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Rong Wang

Rong Wang, Ph.D.

Rong Wang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry






344 Life Sciences Building


B.S. Jilin University
Ph.D. University of Tokyo


My research interest focuses on the development and application of novel methods and materials to understand the impact of microenvironment on cell fate decisions. Specifically, my research group harnesses the advancements in molecular characterization methods such as probe scanning microscopy, surface engineering with new bio-conjugate chemistry, and molecular manipulation via photochemistry and nano-processing to examine the biological systems on the nanometer scale, which leads to the clarification of the mechanisms of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in a complex community.

Students receive training in physical biochemistry, surface chemistry, bioconjugate chemistry, materials science and cell biology through the following on-going research projects:

  • Develop quantitative methods to evaluate protein local abundance and distribution at the sub-cellular and cellular levels. This method was applied to probing the turn-on signals in human embryonic stem (hES) cell proliferation and differentiation;
  • Develop enabling tools to perform in-situ gene expression analysis at the single cell level. This method was applied to identifying sub-population cells (potential cancer stem cells) and the niche cells in ovarian cancer cell cultures and ovarian cancer tumor tissues.
  • Generate bio-composite materials using collagen-carbon nanotube and collagen-TiO2 nanotube to manipulate the matrix elasticity and surface features. These materials were applied to coaxing the differentiation of hES cells and human decidua parietalis placental stem cells (hdpPSE cells) toward neurons. 
  • Examine the nanostructures on the surface of Bacilli Spores to fingerprint various species and strains, and to understand the function of a specific surface protein in spore germination.
  • Probe the nanoscopic elasticity and structure of collagen, elastin and fibroblasts in pelvic floor tissues in correlation to women's health.
  • Monitor the virus attachment and quantify the virus adhesion force at different sites of lettuce leaves in various elusion solutions. The information generated will allow the development of better recovery methods for virus detection and removal.


Analysis of affinity maps of membrane proteins on individual human embryonic stem cells" Zhaoxia Li; Dengli Qui; Kangmin Xu; Indumathi Sridharan; Xiaoping Qian; Rong Wang, Langmuir, (2011).

“Spatially Resolved Quantification of E-Cadherin on Target hES Cells”, Zhaoxia Li, Dengli Qiu, Indumethi Sridharan, Xiaoping Qian, Honghong Zhang, Chunbo Zhang and Rong Wang, J. Phys. Chem. B., 114, 2894-2900 (2010).

“Adapting collagen / CNT matrix in directing hESC differentiation”, Indumathi Sridharan, Taeyoung Kim, Rong Wang, Biolchem. Biolphys. Res. Com., 381, 508–512 (2009).

“Profiling TRA-1-81 antigen distribution on a human embryonic stem cell”, Dengli Qiu, Jialing Xiang, Zhaoxia Li, Aparna Krishnamoorthy, Liaohai Chen, Rong Wang, Biolchem. Biolphys. Res. Com., 369, 735-740 (2008).

“Fingerprinting Species and Strains of Bacilli Spores by Distinctive Coat Surface Morphology”, Rong Wang, Soumya N. Krishnamurthy, Jae-sun Jeong, Adam Driks, Manav Mehta, Bruce A. Gingras, Langmuir, 23, 10230 -10234 (2007).

“Protein Delivery with Nanoscale Precision”, Qiling Tang, Yuexing Zhang, Liaohai Chen, Funing Yan and Rong Wang, Nanotechnology, 16 1062-1068 (2005).

“Identification of TrkA on Living PC12 Cells by the Atomic Force Microscopy”, C.V. Gopal Reddy, M. Krystina, N. Menhart and R. Wang, Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1667 15-25 (2004).

“Morphogenesis of Bacillus spore surfaces”, Venkata G.R. Chada, Erik A. Sanstad, Rong Wang and Adam Driks, J. Bacter., 185, 6255-6261 (2003).

“Direct Observation of Sol-Gel Conversion: the Role of the Solvent in Organogel Formation”, R. Wang, C. Geiger, L. Chen, B. I. Swanson, D. G. Whitten, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 122, 2399 (2000).

"Light-induced Amphiphilic Surfaces", R. Wang, K. Hashimoto, A. Fujishima, M. Chikuni, E. Kojima, A. Kitamura, M. Shimohigoshi and T. Watanabe, Nature, 388, 431 (1997).