Yun Wang
Yun Wang
Assistant Professor (Arriving in April 2009)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109
Phone: 847-491-7232

Postdoctoral Scholar, MIT/HHMI & Caltech/HHMI: Molecular Geobiology
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University: Aquatic Chemistry

M.S., Nankai University
B.S., Nankai University

Our research is at the interface of the medical/environmental microbiology and geochemistry. We apply an interdisciplinary approach to studying the link between reactions of bioactive small molecules (e.g., antibiotics) with environmental constituents and their mode of action on microbial biofilm architecture and physiology. Current research directions include:
  • Investigating the roles of redox-active “antibiotics” (phenazine- and quinone-based molecules) in iron acquisition and microbial physiology. We use two opportunistic pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia, as our model organisms.
  • Optimizing small molecule-facilitated electron transfer in biofilm processes, with emphasis on improving bioenergy generation and bioremediation efficiency.
  • Determining the fate and transformation of (bio)molecules and environmental pollutants at mineral-water interfaces.Developing imaging techniques for studying (bio)molecules and organic pollutants in vivo and in situ.
  • These studies will not only help us predict the chemical and biological impact of bioactive molecules in natural aqueous environments but also highlight strategies for manipulating clinical and environmental biofilms.

Wang, Y.; Newman, D. K. (2008) Redox Reactions of Phenazine Antibiotics with Ferric (Hydr)oxides and Molecular Oxygen. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42: 2380-2386.
Wang, Y.; Stone, A. T. (2008) Phosphonate- and Carboxylate-Based Chelating Agents that Solubilize (Hydr)Oxide-Bound MnIII. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42: 4397-4403.
Wang, Y.; Stone, A. T. (2006) Reaction of MnIII,IV (Hydr)Oxides with Oxalic Acid, Glyoxylic Acid, Phosphonoformic Acid, and Structurally-Related Organic Compounds. Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 70: 4477-4490.
Wang, Y.; Stone, A. T. (2006) The Citric Acid-MnIII,IVO2(Birnessite) Reaction. Electron Transfer, Complex Formation, and Autocatalytic Feedback. Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 70: 4463-4476.

Available Positions
We are seeking highly motivated postdoctoral and Ph.D. candidates to conduct research at the interface of the medical/environmental microbiology and geochemistry. Postdoctoral applicants with a strong research background in molecular biology, microbial (esp. biofilm) physiology, or redox chemistry are preferred. Ph.D. applicants with background in chemistry, microbiology, environmental engineering, or bioengineering are all encouraged to apply. Please send a letter of application, including names and addresses of three references, and CV to Yun Wang’s email address.
Undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in the lab are also welcome to join our group.