Academic Profile : Faculty

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Assoc Prof Miao Yansong
Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences
Assistant Chair (Internationalization), School of Biological Sciences (SBS)
Research areas and projects:

Miao Lab research mainly focuses on studying the mechanisms of actin assembly in polarized fungal growth and plant immunity. Miao Lab interested in how diverse extracellular and intracellular signals regulate actin assembly underlying diverse physiological and pathological processes in eukaryotic cells. Actin filament assembly contributes to the multiple cellular pathways pleiotropically, by its dynamic assembly and disassembly upon cellular needs and specific stimuli, such as the activation of polarized cell growth or the host immune responses during defense mechanisms against pathogenic attack. In the much crowd intracellular environment, actin-binding proteins (ABPs) precisely regulate the dynamics assembly and re-organization of actin networks, in cooperative and competitive manners. We are particularly interested in how the intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of ABPs perceive the signals to trigger re-organization of actin assembly, by regulating the protein dynamics, protein conformation, and protein-protein interactions, via interdisciplinary approaches, such as biochemical assay, advanced cell imaging, genetic approaches.

Teaching: BS1100, BS4002, BS7001

Honours and Awards:
• Human Frontier Science Program Postdoc Long-term Fellow (2010-2013), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
• Nanyang Assistant Professorship (NAP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

• Assistant Professor (2015-present), School of Biological Science, NTU, Singapore
• Postdoctoral Fellow (2010-2014), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
• Ph.D. (2006-2009), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Mphil (2004-2006), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Bsc (1998-2002), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Our lab is interested in how eukaryotic cells dynamically reorganize their actin cytoskeletons to power endocytosis, polarized delivery of vesicles for cell growth, cell movement, and cell division. Our research is focus on understanding of how different actin interacting proteins (AIPs) are regulated to assemble different types of actin arrays, nucleated by Arp2/3 complex and formins, in the same cytoplasm during these processes, and at different stages of the cell cycle.

We are using multi-disciplinary approach including reconstitution of actin assembly in cell extracts, live-cell imaging, genetics, biochemistry, super-resolution microscopy, and mass spectrometry to address these questions from the molecular to cellular level. Our working systems include budding yeast, plants, and cultured mammalian cell lines.

One of our major goals is to determine the function and molecular fundamentals of several key AIPs that regulate the dynamics of different actin arrays at specific cell cycle stage or a particular physiological conditions, e.g. stress response. And we also aim to reconstitute such actin assembly by our cell-extract based system at these particular conditions.
  • Advanced Sustainable Materials for Targeted Nutrient Delivery in Urban Farming
  • Bioengineering-enabled Precision Farming: A Semi-closed Agri-food System
  • From protein droplets to oil droplets: understanding the role of WRINKLED1 phase separation in the biosynthesis of vegetable oils
  • IDMxS - Visiting and Travel
  • Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS)
  • Investigating the Role of Polarisome Complex in Filamentous Growth of Pathogenic Fungi
  • Mechano-regulation of actin remodeling by during plant immune signaling
  • Molecular basis of plant cellulose biosynthesis and its regulation