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"For his thesis entitled "Enabling multivariate investigation of single-molecule dynamics in solution by counteracting Brownian motion."Background:
Quan Wang received his B.S. in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2005 with a minor in computer science. He then came to the United States to pursue his interest in optical physics. He conducted research in nonlinear microscopy and spectroscopy at the University of New Mexico and earned a M.Sc. in optical science and engineering. His experiences with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy kindled an interest in experimental biophysics and he continued his PhD study at Stanford University with Professor W.E. Moerner. There, he integrated feedback control, single-molecule tracking and statistical learning to hold individual biomolecules (~1-10 nm) in solution for record-long times. He pioneered several new measurements to explore structural-function relations of single biomolecules, especially pigment-protein complexes involved in photosynthetic light harvesting, by trapping them one at a time in a non-perturbative aqueous environment. He also invented a method to sense the size and solvated charge of individual biomolecules in solution as well as the real-time fluctuations in these physical parameters by carefully analyzing the motions of single trapped molecules. These technical advances led to fundamentally new ways to visualize biomolecular interactions, which he is actively pursuing now as a postdoctoral scholar.