Wai-Leung Ng, PhD


Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology & Microbiology



BSc, Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
MPhil, Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
PhD, Microbiology, Indiana University, Bloomington
Postdoctoral Training, Princeton University


Campus: Boston
Office: Arnold 511C
Laboratory: Arnold 511

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-636-0881
Lab Phone: 617-636-6996
E-mail  Send an e-mail


Research Website: Lab Research Page
Recent Publications:  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs

Molecular Microbiology


Research Synopsis

Group behaviors that are critical for survival in harsh environment, such as biofilm formation, virulence factor production, and genetic exchange, are seemingly futile if performed by a single bacterium acting alone. To solve this problem, bacteria depend on a cell-to-cell communication process called Quorum Sensing (QS). Through production and detection of extracellular chemicals called autoinducers, bacteria use QS to monitor cell population density and complexity, and synchronize the gene expression of the group to act in unison. Our lab uses a multi-disciplinary approach to understand how pathogenic Vibrio species communicate with each other. Through these studies, our goal is to reveal the molecular mechanisms underpinning QS, and to understand how QS controls Vibrio virulence and physiology. In turn, we hope to understand how group behaviors evolve. We will also use these findings to develop novel therapeutics to combat infectious diseases by manipulating cell-to-cell communications.


Lab Members

Kelsey Barrasso, PhD Student in Molecular Microbiology Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Mary Hahm, PhD Student in Molecular Microbiology - MERGE-ID Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Brendan O'Hara, PhD Student in Molecular Microbiology Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Miriam Ramliden, PhD Student in Molecular Microbiology Send an e-mail  Lab Research Page
Samit Watve, Postdoctoral Scholar Send an e-mail Lab Research Page

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research