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Contact me (THE best way)
1206 w. Green st., Urbana, IL, 61801 (Check once a week)


BS and MS, Applied Mechanics, 2002, Tongji University, Shanghai
PhD, Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, Urbana, IL

About me

I am a 5th year graduate student in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am working in with Dr. Deborah Leckband on a project about the molecular basis of cell adhesion mechanics.

Ongoing research projects

Project 1

I am using dynamic force spectroscopy with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to investigate the impact if point mutants on the kinetics of adhesive bonds between Cadherin ectodomains. I am using the AFM to study interactions between different mutants to determine how point mutations affect the number and properties of cadherin bonds.

Project 2

I am developing a kinetic model that accounts for the dynamics of Cadherin mediated cell adhesion measured by micropipette aspiration. The data exhibit complex kinetics that are consistent with prior single molecule force measurements. By modeling the adhesion time courses obtained with different Cadherin mutants, my goal is to determine the mechanism of binding and its relationship to the Cadherin structure.

Project 3

To understand the effect of surface geometry on the dynamic strength of adhesion between extended surfaces linked by discrete molecular bonds. Our former surface adhesion model describes adhesion between two parallel surfaces linked by discrete molecular bonds as a function of the surface separation rate. We will extend our model to the surface geometry used in Surface Force Apparatus (SFA) measurements.

We will further understand how to relate the rupture force measured in SFA measurements to the properties of individual adhesive bonds measured from other independent experiments, including the affinities and the kinetic parameters from MP, Surface Resonance Plasma (SPR), and AFM measurements.


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