Phone: (027)87793859


Academic Areas: Biomechanics

Research Interests: 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 applica

Academic Degrees

Sc.D. Physiology, Harvard, 1990;

M.S.  Biomedical, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1984

B.S.   Biomechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1982

Professional Experience

Leonard C. and Mary Lou Hoeft Professor (2014- present); Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Professor (2010-present); The Thousand Talents Program, School of Life Science and Technology, HuaZhong University of Science and technology

Professor (2006-present); Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC

Associate Professor (2000-2006); Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Harvard School of Public Health

Assistant Professor (1994-2000); Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Harvard School of Public Health

Selected Publications

1. Tajik A, Zhang Y, Wei F, Sun J, Jia Q, Zhou W, Singh R, Khanna N, Belmont AS, Wang N*. Transcription upregulation via force-induced direct stretching of chromatin. Nat Mater. (2016) Aug 22. doi: 10.1038/nmat4729. [Epub ahead of print]. *Co-Corresponding authors.

2. Jia Q, Zhou W, Yao W, Yang F, Zhang S, Singh R, Chen J , Chen JJ , Zhang Y , Wei F, Zhang Y, Jia H, Wang N*. Downregulation of YAP-dependent Nupr1 promotes tumor-repopulating cell growth in soft matrices. Oncogenesis. (2016) 5, e220; doi:10.1038/oncsis.2016.29. *Co-Corresponding authors.

3. Chen J, Zhou W, Jia Q, Chen J, Zhang S, Yao W, Wei F, Zhang Y, Yang F, Huang W, Zhang Y, Zhang H, Zhang Y, Huang B, Zhang Z, Jia H, Wang N*. Efficient extravasation of tumor-repopulating cells depends on cell deformability. Sci Rep. (2016) Jan 20;6:19304. doi: 10.1038/srep19304. *Co-Corresponding author.

4. Chowdhury F, Li  ITS, Leslie BJ, Doğanay S, Singh R, Wang X, Seong J, Lee SH, ParK S, Wang N*, Ha T*. (2015) Single molecular force across single integrins dictates cell spreading. Integrative Biol. DOI: 10.1039/c5ib00080g. *Co-Corresponding authors.

5. Poh YC, Chen JW, Hong Y, Yi H, Zhang S, Chen JJ, Wu DC, Wang L, Jia Q, Singh R, Yao W, Tan Y, Tajik A, Tanaka TS,Wang N*. (2014) Generation of organized germ layers from a single mouse embryonic stem cell. Nat. Commun. 5:4000. *Corresponding Author.

6. Tan Y, Tajik A, Chen JW, Jia Q, Chowdhury F, Wang L, Chen JJ, Zhang S, Hong Y, Yi H, Wu DC, Zhang Y, Wei F, Poh YC, Seong J, Singh R, Lin LJ, Doğanay S, Li Y, Jia H, Ha T, Wang Y, Huang,Wang N*. (2014) Matrix softness regulates plasticity of tumour-repopulating cells via H3K9 demethylation and Sox2 expression. Nat. Commun. 5:4619. *Corresponding Author.

7. Wang N. (2014) Auxetic nuclei. Nat. Mater, Jun; 13(6):540-2.

8. Wang N. (2014) Stem Cells Go Soft: Pliant Substrate Surfaces Enhance Motor Neuron Differentiation. Cell Stem Cell Jun 5;14 (6):701-3.

9. Seong J , Tajik A , Sun J , Guan JL , Humphries MJ , Craig SE , Shekaran A , García AJ , Lu S , Lin MZ, Wang N*, Wang Y*. (2013) Distinct biophysical mechanisms of focal adhesion kinase mechanoactivation by different extracellular matrix proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. Nov; 110 (48): 19372-7. *Co-Corresponding Author.

10. Liu J, Tan Y, Zhang H, Zhang Y, Xu P, Chen JW, Poh YC, Tang K, Wang N*, Huang B*. (2012) Soft Fibrin Gels Promote Selection and Growth of Tumorigenic Cells. Nat. Mater. 11(8):734-41. *Co-Corresponding Author.

11. Poh YC, Shevtsov SP, Chowdhury F, Wu DC, Na S, Dundr M*, Wang N* (2012)  Dynamic Force-induced Direct Dissociation of Protein Complexes in a Nuclear Body in Living Cells. Nat. Commun. 3: 866. *Co-Corresponding Author.

12. Uda Y, Poh YC, Chowdhury F, Wu DC, Tanaka TS, Sato M, Wang N*. (2011) Force via Integrins but not E-cadherin Decreases Oct3/4 Expression in Embryonic Stem Cells. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. Nov 18; 415 (2):396-400. *Corresponding Author.

13. Chowdhury F., Y Li, Y.C. Poh, T. Tamaki, N Wang*, and T. S. Tanaka*, "Soft Substrates Promote Homogeneous Self-renewal of Embryonic Stem Cells via Downregulating Cell-matrix Tractions," PLoS ONE, (2010) 5(12): e15655. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015655. PMID: 21179449. PMC3001487. *Co-corresponding senior authors.

14. Yum K., N Wang*, and M. F. Yu*, "Electrochemically-controlled Deconjugation and Delivery Single Quantum Dots into the Nucleus of Living Cells," Small, (2010) 6(19):2109-13. *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

15. le Duc, Q., Q. Shi, I. Blonk, A. Sonnenberg, N. Wang*, D. Leckband*, and J. de Rooij*, "Vinculin Potentiates E-cadherin Mechanosensing and is Recruited to Actin-anchored Sites within Adherens Junctions in a MyosinII Dependent Manner," J Cell Biol., (2010) 189:1107-1115, June 28. (This paper is commented and highlighted by M. Smutny, AS Yap. Neighborly relations: cadherins and mechanotransduction. J Cell Biol. (2010) 189:1075-1077. Published June 28, 2010) *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

16. Poh, Y.C., F. Chowdhury, T. S. Tanaka, and N. Wang*, "Embryonic Stem Cells do not Stiffen on Rigid Substrates," Biophys. J. (2010) 99:L01-L03. PMID: 20643049.

17. Wang, N., "Structural Basis of Stress Concentration in the Cytoskeleton," Molecular Cell Biomechanics, (2010) 7:33-44. PMID: 20806722.

18. Chowdhury, F., S. Na, D. Li, Y.C. Poh, T. Tanaka, F. Wang, and N. Wang*, "Material Properties of the Cell Dictate Stress-induced Spreading and Differentiation in Embryonic Stem Cells," Nat. Materials, (2010) Jan; 9(1):82-8. Publication online 18 October, 2009. DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2563. PMID: 19838182 PMC2833279 (Commented in News and Views of the same issue of Nat Mater. by Holle and Engler, “Cell rheology: Stressed-out stem cells” 9:4-6, 2010). *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

19. Poh, Y. C., S. Na, F. Chowdhury, M. Ouyoung, Y. Wang, and N. Wang*, Rapid Activation of Rac GTPase in Living Cells by Force is Independent of Src. PLoS ONE, (2009) 4(11):e7886, Nov 18. PMID: 19924282. *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

20. Na, S., F. Chowdhury, B. Tay, M. Ouyang, M. Gregor, Y. Wang, G. Wiche, and N. Wang*. Plectin Contributes to Mechanical Properties of Living Cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, (2009) 296(4): C868-77. Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 19244477. *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

21. Chowdhury F., S. Na, O. Collin, B. Tay, F. Li, T. Tanaka, D.E. Leckband, and N. Wang*. Is cell rheology governed by nonequilibrium to equilibrium transition of noncovalent bonds?. Biophysical Journal (2008) 95, 719-27. Epub 2008 Oct 3. PMID: 18835892. *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

22. Collin, O., S. Na, F. Chowdhury, M. Hong, M. Shin, F. Wang, and N. Wang*, Self-organized Podosomes are Dynamic Mechanosensors. Current Biology, (2008) 8, 1288-1294. *Co-Corresponding senior authors.

23. Na, S. and N. Wang*. Application of Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer and Magnetic Twisting Cyometry to Quantify Mechano-Chemical Signaling Activities in a Living Cell. Science Signaling, (2008) 1, 11 (Cover highlight).

24. Na, S., O. Collin, F. Chowdhury, B. Tay, M. Ouyang, Y. Wang, and N. Wang, “Rapid Signal Transduction in Living Cells is a Unique Feature of Mechanotransduction,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, (2008) 105, 6626-6631. This paper is highlighted in Editor’s Choice Section in Science Signaling, the weekly journal and knowledge environment from the publishers of Science magazine, A. M. VanHook, “Faster than a Speeding Molecule,” Science Signaling, 1, ec175, 2008.

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