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WU Yilin 吳藝林

WU Yilin / Professor

PHONE: (852) 3943 6354

OFFICE: Room 306, 3/F, Science Centre North Block

LAB: Room 207/209, LG2/F, Run Run Shaw Science Building

Lab Website ]


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 2009-2012
  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of Notre Dame, 2009
  • B.S. in Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, 2004


  • 08/2022-now, Professor, Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 09/2018-07/2022, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 09/2012-09/2018, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Research Interests

  • Physics of living matter and quantitative biology:
    • Collective motion and self-organization of living active matter
    • Growth dynamics of general living matter
    • Bacterial motility in complex environments
    • Population dynamics, pattern formation and cell-environment interactions in natural and synthetic multicellular systems

Honours and Awards

  • Xplorer Prize (科學探索獎), 2023, New Cornerstone Science Foundation
  • Research Excellence Award 2020/21, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • RGC Research Fellow Scheme 2020/21, Research Grants Council
  • Young Researcher Award 2017, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Selected Recent Publications

    • Haoran Xu, Mehrana R. Nejad, Julia M. Yeomans, Yilin Wu (2023) Geometrical control of interface patterning underlies active matter invasion. PNAS, 120 (30) e2219708120.
    • Haoran Xu, Yulu Huang, Rui Zhang, Yilin Wu (2023) Autonomous waves and global motion modes in living active solids. Nature Physics, 19, 46–51.
    • Ding Cao, Mariia Dvoriashyna, Song Liu, Eric Lauga, Yilin Wu (2022) Reduced surface accumulation of swimming bacteria in viscoelastic polymer fluids. PNAS, 119(45):e2212078119.
    • Ye Li, Shiqi Liu, Yingdan Zhang, Zi Jing Seng, Haoran Xu, Liang Yang, Yilin Wu (2022) Self-organized canals enable long range directed material transport in bacterial communities. eLife, 11:e79780.
    • S. Liu, S. Shankar, M. C. Marchetti & Y. Wu (2021) Viscoelastic control of spatiotemporal order in bacterial active matter. Nature, 590(7844), 80-84.
    • Wenlong Zuo & Yilin Wu (2020) Dynamic motility selection drives population segregation in a bacterial swarm. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 117(9):4693-4700.
    • Haoran Xu, Justas Dauparas, Debasish Das, Eric Lauga, Yilin Wu (2019) Self-organization of swimmers drives long-range fluid transport in bacterial colonies. Nature Communications. 10, 1792.
    • Ye Li*, He Zhai*, Sandra Sanchez, Daniel B. Kearns, Yilin Wu. (2017) Non-contact cohesive swimming of bacteria in two-dimensional liquid films. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 018101. (*co-first authors).
    • Chong Chen*, Song Liu*, Xiaqing Shi, Hugues Chaté, Yilin Wu (2017) Weak synchronization and large-scale collective oscillation in dense bacterial suspensions. Nature 542: 210–214. (*co-first authors)
      News: CUHK Press Release, [English], [中文]. Featured in APS Physics [Link]
    • Yilin Wu (2015). Collective motion of bacteria in two dimensions. Quantitative Biology, 3(4), 199–205. [Review Article]
    • Wu Y, Berg HC (2012) Water reservoir maintained by cell growth fuels the spreading of a bacterial swarm. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(11):4128-33.
    • Wu Y, Hosu BG, Berg HC (2011) Microbubbles reveal chiral fluid flows in bacterial swarms. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(10): 4147-51.
    • Wu Y, Kaiser D, Jiang Y, Alber M (2009) Periodic reversal of direction allows myxobacteria to swarm. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(4): 1222–1227. [Nature News]
    • Wu Y, Jiang Y, Kaiser D, Alber M (2007) Social interactions in myxobacterial swarming. PLoS Comput Biol 3(12): e253.

    Open Positions

    We always welcome highly motivated candidates at all levels (postdoctoral fellow, PhD/MPhil, undergraduate) to join the lab and pursue the physical principles of living systems. Interested candidates with either experimental or theoretical background are welcome to apply. Inquiries should be made to WU Yilin < >