Yunfeng Chen

Position: Graduate Student


2013-2014, Molecular Biophysics Senior Student Award, Georgia Institute of Technology


B.S. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics 2010, Peking University, China


Cell surface receptors bind to their counterparts (termed ligands) and transmit signals through the membrane and into the cell body. Certain receptors, namely mechanoreceptors, are able to receive and transmit mechanical stimuli, the process of which are called mechanotransduction. This process is of special importance to platelets, a group of blood cells that are required in hemostasis, because they need to "feel" the difference in the hemodynamic environment in order to judge the presence and size of vascular injuries.

My research interest is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of mechanotransduction in the context of platelet-dependent hemostasis and thrombosis. The study regards a platelet to be a well-tuned bleeding-stopping machine that promptly recognizes and adheres to vascular injury sites, and activates itself upon the drag of shear force exerted on the surface GPIb alpha and integrin alpha IIb beta 3, the two platelet receptors playing primary roles in arterial hemostasis and thrombotic-related diseases including diabetes, obesity etc. Figuring out the mechanisms of GPIb alpha and integrin alpha IIb beta 3 mechanotransduction allows us to gain more insights on platelet signaling and activation, which will provide inspirations and strategies on treating diseases including bleeding disorders and thrombotic diseases which claim countless lives every year.


Chen Y*., Liu B*., Lining J., Hong J., Ji Q., Chen W., and Zhu C., 2015, " Fluorescence Biomembrane Force Probe: Concurrent Quantitation of Receptor-ligand Kinetics and Binding-induced Intracellular Signaling on a Single Cell ", J Vis Exp 102, e52975 DOI: 10.3791/52975

J. Lining, Y. Chen, F. Zhou, H. Lu, M. A. Cruz, and Zhu C., 2015, "Von Willebrand factor-A1 domain binds platelet glycoprotein Ibα in multiple states with distinctive force-dependent dissociation kinetics ", Thrombosis Research DOI: 10.1016/j.thromres.2015.06.019

Rosetti F*, Chen Y*, Sen M, Thayer E, Azcutia V, Herter JM, Luscinskas FW, Cullere X, Zhu C., and Mayadas TN 2015, "A Lupus-Associated Mac-1 Variant Has Defects in IntegrinAllostery andInteraction withLigandsunder Force ", Cell Reports 10, 1655-1664 DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.02.037

Fiore V.F*., Ju L*., Chen Y., Zhu C.,, and Barker T.H., 2014, " Dynamic catch of a Thy-1-α5β1+syndecan-4 trimolecular complex. ", Nat Commun. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5886