Fengbin Wang (Jerry)

Study of extremophiles and development of optical super-resolution microscopy
Started on June, 2016


I am a structure biologist. My research has ranged from studies of cell appendages to self-assembly peptide nanotubes. I was born in China and graduated from Fudan University in 2010 with a B.A. in Biology. I received my Ph.D. from Rice Unviersity in 2016 in Biochemistry with Dr. George Phillips Jr. Since 2016, I moved to University of Virginia where I am now a postdoc with Ed.


X-ray crystallography (Ph.D.) and Cryo-EM (Postdoc)

Research Interests:

Type IV pili: Cell surface filamentous appendages have many functions such as locomotion, attachment, adhesion, assisting in genetic exchange and even long-range extracellular electron transfer for respiration. The bacterial type IV pili (T4P) have received intense scrutiny due to their critical roles in pathogenesis.
Conductive nanowires: Long-range (>10 μm) transport of electrons along networks of G. sulfurreducens protein filaments, known as microbial nanowires, has been invoked to explain a wide range of globally important redox phenomena. These nanowires were previously thought to be type IV pili composed of PilA protein. In our Cell paper, we report a 3.7 Å resolution cryoelectron microscopy structure, which surprisingly reveals that, rather than PilA, G. sulfurreducens nanowires are assembled by micrometer-long polymerization of the hexaheme cytochrome OmcS, with hemes packed within 3.5–6 Å of each other.
Self-assembly nanotubes: Self-assembly is a ubiquitous process in biological systems and functional macromolecular machines of living organisms commonly arise from homomeric or heteromeric self-association. Helical protein assemblies encompass a diversity of functional roles in biological systems that would be desirable to emulate in synthetic or semisynthetic analogs, such as controlled release and delivery, cargo transport, locomotion etc. I have been very interested in this, and participated in such designing with different strategies.

Where do I see myself in 5 years?

Find a faculty position somewhere in the world.

Publications with our group

A packing for A-form DNA in an icosahedral virus.
Fengbin Wang, Ying Liu, Zhangli Su, Tomasz Osinski, Guilherme A P de Oliveira, James F Conway, Stefan Schouten, Mart Krupovic, David Prangishvili, Edward H Egelman
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, October 2019 (see publication)