royal jelly on defending against bacterial infections in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. Journal of Medicinal Food. ahead of print [* Clemson undergraduate student]

Pederson DB, Dong Y, Blue LB*, Smith SV*, Cao M. (2018) Water-soluble cranberry extract inhibits Vibrio cholerae biofilm formation possibly through modulating the second messenger 3', 5' - cyclic diguanylate level. PLoS ONE 13 (11): e0207056. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207056. [* Clemson undergraduate student]

Xiao R, Yang X, Li M, Li X, Wei Y, Cao M, Ragauskas A, Thies M, Ding J, Zheng Y. (2018) Investigation of composition, structure, and bioactivity of extracellular polymeric substances from original and stress-induced strains of Thraustochytrium striatum. Carbohydrate Polymers 195: 515-524. DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.04.126.

Wang X, Cao M, Dong Y. (2016) Royal Jelly Promotes DAF-16-mediated Proteostasis to Tolerate β-Amyloid Toxicity in C. elegans Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Oncotarget 7(34):54183-54193. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.10857.

Guo H, Cao M, Zou S, Ye B, Dong Y. (2015) Cranberry extract standardized for proanthocyanidins alleviates β-Amyloid peptide toxicity by improving proteostasis through HSF-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans model of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glv165. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Wang X, Cook L*, Grasso L*, Cao M, Dong Y. (2015) Royal jelly-mediated prolongevity in Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by the interplays of DAF-16, SIR-2.1, HCF-1, and 14-3-3 Proteins. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences 70(7):827-38. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glu120. Epub 2014 Jul 29. [* Clemson undergraduate student]

Dinh J#, Angeloni JT#, Pederson DB, Wang X, Cao M, Dong Y. (2014) Cranberry extract standardized for proanthocyanidins promotes the immune response of Caenorhabditis elegans to Vibrio cholerae through the p38 MAPK pathway and HSF-1. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103290. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103290. [# Equal contribution]

Guha S, Natarajan O, Murbach CG*, Dinh J, Wilson EC, Cao M, Zou S, Dong Y. (2014) Supplement timing of cranberry extract plays a key role in promoting Caenorhabditis elegans healthspan. Nutrients 6(2): 911-21. DOI: 10.3390/nu6020911. [* Clemson undergraduate student]

Wang D#, Cao M#, Dinh J, Dong Y. (2013) Methods for creating mutations in C. elegans that extend lifespan. Methods in Molecular Biology 1048: 65-75. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-62703-556-9_6. [# Equal contribution]

Guha S, Klees ML, Wang X, Li J, Dong Y, Cao M. (2013) Influence of planktonic and sessile Listeria monocytogenes on Caenorhabditis elegans. Archives of Microbiology 195(1): 19-26. DOI: 10.1007/s00203-012-0841-y. Epub 2012 Sep 9.

Guha S, Cao M, Kane RM*, Savino AM*, Zou S, Dong Y. (2013) The Longevity Effect of Cranberry Extract in Caenorhabditis elegans is Modulated by daf-16 and osr-1. Age 35(5): 1559-74. DOI: 10.1007/s11357-012-9459-x. Epub 2012 Aug 4. [* Clemson undergraduate student]

Zuo S, Guha S, Sun X, Cao M, Wang X, Dong Y. (2012) Nutraceutical interventions for promoting healthy aging in invertebrate models. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2012: 718491. DOI:10.1155/2012/718491. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Ouyang Y, Li J, Dong Y, Blakely L*, Cao M. (2012) Genome-wide screening of genes required for Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation. J Biotech Research 4: 13-25. [* Clemson undergraduate student]


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Contact Information

P: 864-656-2328

Campus Location

132 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29634


Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.