Yun Wang Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests

Medical and Environmental Microbiology, Aquatic Geochemistry

Our research is at the interface of medical/environmental microbiology and geochemistry. We apply an interdisciplinary approach to studying the link between reactions of bioactive small molecules (e.g., antibiotics) with environmental constituents and their mode of action on microbial biofilm architecture and physiology. Current research directions include:

  1. Investigating the roles of redox-active "antibiotics" (phenazine- and quinone-based molecules) in iron acquisition and microbial physiology. We use two opportunistic pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia, as our model organisms.
  2. Optimizing small molecule-facilitated electron transfer in biofilm processes, with emphasis on improving bioenergy generation and bioremediation efficiency.
  3. Determining the fate and transformation of (bio) molecules and environmental pollutants at mineral-water interfaces. 
  4. Determining the fate and transformation of (bio)molecules and environmental pollutants at mineral-water interfaces. 
  5. Developing imaging techniques for studying (bio)molecules and organic pollutants in vivo and in situ. 

These studies will not only help us predict the chemical and biological impact of bioactive molecules in natural aqueous environments but also highlight strategies for manipulating clinical and environmental biofilms.

Selected Publications

Active Starvation Responses Mediate Antibiotic Tolerance in Biofilms and Nutrient-Limited Bacteria. Nguyen D, Joshi-Datar A, Lepine F, Bauerle E, Olakanmi O, Beer K, McKay G, Siehnel R, Schafhauser J, Wang Y, Britigan BE, and Singh PK. Science. 2011 November 18;334(6058):982-986.

Quantifying the Dynamics of Bacterial Secondary Metabolites by Spectral Multiphoton Microscopy. Sullivan NL, Tzeranis DS,Wang Y, So PTC, and Newman D. ACS Chemical Biology. 2011 September 16;6(9):893-899.

Phenazine-1-Carboxylic Acid Promotes Bacterial Biofilm Development via Ferrous Iron AcquisitionWang Y, Wilks JC, Danhorn T, Ramos I, Croal L, and Newman DK. Journal of Bacteriology. 2011 July;193(14):3606-3617.

Endogenous Phenazine Antibiotics Promote Anaerobic Survival of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via Extracellular Electron TransferWang Y, Kern SE, and Newman DK. Journal of Bacteriology. 2010 January;192(1):365-369.

Phosphonate- and Carboxylate-Based Chelating Agents that Solubilize (Hydr)oxide-Bound MnIIIWang Y and Stone AT.Environmental Science & Technology. 2008 June 15;42(12):4397-4403.

Redox Reactions of Phenazine Antibiotics with Ferric (Hydr)oxides and Molecular OxygenWang Y and Newman DK.Environmental Science & Technology. 2008 April 1;42(7):2380-2386.

Reaction of MnIII,IV (hydr)oxides with oxalic acid, glyoxylic acid, phosphonoformic acid, and structurally-related organic compoundsWang Y and Stone AT. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2006 September 1;70(17):4477-4490.

The citric acid-MnIII,IVO2(birnessite) reaction. Electron transfer, complex formation, and autocatalytic feedbackWang Y and Stone AT. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2006 September 1;70(17):4463-4476.

View all publications by Yun Wang listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).