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IBEC Seminar: Wenting Zhao

Divendres, maig 31 @ 10:00 am12:00 pm

Engineering the Nanoscale Membrane Topography in Cells

Wenting Zhao, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS), Singapore 


Cell membranes serve as a central platform to host a variety of proteins essential for cellular activities such as cell signaling, morphogenesis, and membrane trafficking. At the same time, the membranes also undergo drastic morphological changes in a number of essential processes, such as endocytosis, intracellular trafficking, and cytokinesis, etc. An intriguing yet challenging question to answer is whether and how the shapes of the membrane impact the dynamics of membrane proteins or the periphery proteins interacting with the membrane. However, membrane shape changes often happen at sub-micro to the nanoscale, which is approaching the limit of conventional microscopy imaging resolution and difficult to examine quantitatively. In this work, we will introduce our efforts in employing vertically aligned nanostructures to generate defined membrane topography in live cells and in vitro. We will discuss our findings on the membrane curvature-guided accumulation of membrane proteins, including oncogenic Ras proteins and viral proteins, as well as the membrane-associated protein condensation. In addition to plasma membrane, we also explore the nanoscale topography guidance on nuclear membrane and its implication in differentiating malignant cancer cells. We envision more new insights would be revealed by bridging advanced nanotechnology to nanoscale dynamics at cell surfaces.

Short Bio

Dr. Wenting Zhao is currently an assistant professor in the School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She received her Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and completed her postdoc training at Stanford University. Her research group aims to reveal the nanoscale interplay between membrane morphology and protein assembly using advance nanofabrication and nanomaterials. Specific focuses of her studies are on the nanoscale topography-guided protein clustering and complex assembly, and their impacts on disease progression, such as cancer progression, viral replication, and immune activation.

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Divendres, maig 31
10:00 am–12:00 pm
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