Dr. Zhaodi Gong received her medical training for 7-years (equivalent to MD/PhD program in the US) in China. After graduation, she worked as an ICU attending for 2 years before she came to the United States as a PhD student at Loyola University of Chicago because of her long interest in translational research.
Dr. Gong spent over five years working on the effect of alcohol on bone marrow stem cell differentiation for her PhD thesis. After completion of PhD research, she moved to Duke University Medical Center and started her postdoc research on vessel engineering using bone marrow stem cells under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Niklason, a world-known pioneer in tissue engineering. At the beginning of year 2006, Dr. Gong moved with Niklason lab to Yale University where she was promoted to research associate scientist.
During over ten years of productive research, Dr. Gong not only published influential original research papers on top journals but also was invited to review for tissue engineering journals and to present at international conferences. In year 2008, she won her first independent research grant from Stem Conn- a research grant funded by the state of Connecticut for original stem cell research.
Dr. Gong resumed her medical practice in the US in year 2008. She first started her residency in Medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport CT. A year later she became interested in Anesthesia and switched residency to anesthesia. During her residency at Yale, Dr. Gong became interested in chronic pain management, especially perioperative pain management of patients on suboxone. Working with Dr. Sam Chung, an experienced pain attending at Yale, Dr. Gong developed novel intraoperative double infusion with ketamine and propofol which not only successfully controlled intra- and postop pain but also significantly reduced intra- and postop opioid requirement in suboxone patients.
Eager to learn more about chronic pain management, Dr. Gong moved to California in 2014 and started her fellowship in Clinical Pain Medicine at Stanford Pain Management Center, one of the most prominent pain fellowship programs. Through the fellowship training, she not only mastered a variety of interventional pain procedures, but also learned in depth about multidisciplinary pain management approach emphasizing integration of multimodal medical management, mind and body, pain psychology and physical therapy.
During her fellowship training, Dr. Gong was also very excited at the novel application of stem cell therapy in pain management. Although the concept of stem cell therapy is still not widely accepted by the academic pain society, Dr. Gong has been a strong believer in regenerative medicine using stem cells. She attended PRP and Stem Cell Therapy Training Workshop hosted by Dr. Rosenthal and Apex Biologix in March 2015. Although she had to use her own vocation time and pay out of pocket to attend the workshop, she believed that one day this experience and her knowledge about the stem cells through over ten years of research will help some pain patients in a better and longer-lasting way.
Besides regenerative stem cell therapy, Dr. Gong also has special interest and passion in cancer pain. After fellowship training, Dr. Gong started her first job at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Zion, Illinois. She soon won wide respect from cancer patients as well as medical colleagues by helping cancer patients manage their cancer pain with medications as well as interventional palliative pain procedures, lidocaine and ketamine infusions.
In her spare time. Dr. Gong enjoys cooking, travel and other family fun with her parents, husband and three children.
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