Yu-li Wang, the R. Mehrabian Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, holds a B.S. in Physics from National Taiwan University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University. His rich academic training and work experiences have encompassed colleges of basic science, medicine, and engineering, as well as medical centers and research institutes. His research has focused on aspects of cellular mechanical activities that serve as the foundation of cell and tissue engineering. Wang's major contributions include the development of live cell imaging using fluorescently tagged proteins, the development of polyacrylamide flexible substrates for cellular mechanical studies, the development of cellular traction force microscopy, the demonstration of cellular sensitivities to materials rigidity, and the discovery of preferential cellular migration toward rigid materials. Prior to moving to Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, he was a professor of Physiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Wang has published over 120 papers and edited three highly influencial books on Cell Mechanics and on Fluorescence Microscopy of Living Cells. Three of his papers have received over 1,500 citations (one of them with more than 3,000 citations) and three other papers have received over 500 citations. One of his papers was collected in the book Landmark Papers in Cell Biology. He currently serves as an associate editor for Molecular Biology of the Cell, and for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering. He has also served as a regular member of two NIH study sections and of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council of the National Institutes of Health. He has co-organized international conferences on cell division and on live cell imaging. He is a recipient of an NIH/NIGMS MERIT award and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
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Yu-li Wang


1980 Ph.D., Biophysics, Harvard University

1973 BS, Physics, National Taiwan University

Media mentions

International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering

Wang named IAMBE fellow

BME’s Yu-li Wang has been elected to the 2020 Class of Fellows of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.

CMU Engineering

Analyzing cells for future biomedical devices

Yu-li Wang has been awarded an NIH grant to support his research in cell migration and developing technologies for applications in biomedical devices.

Academica Sinica

Wang elected as member of Academia Sinica

BME’s Yu-li Wang was elected as a member to Academia Sinica, a group that promotes scientific and humanities research.