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Mechanics of Biomolecular Assemblies

  – where Chemistry meets Physics and Biology!



The Shi lab combines biophysical, photochemical, and optogenetic tools to study the properties of cell membranes and other biomolecular assemblies. We aim to understand the mechanical behavior of cell membranes and how the mechanics of cell membranes interact with downstream biochemical signaling pathways. We also develop quantitative techniques and theoretical models to understand the material properties of membranes and biomolecular condensates.

We are currently looking for motivated students and postdocs: 1) to study the material properties biomolecular condensates that are relevant to neurodegeneration; 2) to investigate how local mechanical and geometrical cues on the cell membrane affect the behavior of membrane proteins; 3) to understand how interactions with either cytoskeleton or extracellular matrix affect the dynamics of cell membranes. Contact us for more details!


Huan’s paper in the news

Huan’s paper on quantifying the surface tension and viscosity of protein condensates has been picked up by a wide range of news outlets, including: EurekAlert!, ScienceDaily, News wise,, Neuroscience News, News-Medical! Many thanks to John Cramer for writing this up! Keep an eye out for our next invention/discovery!  

Aspirating protein droplets

Huan’s paper on using micropipette aspiration to quantify the surface tension and viscosity of liquid protein condensates is now published on the first issue of Biophysical Reports! She showed that the properties of protein condensates are very much different from any common liquids that we are familiar with in everyday life. Micropipette aspiration, a technique … Read More

The Shi lab website is up and running!

After more than one year at Rutgers, our website is finally up and running! Visit us regularly to check out the latest cool things happening in the lab!

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