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Welcome to New Bioengineering Faculty: Drs. Mark Mercola, Yingxiao Wang, and Sheng Zhong
Mark Mercola earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1985. Dr. Mercola trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in 1991 and Associate Professor in 1996. Dr. Mercola joined Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 2002 where he is Professor and Director of the Muscle Development and Regeneration Program. Dr. Mercola's research is dedicated to discovering natural and synthetic signaling molecules that can direct the formation of new cardiomyocytes, ultimately to produce cells and drugs for regenerative therapies. The three core research areas are: embryological and embryonic stem cell projects that focus on natural inducers of heart differentiation; the Notch pathway and its involvement in heart disease and regeneration; and chemical genetics and screening approaches to discovery of novel signaling molecules to stimulate differentiation and replication of cells that can form cardiomyocytes as well as discovery of new markers of committed progenitors.
YINGXIAO (PETER) WANG
Associate Professior, Bioengineering
Dr. Yingxiao Wang obtained his bachelor and master degrees in Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics from Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China, in 1992 and 1996, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering in 2002 and continued his postdoc work together with Drs. Shu Chien and Roger Y. Tsien at UC San Diego. Before joining UCSD, He was an associate professor at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Department of Bioengineering and a full time faculty in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He was also affiliated with Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience Program, the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, and Institute of Genomic Biology at UIUC. Dr. Wang’s research includes the development of genetically-encoded molecule biosensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the application of these biosensors for the visualization and quantification of molecular signals in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolution under physical/mechanical environment. Dr. Wang is also interested in integrating the cutting-edge technologies in molecular engineering, live cell imaging, nanotechnology, and biophotonics for the study of mechanobiology. Dr. Wang is the recipient of the Wallace H. Coulter Early Career Award (both Phase I and Phase II), the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and National Institute of Health Independent Scientist Award. His research is supported by the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and private foundations. Dr. Wang will teach undergraduate and graduate courses on molecular engineering, live cell imaging, and mechanobiology.
Associate Professor, Bioengineering
Dr. Zhong received his Ph.D. in biostatistics from Harvard University in 2005 while concurrently working at the BioX Center of Stanford University as a Computational Biology visiting scholar. He was an associate professor and Bliss Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois Urbana Champagne prior to his appointment at UCSD. His primary emphasis is on epigenomics and stem cell biology. His work addresses the causal relationships between gene regulation and cellular behaviors, through developing high-throughput genomic and single-cell technologies and computational modeling of gene networks. His work led to the discovery of genetic differences of early embryonic development between humans and other mammals, and contributed to introducing the field of "comparative epigenomics”. He is supported by NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NSF CAREER Award, and Alfred Sloan Fellowship. Dr. Zhong received University of Illinois Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising for two consecutive years. He will teach undergraduate and graduate courses on bioinformatics, statistics, and systems biology.