SMART - Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology

Biosystems and Micromechanics

BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) Inter-Disciplinary Research Group

Jie Yan
Assistant Professor of Physics, National University of Singapore (NUS)


  • 2011-present; Tenured Associate Professor of Physics, National University of Singapore
  • 2010–present; Principal Investigator, NUS Centre for Bioimaging Sciences
  • 2009–present; Principal Investigator, Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) Singapore
  • 2009–present; Faculty Fellow, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology (SMART)
  • 2005–2011; Assistant Professor of Physics, National University of Singapore


  • NUS/OLS Young Investigator Award (2005)
  • Faculty Young Scientist Award (2008)

Major research interests
Genome organization in cells, bacteria, and viruses; Nucleic acids-protein interactions, gene regulation and replication; Protein folding and unfolding under mechanical forces; Development and applications of single-molecule techniques in cell molecular biology; Statistical mechanics of biomolecules; Dynamics and kinetics of biomolecular interactions.

Selected peer-reviewed publications

  • Lim, C.J., Y.Whang, L.J.Kenneym and J. Yan (2012). “Gene silencing H-NS paralogue StpA forms a rigid protein filament along DNA that blocks DNA accessibility.” Nucleic Acids Research 40:3316-3328.
  • Chen, H, X.Y. Zhu, P.W. Cong, M.P. Sheetz, F. Nakamura, and J. Yan (2011). "Differential Mechanical Stability of Filamin A Rod Segments." Biophysical Journal 101:1231-1237.
  • Chen, H, H.X. Fu, X.Y. Zhu, P.W. Cong, F. Nakamura, and J. Yan (2011). "Improved High Force Magnetic Tweezers for Stretching and Refolding of Proteins and Short DNA." Biophysical Journal 100: 517-523.
  • FU, H.X., H Chen, X.H. Zhang, Y QU, J.F. Marko and J. Yan (2011). "Transition dynamics and selection of the distinct S-DNA and strand unpeeling modes of double helix overstretching." Nucleic Acid Research 39:3473-3481.
  • Fu, H.X., H.Chen, J.F. Marko, and J. Yan (2010). "Two distinct overstretched DNA states." Nucleic Acid Research 38 :5594-5600.
  • Liu, Y.J., H.Chen, L.J. Kenney, and J. Yan (2010). "A divalent switch drives H-NS/DNA-binding conformations between stiffening and bridging modes." Genes & Development 24:339-344.
  • Chen H, Yan J. Temperature dependence of circular DNA topological states. Phys. Rev E, 2009; 79: 041926.
  • Lin J, Lubrich D, Yan J. A Contractile DNA Machine. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2008; 47: 7026 – 7028.
  • Ranjith P, Yan J, Marko JF. Nucleosome hopping and sliding kinetics determined from dynamics of single chromatin fibers in Xenopus egg extracts. PNAS, 2007; 104:13649.
  • Bao QB, Chen H, Liu YJ, Yan J, Dröge P, Davey CA. A Divalent Metal-mediated Switch Controlling Protein-induced DNA Bending. JMB, 2007; 367: 731.
  • Yan J, Maresca TJ, Skoko D, Adams CD, Xiao B, Christensen MO, Heald R, Marko JF, Manipulation Studies of Chromatin Fibers in Xenopus Egg Extracts Reveal ATP-dependent Chromatin Assembly Dynamics. MBC, 2007; 18: 464.
  • Fu WB, Wang XL, Zhang XH, Ran SY, Yan J, Li M. Compaction Dynamics of Single DNA Molecules under Tension. JACS Communications, 2006; 128: 15040.
  • Skoko D, Yan J, Johnson RC, Marko JF. The bacterial nucleoid protein Fis mediates looping of DNA. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2006; 95: 208101.
  • Yan J, Kawamura R, Marko JF. Statistics of loop formation along double helix DNAs, Phys. Rev E, 2005; 71: 061905.
  • Yan J, Marko JF. Localized single-stranded bubble mechanism for cyclization of short double helix DNAs. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2004; 93: 108108.
  • Yan J, Skoko D, Marko JF. Near-field-magnetic-tweezer manipulation of single DNA molecules. Phys. Rev. E, 2004; 70: 011905.
  • Yan J, Marko JF. Effects of DNA-distorting proteins on DNA elastic response. Phys. Rev. E, 2003; 68: 011905.
  • Yan J, Magnasco MO, Marko JF. A kinetic proofreading mechanism for disentanglement of DNA by topoisomerases. Nature, 1999; 401: 923.