Dr. Peiwen Cong


Position: Post-doctorate


B.S. Bioinformatics 2008, National University of Singapore, Singapore

N.A. Chemical Engineering 2010, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ph.D. Biophysics/Bioinformatics 2015, National University of Singapore, Singapore


I am interested and specialized in studying how external factors, such as forces, constraints, and binding-interactions, modify the microstates of flexible macromolecules, hence influence, enhance, or switch on-off their bio-functions. Through joining the stimulating and well-established scientific environment of Prof. Cheng Zhu' lab at Georgia Tech, I plan to transit my in vitro and in silico skills in mechanobiology into constructive components towards insightful and quantitative comprehensions about T-cell recognition. The goal is to extend traditional static structural views with dynamic and mechanistic understandings about mechanosensing via immunoreceptors, in turn identifying biophysical characteristics to operate towards designated immune activation through reverse-engineering.


Yao M, Goult BT, Klapholz B, Hu X, Toseland CP, Guo Y, Cong P, Sheetz MP, Yan J. The mechanical response of talin. Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 7; 7:11966. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11966. PubMed PMID: 27384267; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4941051.

Cong P, Yan J. Recent progress on the mechanics of sharply bent DNA. SCIENCE CHINA Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. 2016 June; 59(8):680001. doi: 1674-7348.

Cong P, Dai L, Chen H, van der Maarel JR, Doyle PS, Yan J. Revisiting the Anomalous Bending Elasticity of Sharply Bent DNA. Biophys J. 2015 Dec 1;109(11):2338-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2015.10.016. PubMed PMID: 26636945; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4675846.

Yao M, Qiu W, Liu R, Efremov AK, Cong P, Seddiki R, Payre M, Lim CT, Ladoux B, Mège RM, Yan J. Force-dependent conformational switch of α-catenin controls vinculin binding. Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 31;5:4525. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5525. PubMed PMID: 25077739.

Yao M, Goult BT, Chen H, Cong P, Sheetz MP, Yan J. Mechanical activation of vinculin binding to talin locks talin in an unfolded conformation. Sci Rep. 2014 Apr 9;4:4610. doi: 10.1038/srep04610. PubMed PMID: 24714394; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3980218.

Le S, Chen H, Cong P, Lin J, Dröge P, Yan J. Mechanosensing of DNA bending in a single specific protein-DNA complex. Sci Rep. 2013 Dec 16;3:3508. doi: 10.1038/srep03508. PubMed PMID: 24336435; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3863814.

Kundukad B, Cong P, van der Maarel JR, Doyle PS. Time-dependent bending rigidity and helical twist of DNA by rearrangement of bound HU protein. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Sep;41(17):8280-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt593. Epub 2013 Jul 4. PubMed PMID: 23828037; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3783175.

Chen H, Zhu X, Cong P, Sheetz MP, Nakamura F, Yan J. Differential mechanical stability of filamin A rod segments. Biophys J. 2011 Sep 7;101(5):1231-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.07.028. PubMed PMID: 21889461; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3164173.

Chen H, Fu H, Zhu X, Cong P, Nakamura F, Yan J. Improved high-force magnetic tweezers for stretching and refolding of proteins and short DNA. Biophys J. 2011 Jan 19;100(2):517-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.12.3700. PubMed PMID: 21244848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3325116.