Wenjing Wang Lab

Using protein engineering, we develop tools and technologies to help scientists investigate the detailed ways in which neurons and neuropathways regulate activities such as metabolism, drug addiction and neurodegeneration.

Our lab studies optogenetic technologies for protein detection and manipulation in living cells.

We are applying cutting-edge protein engineering methods, such as directed evolution, to improve the dynamic range and overall performance of light-sensitive proteins, and to harness them for detection and manipulation of important biochemical events. Our goal is to expand the optogenetics toolbox with widespread utility across multiple subfields of cell biology and neuroscience.


Wenjing Wang, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
William R. Roush Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Publication Highlights

A general method for chemogenetic control of peptide function

Shen J, Geng L, Li X, Emery C, Kroning K, Shingles G, Lee K, Heyden M, Li P,  Wang W, Nature Methods (2022)

α-Synuclein fibril-specific nanobody reduces prion-like α-synuclein spreading in mice
Riani YD, Liu Y, Kumbhar R , Zhao P, Gadhave K, Wang N, Li Y, Mao X, Wang W. Nat Comm. (2022)
A light-and calcium-gated transcription factor for imaging and manipulating activated neurons
Wang W, Wildes CP, Pattarabanjird T, Sanchez MI, Glober GF, Matthews GA, Tye KM, Ting AY, Nat Biotechnol (2017)
Time-gated detection of protein-protein interactions with transcriptional readout

Kim MW, Wang W, Sanchez MI, Coukos R, von Zastrow M, Ting AY, Elife (2017)

Tuning the electronic absorption of protein-embedded all-trans-retinal

Wang W, Nossoni Z, Berbasova T, Watson CT, Yapici I, Lee KS, Vasileiou C, Geiger JH, Borhan B, Science (2012)

Room: 4115
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”

— Carl Sagan