Prof. Yunfeng Chen is seeking research fellows to join his jointly-affiliated lab at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, with a focus on molecular and cellular mechanobiology, vascular biology and bioengineering.
About the lab:
Research in the Chen lab aims to apply mechanobiology and bioengineering to the mechanistic study of diseases, and the development of next-generation therapeutics and diagnostic tools abiding the concept of ‘mechano-medicine’. Specifically, the lab will study how mechanical force regulates the adhesion, signaling and activation of platelets, endothelial cells, neutrophils and cancer cells, etc., investigate why mechanobiological defects of cells and molecules lead to severe pathological outcomes, and design mutations and interfering agents to correct such defects for therapeutic purposes.
The lab is currently developing innovative projects in the following topics:
- Receptor-mediated cell mechanosensing;
- Vascular mechanomedicine;
- Virus-related vascular dysfunctions;
- Integrin conformational dynamics and mechano-activity;
- High-throughput microfluidic platform development
About the PI:
Dr. Yunfeng Chen received his PhD degree in BioEngineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he graduated with BioEngineering Outstanding Thesis Award. By combining the cutting-edge force spectroscopy, Biomembrane force probe, with cell fluorescence imaging, he studied platelet mechano-signaling and the binding, conformational dynamics and activation of integrins on the single-molecule and single-cell level. His researches advanced the field’s understanding on neutrophil adhesion/recruitment and its dysfunction by lupus, platelet mechanosensing via surface receptors GPIb and integrin αIIbβ3, and cell’s matrix rigidity-sensing. In 2016, Dr. Chen joined The Scripps Research Institute with the financial support of MERU Foundation. By combining in vitro bioengineering approaches (e.g., single-molecule/cell force spectroscopy and microfluidic-based techniques) with in vivo tests, he studied how atherothrombosis is associated with mechanobiological defects in platelets and blood plasma proteins.
Dr. Chen’s research is recognized nationally and internationally. He received Mary Rodes Gibson Memorial Award in Hemostasis and Thrombosis from the 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in 2017, American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2019, Yuan-Cheng Fung Best Paper Award and ICBME Young Scholars Award from International Conference on Biomechanics and Medical Engineering in 2019. He is currently supported by an NIH R00 grant.
About the institute:
University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB; https://www.utmb.edu/) is a leading academic health science center located in Galveston, Texas, which is part of The University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center. It contains four schools (Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences), four institutes for advanced study, a major medical library and a network of hospitals and clinics and numerous research facilities. With the Galveston National Laboratory located inside UTMB, its School of Medicine has extremely strong expertise in pharmacology and disease pathology. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (https://www.utmb.edu/bmb/home) is rapidly emerging in mechanobiology with the recent hiring of several world-leading scientists of the field.
Prof. Chen’s lab is supported by the Department of Pathology and the Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics (https://scsb.utmb.edu/), which respectively provide access to healthy human/patient samples and cutting-edge facilities like cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, 3D printing and solution biophysics instruments.
Positions for PhD or MD/PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and research associates, are currently available. Graduate students are admitted through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (https://www.utmb.edu/enrollmentservices/resources/admissions/graduate-school-of-biomedical-sciences-application-info) or the MD-PhD Combined Degree Program (https://www.utmb.edu/mdphd/admissions/application-process). The student should have a bachlor's degree in the following or similar major: 1) medicine; 2) biochemistry; 3) biology; 4) electronic and computational engineering or computer science; 5) bioengineering, biomedical engineering or biomedical science; 6) mechanical engineeirng; 7) biophysics.
Please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.