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  • 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.

Visit Dr. Kang’s Research Group site for more information

Scholarships and Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award (2020-2025)
  • UCF Women’s History Month Honor (2020)
  • Advance Florida Network Women in STEM Scholar Travel Award (2020)
  • NASA Florida Space Research Program Award (2019)
  • 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. S. Ghosh, J. Park, M. Thomas, E. Cruz, O. Cardona, H. Kang, T. Jewett. “Biophysical characterization of actin bundles generated by the Chlamydia trachomatis Tarp effector.” (2018) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.04.093 (Epub ahead of print)
  2. N. Castaneda, T. Zheng, H. J. Rivera-Jacquez, H. J. Lee, J. Hyun, A. Balaeff, Q. Huo, H. Kang*. “Cations modulate actin bundle mechanics, assembly dynamics, and structure.” (2018) J. Phys. Chem. B, 122(14):3826-3835
  3. W. A. Elam, W. Cao, H. Kang , A. Huehn, G. M. Hocky, E. Prochniewicz, A. C. Schramm, K. Negrón, J. Garcia, T. T. Bonello, P. W. Gunning, D. D. Thomas, G. A. Voth, C. V. Sindelar, E. M. De La Cruz. “Phosphomimetic S3D-cofilin binds but only weakly severs actin filaments.” (2017) J. Biol. Chem., 292(48):19565-19579
  4. Z.A.O. Durer, R. M. McGillivary, H. Kang, W. A. Elam, C. L. Vizcarra, D. Hanein, E. M. De La Cruz, E. Reisler, M. E. Quinlan (2015), “Metavinculin tunes the flexibility and the architecture of vinculin induced bundles of actin filaments”, J. Mol. Biol., 427(17):2782-98.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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)
  8. 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
  9. 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)
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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)
  13. 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)
  14. 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