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)
External Links
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
Investigating Cell Signalings by Molecular Condensation in Space and Time.

The investigation of cell signalings by molecular condensation is an emerging area of research. While previous studies have provided a strong foundation for understanding signaling transductions, such as deciphering the components of specific cascades or the pyramid network of signaling events, there is still much to be explored regarding their functional assembly status. One of the key challenges in this field is understanding the highly dynamic nature of the regulation of activation, inhibition, tuning, and crosstalk of signaling events by distinct biomolecular assembly, which evolves in space and time.

An emerging principle underlying the dynamic regulation of cell signaling is the tunable multivalent interactions and molecular condensation of signaling components. Our lab is uniquely equipped to investigate protein interactions and molecular condensation using quantitative biochemical and biophysical systems, advanced microscopic imaging, machine-learning approaches, and collaboration with computational and theoretical experts. This has given us an advantage in answering both old and new questions in this area.

We investigate how macromolecular condensation of polarisome complexes regulates the polymerization and network formation of the actin cytoskeleton in filamentous fungi, and how this process is crucial for polarized growth during fungal development and host infection.
We study the interaction between plants and microbes, specifically the generation of distinct immune signaling hubs in response to pathogen recognition, which activate signal transduction or bridge signal pathways through molecular condensation on the two-dimensional plasma membrane surface. We are particularly interested in understanding how plant mechanobiology regulates the assembly, condensation, and thereby the biocatalysis of these signaling hubs by tuning the physiochemical properties of the cell wall-plasma membrane-actin cytoskeleton continuum during plant-microbe interaction. Additionally, we are developing AI-assisted prediction of molecular condensation to guide synthetic engineering and translate our fundamental understanding to novel agri-technologies for sustainable agriculture.
  • Bio-applications with NV centers in diamond
  • Elucidating biosorption mechanisms via atomistic simulations
  • From protein droplets to oil droplets: understanding the role of WRINKLED1 phase separation in the biosynthesis of vegetable oils
  • IDMxS - Detection
  • IDMxS PI Account - Miao Yansong
  • IDMxS PI Accounts - All
  • Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS)
  • Investigating the Role of Polarisome Complex in Filamentous Growth of Pathogenic Fungi
  • LLPS of the Effector-Guardee Complex Generates Signaling Hubs of Plant Immunity
  • Macromolecular Assembly of the Polarisome Complex Modulates Actin Cable Polymerization for the Establishment of Cell Polarity
  • Molecular basis of plant cellulose biosynthesis and its regulation
  • Quantum sensing for health science based on NV centers in diamond
  • Understanding Allergens in Alternative Food from Urban Aquaculture Fish to Underpin Food Safety
  • Understanding Allergens in Alternative Food from Urban Aquaculture Fish to Underpin Food Safety (PI: Miao Yansong)
  • Understanding and Engineering Immunity to Combat Plant Infection: Molecular Condensation at the Interface of Plant- Microbe Communication
Singapore National Research Foundation Investigatorship (NRFI)
EMBO Global Investigator, The European Molecular Biology Organization.
EMBO Journal Catalyst
Faculty member of Faculty Opinions (previous F1000Prime)
Nanyang Assistant Professorship, NTU, Singapore
Fellowships & Other Recognition
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Long-Term Postdoc Fellowship