Lab News

July 18, 2022

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Our article in Science Advances gets featured in the media

Our article studying the mechanical response of talin, the mechanical computer of cellular adhesion, was published in Science Advances and featured in various scientific news  websites,such as,,,, and  UWM report. The main two findings were that talin has an unexpected history-dependent response to force and that one of its ligand, DLC1, binds with very high affinity, leading us to conclude that DLC1 can control cell spreading and act as a tumor suppressor through competitive binding to talin.

June 1, 2022

Marina Slawinski and Naomi Raicu receive the Senior Excellence in Research Awards

Marina Slawinski and Naomi Raicu are both recipients of theSenior Excellence in Research Award recipients, 2022-23. This award allows senior undergraduate students to significantly engage in research and to be an ambassador for undergraduate research activity at UWM. Congrats to both.

May 1, 2022

Marina Slawinski earns Outstanding Presentation Award

Marina Slawinski earns Outstanding Presentation Award for her talk given at Undergraduate Research Symposium, entitled “Generating Pores within Protein-Based Biomaterials without Compromising Their Structural Integrity”. Congratulations Marina!

April 26, 2022

New protein technology to purify antibodies

Following participation at the First Look Forum, our innovation on a new method to purify antibodies using porous columns was featured by the We hope to license this technology soon.

January 18, 2022

Unfolding the mystery

Naomi Raicu is featured in a new movie by the Office of Undergraduate Research, as she works on her project on protein hydrogels… She also does a quick tour of the wet lab, while explaining how research has benefitted her. Hope her advice is heard by other students interested in getting involved in research. Congrats Naomi!

December 15, 2021

Erick graduation

Erick Sanchez graduates and moves to Harley Davison

Erick Sanchez, undergraduate student in our lab,  graduated with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and joins Harley-Davison as a design engineer. Erick joined our lab as part of the STEM-Inspire Program for underrepresented minorities. He has participated in the design and manufacturing of one of our force-clamp instruments. Congrats Erick!


December 3, 2021

Science Bag is Back !

Sci Bag

Sci Bag Poster

Science Bag is back! Get your child interested in STEM! Our lab we’ll be doing the first event, in January ’22. Join us on January 7, 14, 21, 28 at 7 p.m or Sunday, January 16 at 2 p.m. at Physics building, Room 137, on the corner of E. Kenwood Blvd. and N. Cramer St. This event is open to the public and designed for children age 8 or older. I will be talking about how proteins are the magical workers inside our body and will do with future scientists from the audience several experiments to illustrate how proteins acquire their structure and how mechanical unfolding represents a unique process in nature.


July 7, 2021

Congratulations to Narayan for his successful PhD 


Congratulations to now Dr. Narayan Dahal for his successful defense! Narayan is the first Ph.D. student to graduate from
our lab. He developed new methods to study the mechanical response of proteins at single molecule level and successfully studied the binding of bacterial proteins to their ligands, how proteins operate during cellular mechano-transduction and
how muscle proteins respond to forces. We wish him all the
best in his future endeavors!

June 4, 2021

Good students get awards

Congratulations to our graduate students, Narayan Dahal for getting the Lichtman Award, which is given yearly to the best experimentalist student in the Physics Department, and to Sabita Sharma for receiving the Graduate Student Excellence Fellowship Award from the Graduate School. Also congrats to our undergraduate student, Naomi Raicu, for being offered an Quantum Undergraduate Internship by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory over the summer!

March 15, 2021

Our paper was featured on the front cover of The FEBS Journal

Our review article on the roles of mechanical protein unfolding invo, entitled Does protein unfolding play a functional role in vivo?, was  featured on the cover of the March 15, 2021 issue of The FEBS Journal.




May 11, 2020

Our Science Advances article was featured by

Our Science Advances article showing the first demonstration of cation-induced actuation in protein-hydrogels was featured by





May 11, 2020

Marina Slawinski wins the second place in 2020 Student Research Poster Competition

Congratulations Marina for winning second place in the 2020 Student Research Poster Competition, organized the UWM College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her presentation movie about our Shape Morphing project can be found at this link.

April 23, 2020

Our paper was featured on the front cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Our article on protein L-antibody binding, entitled Binding-Induced Stabilization Measured on the Same Molecular Protein Substrate Using Single-Molecule Magnetic Tweezers and Heterocovalent Attachments – featured on the cover of the April 23, 2020 issue of Journal of Physical Chemistry B.




February 21, 2020

An article was published about our lab in the 2020 edition of UWM Research magazine 

This article from the 2020 edition of UWM Research magazine talks about    our work on protein unfolding and its implications on better understanding how the human body works. This work is currently funded through NSF  Career Award.


November 30, 2019

Our Nature Communications article featured by

This article was featured by and reports on a new type of shape-memory biomaterials which use the chemical (un)folding of protein domains inside hydrogels to trigger reversible shape change.


May 21, 2019

Our Nature Methods article featured by

The research published together with Raicu group (lead, from UWM) and Milligan lab (from University of Glasgow), was highlighted by, for its potential to search for membrane receptor oligomerization, with larger implications in speeding drug development.


May 13, 2019

Article about our lab in GMF magazine

Our lab was featured on the Greater Milwaukee Foundation magazine Spring 2019 issue. The Foundation administers our Shaw Award, which helps us further our research program.


April 16, 2018

Kirill selected for a national conference in Washington D.C

Kirill was recently featured on UWM Report for being selected as one of two representatives for the state of Wisconsin for the Poster on the Hill event hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research. Congrats Kirill!  


March 3, 2018

Our paper was featured on the front cover of Macromolecules

Study of Biomechanical Properties of Protein-Based Hydrogels Using Force-Clamp Rheometry was chosen for the front page of February 27th, 2018 issue of Macromolecules!




October 19, 2017

Article about our lab in UWM Report.

Our laboratory was recently featured in an article by UWM Report.


May 16, 2017

Article about our lab in BizTimes Milwaukee.

Our laboratory was recently featured in an article in BizTimes Milwaukee.