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"For pioneering studies of the contribution of cytoskeletal filaments to the stiffness of E. coli cells, observations of growth-driven motions of bacterial actin homologs, and probes of the chiral origins of cell wall robustness."Background:
Dr. Siyuan (Steven) Wang received his Ph. D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2011. His graduate research was co-advised by Dr. Ned S. Wingreen and Dr. Joshua W. Shaevitz. Using a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches, Dr. Wang and colleagues studied the mechanics, dynamics, and organization of the bacterial cytoskeleton and cell wall. The findings revealed: 1) the mechanical contribution of bacterial cytoskeleton to cellular integrity; 2) the motion of bacterial cytoskeleton driven by cell wall synthesis; 3) the chiral organization and growth dynamics of cell wall in rod-shaped bacteria, derived from the spatial pattern of cytoskeleton; and 4) a possible mechanism for different cytoskeleton components to self-organize into distinct spatial patterns. Together, these findings provide a quantitative and spatiotemporal description of the bacterial cell growth at the molecular level.
Dr. Wang graduated from Peking University (China) with a B. S. in Physics in 2007. As an undergrad he conducted research on gene regulatory network dynamics, under the advisement of Dr. Qi Ouyang. Dr. Wang is currently doing postdoctoral research on chromatin organization and dynamics in Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang’s group in Harvard University.