Understanding the cell fate determination and mechanotransduction involved in strain stiffening synthetic extracellular matrix

​Previous work has demonstrated that Polyisocyanopeptide-based 3D matrices can mimic the stiffness of stem cell niches. It possesses a biopolymer-like property--strain stiffening. By altering only the onset of strain stiffening, while maintaining other properties like stiffness and ligand density, stem cell differentiation preference between osteogenesis and adipogenesis can be controlled. Zhao Wang’s present work focuses on how these mechanical cues could affect cell activities like differentiation, migration, etc.; how the force on extracellular matrix is translated through mechanotransduction; and reversely, how the force exerted on cells affect stress-stiffening regime.

​Zhao Wang received his Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) and Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) degrees from Nanjing Medical University, China in 2013 and 2016, respectively. He obtained Dentist Qualification Certificate in 2013 and registered as a practitioner. His Master’s degree focused on multiple genetics and therapeutics in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) under the supervision of Prof Yunong Wu. After a short period of practice in industry, he started his PhD in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland under the supervision of Prof Alan Rowan and Dr Jan Lauko. 

Key Publications

  1. Wang, Z., Chen, J., Zhang, W., Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Liu, L., ... & Wu, Y. (2016). Axon guidance molecule semaphorin3A is a novel tumor suppressor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget, 7(5), 6048.
  2. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Xiong, X., Zhong, Y., Zhang, W., Dong, Y., ... & Gu, W. (2018). Membrane‐tethered Notch1 exhibits oncogenic property via activation of EGFR–PI3K–AKT pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Journal of cellular physiology. (Co-first contributor)
  3. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Ding, X., Zhang, W., Li, G., Liu, L., ... & Song, X. (2018). A novel Notch1 missense mutation (C1133Y) in the Abruptex domain exhibits enhanced proliferation and invasion in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer cell international, 18(1), 6. (Co-first contributor)
  4. Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Ding, X., Dong, Y., Zhang, W., Zhang, W., ... & Song, X. (2018). Combined Erlotinib and PF‐03084014 treatment contributes to synthetic lethality in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cell proliferation, 51(3), e12424. (Co-first contributor)
  5. Ding, X., Zheng, Y., Wang, Z., Zhang, W., Dong, Y., Chen, W., ... & Song, X. (2018). Expression and oncogenic properties of membranous Notch1 in oral leukoplakia and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oncology reports, 39(6), 2584-2594.