The Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore, was established in 2009. As the institute grew, so did the number of principal investigators, research fellows and graduate students.
Within the first few years, collaborations had formed, and these were continually strengthened through MBI’s open-lab concept. With experts in cell biology, computational biology, physics, and mathematics all working together under the same roof, researchers were encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and apply new and less familiar approaches to their research. A shared infrastructure, and access to the latest microfabrication and microscopy technology, has allowed MBI’s researchers to make significant contributions to the field of mechanobiology, and biophysics.
As MBI’s founding researchers move on to positions in other research institutes, industry or academia, we look back on some of the research achievements of MBI alumni.
Mechanobiology Institute’s recent alumni
Research Fellow 2009 – 2014
Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy,
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University
of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Dr. Cheng-han Yu received his B.Sc. in Physics (2000) from the National Taiwan University (NTU), gaining his early research experience in the Institute of Applied Mechanics, NTU with Prof. Chih-Kung Lee. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry (2002 – 2007) under the guidance of Prof. Jay T. Groves at the University of California, Berkeley.
His interest in the interactions between the cytoskeleton and cell adhesion motivated Cheng-han to join the research group of Prof. Michael P. Sheetz at the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore (MBI) for his postdoctoral training (2009 – 2014). From 2010 to 2012, he was supported by the Young Postdoctoral Fellowship of National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC98-2917-I-564-165).
During his time at MBI, Cheng-han focused on the study of force-modulated molecular events that occur during cell-substrate adhesion. In particular he was interested in using nanopartitioned lipid bilayer membranes and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to investigate integrin-mediated adhesion. Read more about Dr Cheng-han Yu.
Senior Research Fellow 2010 – 2014
Senior Assistant Professor, Frontiers of Innovative Research in Science and Technology (FIRST), Konan University, Japan 7-1-20, Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0047, Japan
Keiko received her B.Sc. in Life Science from the Himeji Institute of Technology, Faculty of Science, Japan (1991 – 1995). After graduation, she worked as a researcher in the Ako Kasei Company Ltd., Japan (1995 – 1998) before pursuing a Ph.D. at the Himeji Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Science, Japan (1998 – 2002). She then worked at the Institute of Gerontology, Nippon Medical School, Japan, initially as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2003 – 2006), then as Assistant Professor (2006 – 2008) and Senior Assistant Professor (2008 – 2011). Concurrently, Keiko joined the Department of Biological Science, National University of Singapore, as a research fellow (2009 – 2010). Driven by her interest in the relationship between mechanotransduction and tumour progression, she joined the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore (MBI) as Senior Research Fellow in 2010.
For more than 16 years, Keiko has dedicated herself to understanding biochemcial signalling pathways in cancer, as well as in the immune response. In particular, she has focused on studying the role of p53 in tumour suppression. After joining the MBI, her work was further focused towards understanding the relationship between p53 and the cytoskeletal processes that drive cell invasion. Read more about Dr Keiko Kawauchi’s research.