Hyeran Kang, Ph.D.

Hyeran Kang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Joint Appointment in NanoScience Technology Center, Materials Science & Engineering, and Biomedical Sciences
Office: Research Pavilion, Room 427
Phone: 407-823-2368
E-mail: Hyeran.Kang@ucf.edu


  • Postdoctoral Associate Yale University, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (Advisor: Dr. Enrique M. De La Cruz)
  • Ph.D. in Physics – Brown University (Advisor: Dr. Jay X. Tang)
  • M.S./ B.S. in Physics – Seoul National University, South Korea


Dr. Kang’s research focuses on the mechanics of biological polymers that play essential roles in cell morphology and movement. She seeks to determine molecular mechanisms of the essential protein actin assembly, from monomers to the generation of dynamic and geometrically organized structures of filaments. Her future research will focus on understanding mechanisms of how mechanical sensing of actin filament is linked to cell mechanics and movement at the nanometer level. In this endeavor, she develops and integrates molecular and cellular biophysics with protein biochemistry, molecular biology, polymer physics, and bioengineering techniques.

Scholarships and Awards

  • UCF In-House grant award (May 2016- Apr 2017)
  • Biophysical Society Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women Travel Award (2015)
  • Scholarship for Brandeis NSF MRSEC Summer Course in Microfluidics (2013)
  • American Society for Cell Biology Postdoctoral Travel Award (2012)
  • NSF CMMI Research and Innovation Conference Travel Award (2009)

Selected Publications

  1. H. Kang, M. J. Bradley, W. Cao, K. Zhou, E. E. Grintsevich, A. Michelot, Charles V. Sindelar, M. Hochstrasser, and E. M. De La Cruz (2014) “Site-specific cation release drives actin filament severing by vertebrate cofilin”, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 111(50): 17821-17826
  2. J. S. Graham, B. R. McCullough, H. Kang, W. A. Elam, W. Cao, E. M. De La Cruz (2014) Multi-platform compatible software for analysis of polymer bending mechanics, PLoS One, 9(4):e94766
  3. H. Kang*, M. J. Bradley*, W. A. Elam, E. M. De La Cruz (2013) Regulation of actin by ion-linked equilibria, Biophysical Journal, 105:2621-2628 (Invited review article, Featured cover art, * equal contributions)
  4. W. A. Elam, H. Kang, E. M. De La Cruz (2013) Competitive displacement of cofilin can promote actin filament severing, Biochem Biophys Res Commun., 438(4):728-731
  5. W. A. Elam, H. Kang, E. M. De La Cruz (2013) Biophysics of actin filament severing by cofilin, FEBS Letters, 587(8):1215-9 (Invited review article)
  6. H. Kang, M. J. Bradley, B. R. McCullough, A. Pierre, E. E. Grintsevich, E. Reisler and E. M. De La Cruz (2012) Identification of cation binding sites on actin that drive polymerization and modulate bending stiffness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 109(42): 16923-16927
  7. B. R. McCullough, E. E. Grintsevich, C.K. Chen, H. Kang, A. L. Hutchison, A. Henn, W. Cao, C. Suarez, J. L. Martiel, L. Blanchoin, E. Reisler, E. M. De La Cruz (2011) Cofilin-linked changes in actin filament flexibility promote severing, Biophysical Journal, 101(1):151-9
  8. C. Suarez, J. Roland, R. Boujemaa-Paterski, H. Kang, B.R. McCullough, A-C.Reymann, C. Guérin, J-L. Martiel, E.M. De La Cruz, L. Blanchoin (2011) Cofilin tunes the nucleotide state of actin filaments and severs at bare and decorated segment boundaries, Current Biology, 21(10):862-8 (Recommended article in Faculty of 1000 Cell Biology)
  9. H. Kang, D. S. Perlmutter, V. B. Shenoy, J. X. Tang (2010) Observation and kinematic description of long actin tracks induced by spherical beads, Biophysical Journal, 99(9), 2793-2802 (Highlighted as a Featured Article)
  10. H. Kang, Q. Wen, P. A. Janmey, J. X. Tang, E. Conti, F. C. MacKintosh (2009) Non-linear elasticity of stiff filament networks: Strain-stiffening, negative normal stress, and filament alignment in fibrin gels, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 113 (12), 3799-3805
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Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center