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Home People Faculty Faculty Gerard C. L. Wong, Ph.D.

Gerard C. L. Wong, Ph.D.

Gerard Wong

Department of Bioengineering
California Nanosystems Institute

4121E Engineering V
310-794-7684 | 310-794-5956 fax | Wong Group Website


  • B.S., California Institute of Technology, 1987
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1994
  • Postdoctoral Research with Professor W.H. de Jeu, FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam, 1994-1996
  • Postdoctoral Research with Professor C.R. Safinya, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997 - 2000


Professor Wong received his BS degree in Physics from Caltech and his PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley.  He subsequently pursued postdoctoral research on soft matter physics at the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, and on biophysics and bioengineering at UC Santa Barbara.  Wong represented the U.S. in the NSF-MEXT US-Japan Young Scientist Symposium on Nanobiotechnology (2005), the Taipei Academia Sinica International Workshop on Soft Matter and Biophysics (2007), and the NSF-DST US-India Nanoscience & Engineering Workshop (2008).  He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Physical Review E.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2012
  • Racheff Faculty Scholar Award, 2008
  • Xerox Foundation Award for Senior Faculty Research, 2008
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award, 2007
  • Selection to the Frontiers of Engineering Symposium sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, 2006
  • Xerox Foundation Award for Junior Faculty Research, 2005
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 2004
  • Burnett Teaching Award, 2003
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2001

Research Interests

We are interested in multi-disciplinary approach to solving problems in biology and biomedicine., combining physics, chemistry, biology, as well as engineering.  The group is inherently interdisciplinary; our collaborations include physicists, chemists, material scientists, biologists, medical doctors, as well as bioengineers.


  • Antimicrobials and antibiotic-resistant pathogens
  • Bacterial communities (Ex: signaling, motility, social organization in biofilms)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Apoptosis proteins and cancer therapeutics
  • Disinfection and water purification
  • Self-assembly in biology and biotechnology (Ex: drug and gene delivery)
  • Physical chemistry of solvation (Ex: femtosecond hydration dynamics of ions and surfaces)
  • Soft condensed matter physics (Ex: polymers, polyelectrolytes, liquid crystals, colloids, nanoparticles)
  • Biophysics (Ex: DNA, membranes, proteins)


Recent Papers

  1. Zhao, K., Choe, U.-J., Kamei, D.T., and Wong, G.C.L., "Enhanced Activity of Cyclic Transporter Sequences Driven by Phase Behavior of Peptide-Lipid Complexes, Soft Matter, 8:6430-6433, 2012.
  2. Coridan, R.H., and Wong, G.C.L., "Molecular Solvation Dynamics From Inelastic X-ray Scattering Experiments," Advance Chemical Physics (invited article), 149:183-187, 2012.
  3. Schmidt, N.W., Tai, K.P., Kamdar, K., Mishra, A., Lai, G.H., Zhao, K., Ouellette, A.J., and Wong, G.C., "Arginine in Defensins: Differential Effects on Bactericidal Activity Correspond to Geometry of Membrane Curvature Generation and Peptide-Lipid Phase Behavior," J. Biol. Chem., 287(26):21866-21872, June 22, 2012.
  4. Coridan, R.H., Schmidt, N.W., Lai, G.H., Abbamonte, P., and Wong, G.C., "Dynamics of Confined Water Reconstructed Form Inelastic X-Ray Scattering Measurements of Bulk Response Functions," Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys., 85:031501, March 2012.
  5. Mishra A., Lai G.H., Schmidt N.W., Sun V.Z., Rodriguez A.R., Tong R., Tang L., Cheng J., Deming T.J., Kamei D.T., Wong G.C., "Translocation of HIV TAT peptide analogues induced by multiplexed membrane and cytoskeletal interactions," Porc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11;108(41):16883-8. Epub 2011 Oct 3.
  6. Zasloff M., Adams A. P., Beckerman B., Campbell A., Han Z., Luijten E., Meza I., Julander J., Michra A., Qu W., Taylor J.M., Weaver S.C., Wong G.C, "Squalamine as a broad-spectrum systemic antiviral agent with therapeutic potential," Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 20;108(38):15978-83. Epub 2011 Sep 19.
  7. Jin F., Conrad J.C., Gibiansky M.L., Wong G.C., "Bacteria use type-IV pili to slingshot on surfaces," Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 2;108(31):12617-22. Epub 2011 Jul 18. 
  8. Schmidt N.W., Mishra A., Lai G.H., Davis M., Sanders L.K., Tran D., Garcia A., Tai K.P., McCray P.B., Ouellette A.J., Selsted M.E., Wong G.C., "Criterion for amino acid composition of defensins and antimicrobial peptides based on geometry of membrane destabilization," J Am Chem Soc. 2011 May 4;133(17):6720-7. Epub 2011 Apr. 7.
  9. Conrad J.C., Gibiansky M.L., Jin F., Gordon V.D., Motto D.A., Mathewson M.A., Stopka W.G., Zelasko D.C., Shrout J.D., Wong G.C., "Flagella and pili-mediated near-surface single-cell motility mechanisms in P. aeruginosa," Biophys J. 2011 Apr 6;100(7):1608-16.
  10. Mishra A., Tai K.P., Schmidt N.W., Ouellette A.J., Wong G.C., "Small-angle X-ray scattering studies of peptide-lipid interactions using the mouse paneth cell α-defensin cryptdin-4," Methods Enzymol. 2011;492:127-49.
  11. Colvin K.M., Gordon V.D., Murakami K., Borlee B.R., Wozniak D.J., Wong G.C., Parsek M.R., "The pel polysaccharide can serve a structure and protective role in the bioflim matrix of Pseudomonas aeurginosa," PLoS Pathog. 2011 Jan 27;7(1):e1001264.
  12. Gibiansky M.L., Conrad J.C., Jin F., Gordon V.D., Motto D.A., Mathewson M.A., Stopka W.G., Zelasko D.C., Shrout J.D., Wong G.C., "Bacteria use type IV pili to walk upright and detach from surfaces," Science. 2010 Oct 8;330(6001):197.
  13. Abbamonte P., Wong G.C., Cahill D.G., Reed J.P., Coridan R.H., Schmidt N.W., Lai G.H., Joe Y.I., Casa D., "Ultrafast imaging and the phase problem for inelastic X-ray scatteirng," Adv Mater. 2010 Mar 12;22(10):1141-7.
  14. Shin H., Purdy Drew K.R., Bartles J.R., Wong G.C., Grason G.M., "Cooperativity and frustration in protein-mediated parallel actin bundles," Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Dec 4;103(23):238102. Epub 2009 Nov 30.


    • Bioengr C104 / C204:  Physical chemistry of Biomacromolecules (Fall Quarter)
    • Bioengr C139A / C239A:  Biomolecular Materials Science I (Winter Quarter)
    • Bioengr C139B / C239B:  Biomolecular Materials Science II (Spring Quarter)

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