Department Seminar

Mechanobiology of Adhesion and Signaling Molecules on the Cell Surface

Speaker Details:

Cheng Zhu
J. Erskine Love Endowed Chair in Engineering and Regents’ Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech

Lecture Details:

May 7, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


The cell can be thought of as an organized collection of molecular machines. As such, many biomolecules can have moving parts, generate, bear and leverage forces. They can also convert chemical energy to mechanical work and vice versa. In this talk I will use several examples to illustrate various roles of mechanics in biology at the molecular scale. These include mechanically measuring biochemical reactions, regulating molecular interactions, visualizing protein conformational changes, and inducing receptor signaling.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Cheng Zhu is J. Erskine Love Endowed Chair in Engineering and Regents’ Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Dr. Zhu received his B.S. from Zhejiang University, China, in 1982 and M.S. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He was Postgraduate Bioengineer and Assistant Bioengineer of the University of California, San Diego in 1988 and 1989, respectively. While Dr. Zhu’s formal training is theoretical modeling, he has built the cellular and molecular biomechanics laboratory since joining the faculty of Georgia Tech in 1990. Dr. Zhu’s interests lie in the molecular biophysics of the immune and vascular systems, including inflammatory response, T-cell activation and development, tumor immunology, platelet adhesion and signaling, and viral interaction with host cells. He pioneered the two-dimensional (2D) analysis of interactions at the junctional interface between molecules anchored to two opposing surfaces by inventing several experimental methods with custom-design instruments and/or by developing the related mathematical models. Dr. Zhu also is an internationally recognized leader on mechanical regulation of molecular interaction. His lab demonstrated catch bonds for several diverse receptor-ligand systems and developed the concepts of force history-dependent and cyclic mechanical reinforcement of protein bonds. He has published ~130 refereed papers. Dr. Zhu was the recipient of the 1991 Dr. Harold Lamport Award (BMES), 1992 Y.C. Fung Young Award (ASME), 1993 Presidential Faculty Fellow Award (NSF), and 2005 Hemorheology and Microcirculation Award (ISCH).