Dr Ling Chin Hwang

Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Medicine

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Molecular techniques , Cell and Molecular Biology , Microbiology

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: Medicine, Medical Science

Dr Ling Chin Hwang is a senior lecturer in Biochemistry and leads the Biomedicine themes for the MBChB Medicine and BSc Medical Science courses. Her research interests are on bacterial cell division, biomolecular interactions and single-molecule fluorescence.

www.hwanglclab.com

@Hwanglclab

Medical Biochemistry podcast

Background

Ling Chin obtained her PhD in the lab of Thorsten Wohland at National University of Singapore, working on developing new fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) techniques for measuring biomolecular interactions. She was a postdoc in the lab of Achillefs Kapanidis at University of Oxford studying E. coli transcription initiation processes using single-molecule Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (sm-FRET). In 2010, she joined the lab of Kiyoshi Mizuuchi at National Institutes of Health in Maryland as a postdoc studying how plasmids that carry antibiotic resistance partition in bacteria.

Ling Chin started her research group at University of Sheffield as a lecturer in 2015, studying on how bacterial chromosomes organize and segregate for cell division. In 2020, Ling Chin joined Anglia Ruskin University, School of Medicine as a senior lecturer and as the academic lead for Biochemistry and Biomedicine.

Research interests

  • Protein-protein/DNA interactions
  • DNA organization and segregation
  • Bacterial cell division
  • Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy
  • Laboratory-based teaching in medical sciences education

When Ling Chin was at NIH, she and co-workers discovered that plasmid partition (Par) proteins are able to self-organize and use pattern formation to drive the intracellular transport of P1 and F plasmids in E. coli for their segregation. These patterns formed with mechanisms similar to patterns found in nature and developmental biology. How a minimal system consisting of few proteins and DNA are able to interact and move DNA remains a mystery. Ling Chin is interested in how larger bacterial chromosomes spatially organize to specific locations in the cell for cell division. These bacterial positioning systems form distinctive patterns within the cells, and are involved in important cellular functions such as chromosome segregation, cell division and bacteria motility. Understanding these fundamental mechanisms could lead to the development of new antimicrobial drug targets. Ling Chin uses a range of multidisciplinary techniques from biochemistry, biophysics and optical microscopy to investigate these central questions in biology. She is also interested in using laboratory-based and active learning methods to teach biochemistry and biomedicine to medical and medical sciences students.

Areas of research supervision

PhD students (from TUoS)

  • Satpal Chodha (graduated 2021) – Investigating the mechanistic features of ParABS-mediated Vibrio cholerae chromosome 2 segregation.
  • Adam Brooks (passed viva 2020) – Mechanistic studies of bacterial chromosome segregation using single-molecule microscopy.
  • Alexandra Parker (current) – Structural characterization of Vibrio cholerae chromosome segregation proteins.

Undergraduate students (from TUoS): supervised 4 MBiolSci students, 4 BSc students, 5 summer students.

Teaching

  • MBChB: Biochemistry and Immunology Themes lead
  • BSc Medical Science: Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Specialist Case Studies (Module lead)

Qualifications

  • PG Cert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Sheffield
  • PhD Chemistry, National University of Singapore
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry, National University of Singapore
  • BSc Chemistry, National University of Singapore

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow of HEA
  • Biochemical Society
  • Microbiology Society

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • New lecturer research grant, Society for Applied Microbiology, 2018, £10k
  • Society for Applied Microbiology summer studentship, 2018
  • Biochemical Society summer vacation studentship, 2018
  • Biochemical society travel grant, 2016
  • Sheffield undergraduate summer studentship, 2016
  • Royal society research grant, 2016, £15k
  • BBSRC PhD studentship (1801752) Oct 16 – Sep 20
  • EPSRC PhD studentship (1903415) Nov 16 – Jun 20

Selected recent publications

Parker A.V., Mann D., Tzokov S.B., Hwang L.C., Bergeron J.R.C., 2021. The cryo-EM structure of the bacterial type I DNA segregation ATPase filament reveals its conformational plasticity upon DNA binding. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.22.436490

Chodha, S.S., Brooks, A.C., Davis, P., Ramachandran, R., Chattoraj, D.K. and Hwang, L.C., 2021. Kinetic pathway of ATP-induced DNA interactions of ParA2, a protein essential for segregation of Vibrio cholerae chromosome 2. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.27.433207

Fuchino, K., Chan, H., Hwang, L.C. and Bruheim, P., 2021. The Ethanologenic Bacterium Zymomonas mobilis Divides Asymmetrically and Exhibits Heterogeneity in DNA Content. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, [online] 87(6).

Brooks, A.C. and Hwang, L.C., 2017. Reconstitutions of plasmid partition systems and their mechanisms. Plasmid, 91, pp.37–41.

Duchi, D., Bauer, D.L.V., Fernandez, L., Evans, G., Robb, N., Hwang, L.C., Gryte, K., Tomescu, A., Zawadzki, P., Morichaud, Z., Brodolin, K. and Kapanidis, A.N., 2016. RNA Polymerase Pausing during Initial Transcription. Molecular Cell, 63(6), pp.939–950.

Vecchiarelli, A.G., Li, M., Mizuuchi, M., Hwang, L.C., Seol, Y., Neuman, K.C. and Mizuuchi, K., 2016. Membrane-bound MinDE complex acts as a toggle switch that drives Min oscillation coupled to cytoplasmic depletion of MinD. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(11), pp.E1479–E1488.

Hwang, L.C., Vecchiarelli, A.G., Han, Y.-W., Mizuuchi, M., Harada, Y., Funnell, B.E. and Mizuuchi, K., 2013. ParA-mediated plasmid partition driven by protein pattern self-organization. The EMBO journal, 32(9), pp.1238–1249.

Vecchiarelli, A.G., Hwang, L.C. and Mizuuchi, K., 2013. Cell-free study of F plasmid partition provides evidence for cargo transport by a diffusion-ratchet mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(15), pp.E1390-1397.

View full list of publications at https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9533-1184