She is currently a Professor with the Department of Electronic Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. Prior to that, she was a Member of Professional Staff at Hong Kong Applied Sci & Tech Research Institute during 2003-2004, and a Teaching Fellow then an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore from 2004 to 2007.

Her current research interests include caching and multicasting in content-centric wireless networks, resource allocation, interference management and coordination, MIMO techniques, and physical layer security. She has published over 150 IEEE journal and conference papers on these topics. Dr. Tao is the recipient of the IEEE Heinrich Hertz Award for Best Communications Letters in 2013, the IEEE/CIC ICCC Best Paper Award in 2015, and the International Conference on Wireless Communications and Signal Processing (WCSP) Best Paper Award in 2012. She also received the IEEE ComSoc Asia-Pacific Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 2009.

Dr. Tao currently serves as a member of the Executive Editorial Committee of the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications. She was on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications from 2007 to 2011, the IEEE Communications Letters from 2009 to 2012, and the IEEE Wireless Communications Letters from 2012 to 2015. She has served as the TPC co-chair of IEEE/CIC ICCC 2014 and Sympoosium Co-Chair of IEEE ICC 2015.