Third Year PhD Student
Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Hometown: Lakeville, MN
BS in Biomedical Engineering, 2015, Boston University
Research interests: Before graduate school, I helped guide terminal glioblastoma patients through clinical trials, an experience that unveiled numerous limitations of current medicine. In order to best find therapies for currently untreatable diseases, I feel that we need to continue building our knowledge of the fundamental basis of disease pathogenesis. I am most interested in designing improved 3D in vitro models that recapitulate the microenvironment cells interact with in the body. Through my PhD work, I aim to develop synthetic biomaterials that better model the extracellular matrix of native tissues so we can understand how matrix mechanics impacts various disease pathways, for example in cancer metastasis.
Outside interests and favorite food/beer in A2: Outside of work, I enjoy binge watching Netflix, football and exercising at the gym – only to balance my consumption of fried chicken and late night Chinese takeout.
Matera DL, Wang WY, Smith MR, Shikanov A, Baker BM. “Fiber density modulates cell spreading in 3D interstitial matrix mimetics,” ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2019, doi:10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00141
Wang WY, Davidson CD, Lin D, Baker BM. “Actomyosin contractility-dependent matrix stretch and recoil induces rapid cell migration,” Nature Communications, 2019, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09121-0.
Davidson CD, Wang WY, Zaimi I, Jayco DKP, Baker BM. “Cell force-mediated matrix reorganization underlies multicellular network assembly,” Scientific Reports, 2019, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37044-1.
Wang WY, Pearson AT, Kutys ML, Choi CK, Wozniak MA, Baker BM, Chen, CS. “Extracellular matrix alignment dictates the organization of focal adhesions and directs uniaxial cell migration,” APL Bioengineering, 2018, doi:10.1063/1.5052239.
Baker BM*, Trappmann B*, Wang WY, Sakar MS, Kim IL, Shenoy VB, Burdick JA, Chen CS. “Cell-mediated fibre recruitment drives extracellular matrix mechanosensing in engineered fibrillar microenvironments,” Nature Materials, 2015, doi:10.1038/nmat4444. * authors contributed equally
Wang WY, Davidson CD, Lin D, Baker BM. “Actomyosin contractility-dependent matrix stretch and recoil induces rapid cell migration,” 8th World Congress in Biomechanics, Dublin, Ireland, July 8-12, 2018, podium.
Wang WY, Davidson CD, Baker BM. “Matrix elasticity defines cell migration modes in aligned fibrous microenvironments,” Society For Biomaterials Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, April 11-14, 2018, podium.
Wang WY and Baker BM. “The influence of matrix stiffness on directed cell migration in aligned fibrillar microenvironments,” Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference, Tucson, AZ, June 21-24, 2017, podium.
2018, World Congress of Biomechanics – 1st place ASME-BED PhD Student Paper Competition
2018, Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting – Outstanding Abstract Honorable Mention
2017, Biomaterials Day (Cell Technologies) – 1st place podium
2017, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
2016, Rackham Merit Fellowship