Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Tao Yang, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor 



Microbiota and Drug Metabolism in Hypertension Research Laboratory



  • Ph.D. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Master of Life Sciences: Jilin University, Changchun, China
  • Bachelor of Life Sciences: Jilin University, Changchun, China

Research interest

Our general research interest is on the role of the gut bacteria in blood pressure regulation. The goal is to treat hypertension more effectively by targeting the gut bacteria.

Three main aspects are highlighted:

  1. Research into specific microbial species/groups in the regulation of blood pressure;
  2. Research into specific microbial species/groups in the regulation of antihypertensive medication efficacy; and
  3. Research into how host/microbiota-derived metabolites contribute to blood pressure regulation.

honors and awards

2014                University of Florida Outstanding International Student Award

2014                Trends in Molecular Medicine Top 10 Article. “Trends Mol Med. 2013 Dec;19(12):714-25.”

2015                American Heart Association New Investigator Award

2015                American Heart Association Best of Specialty

2016                American Physiological Society Data Sciences International Travel Award

2016                University of Florida Charles F. Simpson Memorial Scholarship

2018                American Physiological Society Experimental Biology Meeting Travel Award

2018                ISH Meeting Travel Award

2018                University of Florida Mcknight Brain Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship

2019                APS Physiological -Omics group Trainee Research Recognition Award

2019                AHA New Investigator Award

2019                AHA Best of Specialty

2020                Acta Physiologica Top Cited Article “Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2019 Jun;226(2):e13256. ”

2020                Acta Physiologica Top Cited Article “Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2019 Sep;227(1):e13285.”

2020                APS Journal Star Reviewer

2021                APS Research Recognition Award, Cardiovascular Section (corresponding author)

2021                ASPET Experimental Biology Meeting Travel Award (corresponding author)

2021                AHA Stephanie Watts Career Development Award Finalist

2022                ASPET Experimental Biology Blue Ribbon Pick

2022                APSselect Article Award. “Physiol Genomics. 2022 May 1;54(5):177-185.”

2023                APS Physiological -Omics group New Investigator Award

Media Reports


  1. Tiny gut organisms may influence food cravings and what our bodies do with fat. The Washington Post.
  2. How your gut affects your health, from heart disease, to your mind, to weight loss efforts. Medical Daily
  3. A universe of organisms living in your gut. EarthSky
  4. Your gut could help you lose weight, fight depression and lower blood pressure.
  5. Your gut may help you lose weight, fight depression and lower blood pressure. Observer; Business Standard.
  6. Don’t hate your gut-it may help you lose weight, fight depression and lower blood pressure. MedicalXpress; My San Antonio; Billings Gazette; Houston Chronicle; San Francisco Chronicle; Salon; Alternet; SFGate; Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Northwest Indiana Time; The Conversation.
  7. How to lose weight, fight depression and lower blood pressure, all at the same time. International Business Times.


  1. The role of gut bacteria in blood pressure. Medical News Today.


  1. Gut bacteria may contribute to blood pressure medicine resistance. EurekAlert!; CathLabDigest; MedicalXpress.
  2. Gut bacteria may be an important factor in blood pressure medicine resistance. SciTechDaily.
  3. Resistant high blood pressure: Gut bacteria may be to blame. Medical News Today.
  4. Gut bacteria may explain why hypertension drugs don’t work for everyone with high blood pressure. PhillyVoice.
  5. Intestinal flora can cause resistance to drugs.
  6. Intestinal bacteria can contribute to resistance to blood pressure medications. WORLDFACE.
  7. High blood pressure: Gut bacteria may contribute to drug resistance.
  8. Gut bacterium may be an important factor in resistance to antihypertensive medications. News Medical Life Sciences.
  9. Gut bacteria may contribute to blood pressure drug resistance. Drug Target Review.
  10. Your gut health might be making it harder to keep your blood pressure in check. Eating Well.
  11. Med-munching gut bacteria. Spirituality&Health.
  12. Gut microbiome linked to resistant hypertension.
  13. Gut bacteria may interfere with the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
  14. Gut bacteria may inactivate certain blood pressure medicines leading to resistant hypertension. Medical Dialogues.
  15. Blood pressure medications may become less effective due to microbiome. ThePrint. Medically Speaking. Lastly. GutHealth.
  16. Can your gut microbiome interfere with your blood pressure medication?
  17. 肠道细菌可能会导致血压药物抵抗.
  18. 吃药为啥有时没用?肠道细菌会降低药物作. 生物通(
  19. Study finds gut bacteria can make blood pressure medication less effective. The University of Toledo.


  1. Understanding Bacteria. The University of Toledo.
  2. Understanding Bacteria. How our gut health impacts wellness. Toledo Blade.

Journal editorial service

01/2020-now              Hypertension                                               Editorial board member

01/2020-06/2021       Physiological Genomics                         Editorial board member

09/2021-now               Physiological Genomics                         Editorial board member

03/2022-now               Antioxidants                                                Topical advisory panel member

08/2022-now               Frontiers in Physiology/Nutrition       Associate editor

Grant review service

2020                            Czech Science Foundation, Czech

2021, 2022                AHA Virology and Diseases 2 Committee (Microbiology), US

2022, 2023                The Fund for Scientific Research-FNRS, Belgium

2022                            NIH Early Career Reviewer, US

ad Hoc reviewers

  • Nature Review Nephrology | Circulation | Journal of the American Heart Association | American Journal of Hypertension | Journal of Clinical Hypertension | PLoS One | JCI Insight | Pharmacological Research | Scientific Reports | Nutrients | Microbiology | Genome Biology | Gut | Gut Microbes | Science of the Total Environment |
  • Frontiers in Physiology | Frontiers in Pharmacology | Frontiers in Microbiology |
  • Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology | Frontiers in Oncology |
  • Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine |
  • American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology |
  • American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology |
  • American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology |
  • American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology | American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology


Last Updated: 4/13/23