Ning Wang

Professor,  Bioengineering

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Research Focus

Cellular and molecular mechanomedicine, Cancer cell biology and mechanics, Embryonic stem cell biology and mechanics, Mechanical biotechnologies and their applications to cells, tissues, and organisms, Mechanotransduction: nuclear deformation and gene expression

Education

  • Sc.D., Physiology, Harvard University, 1990

Research Overview

Cellular and molecular mechanomedicine, Cancer cell biology and mechanics, Embryonic stem cell biology and mechanics, Mechanical biotechnologies and their applications to cells, tissues, and organisms, Mechanotransduction: nuclear deformation and gene expression


Professor Wang uses advanced research techniques to gain a fundamental understanding of cell mechanics, including cytoskeletal biomechanics and control of cell form and function; bio-imaging of cytoskeletal structures and stress distribution in living cells; mechanotransduction, nuclear deformation and gene expression; and mechanical biotechnologies and their applications to cells, tissues, and organisms.

He has developed a technology called intracellular stress tomography, which he uses to address fundamental questions about stress propogation and distribution in living cells. He has also developed three-dimensional magnetic twisting cytometry technology and used it to quantify mechanical anisotropy in living cells.

Professor Wang was the first researcher to provide direct evidence that transmembrane adhesion molecule integrins mediate the transmission of force across the cell surface to the cytoskeleton. This fundamental finding opened the field of cell mechanics to the study of combinating biochemistry and biomechanics at cellular and subcellular levels. Using a technique called magnetic twisting cytometry to deliver small forces to specific sites on the cell membrane, he also demonstrated that cytoskeleton tension plays a dominant role in dictating cell shear stiffness and thus cell shape stability. He also showed that these localized forces cause cytoplasmic and nuclear deformation in remote parts of the cell. Recent collaborative work with colleagues at Harvard and Boston universities resulted in a fundamental finding that cells can adjust their internal response to external forces depending on how fast or slow these forces are applied.

Selected Publications

  • Rashid F, Liu W, Wang Q, Ji B*, Irudayaraj, J*, Wang N*. Mechanomemory in protein diffusivity of chromatin and nucleoplasm after force cessation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Mar 28;120(13):e2221432120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2221432120. Epub 2023 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 36943889. *Co-Corresponding author.
  • Mohagheghian E, Luo J, Yavitt FM, Wei F, Amar K, Bhala P, Rashid F, Wang Y, Liu X, Ji C, Chen J, Arnold DP, Liu Z, Anseth KS*, Wang N*. Quantifying stiffness and forces of tumor colonies and embryos using a magnetic microrobot. Science Robotics. 2023 Jan 25;8(74):eadc9800. doi: 10.1126/scirobotics.adc9800. Epub 2023 Jan 25.PMID: 36696474. *Co-corresponding authors.
  • Yavitt FM, Kirkpatrick BE, Blatchley MR, Speckl KF, Mohagheghian E, Moldovan R, Wang N, Dempsey PJ, Anseth KS. In situ modulation of intestinal organoid epithelial curvature through photoinduced viscoelasticity directs crypt morphogenesis. Science Advances. 2023 Jan 20;9(3):eadd5668. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.add5668. Epub 2023 Jan 20. PubMed PMID: 36662859.
  • Chowdhury F*, Huang B*, Wang N*. Forces in stem cells and cancer stem cells. Cells and Development. 170, 203776 (2022). doi: 10.1016/j.cdev.2022.203776. Pubmed PMID: 35346899. *Co-corresponding authors.
  • Zhang Y, Dong Q, An Q, Zhang C, Mohagheghian E, Niu B, Qi F, Wei F, Chen S, Chen X, Wang A, Cao X*, Wang N*, Chen J*. Synthetic Retinoid Kills Drug-Resistant Cancer Stem Cells via Inducing RARĪ³-Translocation-Mediated Tension Reduction and Chromatin Decondensation. Advanced Science (Weinh). 2021 Oct 23; S1742-7061(21)00700-5 (2022). doi: 10.1002/advs.202203173. Online ahead of print. *Co-Corresponding authors. PubMed PMID: 36031407. PMCID: PMC9033892 (available on 2023-04-23).
Ning Wang

Faculty

Jul 06, 2023

New Faculty Spotlight: Ning Wang

Ning Wang joins the Bioengineering department in July 2023 as a Professor.

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