Dr Anna Wang
Senior Lecturer

Dr Anna Wang

  • BSc(Adv H1M) - The University of Sydney (2009)
  • SM in Applied Physics - Harvard University (2013)
  • PhD in Applied Physics - Harvard University (2016)
School of Chemistry

I am from Sydney and spent almost a decade overseas in Massachusetts, USA. I have a background in physics and biochemistry, and enjoy working in the interdisciplinary fields of astrobiology, biophysics, and soft matter.

Experience and background

  • BSc (Adv H1M), The University of Sydney (2009)
  • SM in Applied Physics, Harvard University (2013) 
  • PhD in Applied Physics, Harvard University (2016)
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow in Astrobiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (2016-2018)

For details on our lab's research, please see the lab website here: annawanglab.com and send me an email!

Science and Engineering Building (lab) and Hilmer Building (office) UNSW Sydney NSW 2052
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    2022, 'Methods for Forming Giant Unilamellar Fatty Acid Vesicles', in Membrane Lipids: Methods and Protocols, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1843-1_1
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Chen C; Yi R; Igisu M; Sakaguchi C; Afrin R; Potiszil C; Kunihiro T; Kobayashi K; Nakamura E; Ueno Y; Antunes A; Wang A; Chandru K; Hao J; Jia TZ, 2023, 'Spectroscopic and Biophysical Methods to Determine Differential Salt-Uptake by Primitive Membraneless Polyester Microdroplets.', Small Methods, pp. e2300119, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smtd.202300119
    Journal articles | 2023
    Deckel Y; Lowe LA; Rawat S; Turner M; Luong J; Wang A, 2023, 'Using Holographic Microscopy To Measure the Effect of Confinement on Crowding Agents in Lipid Vesicles', ChemBioChem, pp. e202300069, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbic.202300069
    Journal articles | 2023
    Fan Z; Deckel Y; Lowe LA; Loo DWK; Yomo T; Szostak JW; Nisler C; Wang A, 2023, 'Lipid Exchange Promotes Fusion of Model Protocells.', Small Methods, pp. e2300126, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smtd.202300126
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Assembly of Multicompartment Glycopolymer Worms in Aqueous Solution', Macromolecules, 56, pp. 3195 - 3203, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.2c02466
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Preparation of Giant Vesicles with Mixed Single-Tailed and Double-Tailed Lipids', Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2622, pp. 71 - 85, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-2954-3_6
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'A Physicochemical Consideration of Prebiotic Microenvironments for Self-Assembly and Prebiotic Chemistry', Life, 12, pp. 1595 - 1595, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life12101595
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Dehydration Enhances Prebiotic Lipid Remodeling and Vesicle Formation in Acidic Environments', ACS Central Science, 8, pp. 132 - 139, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.1c01365
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'In-line holographic microscopy with model-based analysis', Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43586-022-00165-z
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Subtle changes in pH affect the packing and robustness of fatty acid bilayers', Soft Matter, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2sm00272h
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'cGAN-assisted imaging through stationary scattering media', Optics Express, 30, pp. 18145 - 18155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.450321
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Accurate and practical feature extraction from noisy holograms', Applied Optics, 60, pp. 4639 - 4646, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.422479
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'How to build a bone? - Hydroxyapatite or Posner's clusters as bone minerals', Open Ceramics, 6, pp. 100092 - 100092, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceram.2021.100092
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Population-Level Membrane Diversity Triggers Growth and Division of Protocells', JACS Au, 1, pp. 560 - 568, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacsau.0c00079
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Thermally Driven Membrane Phase Transitions Enable Content Reshuffling in Primitive Cells', Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143, pp. 16589 - 16598, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.1c06595
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Bulk self-assembly of giant, unilamellar vesicles', ACS Nano, 14, pp. 14627 - 14634, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c03125
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Holographic Microscopy with Python and HoloPy', Computing in Science and Engineering, 22, pp. 72 - 82, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MCSE.2019.2923974
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Population-level Membrane Diversity Triggers Growth and Division of Protocells', , http://dx.doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.13238402
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Population-level Membrane Diversity Triggers Growth and Division of Protocells', , http://dx.doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.13238402.v1
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Before the breach: Interactions between colloidal particles and liquid interfaces at nanoscale separations', Physical Review E, 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physreve.100.042605
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Core-Shell Modeling of Light Scattering by Vesicles: Effect of Size, Contents, and Lamellarity', Biophysical Journal, 116, pp. 659 - 669, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2019.01.006
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Lipid constituents of model protocell membranes', Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 3, pp. 537 - 542, http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20190021
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Using imaging flow cytometry to quantify and optimize giant vesicle production by water-in-oil emulsion transfer methods', Langmuir, 35, pp. 2375 - 2382, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b03635
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Interpreting turbidity measurements for vesicle studies', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/348904
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Effects of Contact-Line Pinning on the Adsorption of Nonspherical Colloids at Liquid Interfaces', Physical Review Letters, 119, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.108004
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Colloidal particle adsorption at liquid interfaces: Capillary driven dynamics and thermally activated kinetics', Soft Matter, 12, pp. 6365 - 6372, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6sm00966b
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Contact-line pinning controls how quickly colloidal particles equilibrate with liquid interfaces', Soft Matter, 12, pp. 8958 - 8967, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6sm01690a
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Tracking E. coli runs and tumbles with scattering solutions and digital holographic microscopy', Optics Express, 24, pp. 23719 - 23725, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.023719
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'A new process industry fault diagnosis algorithm based on ensemble improved binary-tree SVM', Chinese Journal of Electronics, 24, pp. 258 - 262, http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/cje.2015.04.006
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'Charged hydrophobic colloids at an oil-aqueous phase interface', Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.92.062306
    Journal articles | 2014
    2014, 'Strip steel surface defect recognition based on novel feature extraction and enhanced least squares twin support vector machine', ISIJ International, 54, pp. 1638 - 1645, http://dx.doi.org/10.2355/isijinternational.54.1638
    Journal articles | 2014
    2014, 'Using the discrete dipole approximation and holographic microscopy to measure rotational dynamics of non-spherical colloidal particles', Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 146, pp. 499 - 509, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jqsrt.2013.12.019
    Journal articles | 2013
    2013, 'A virtual sample generation approach for blast furnace fault diagnosis', Applied Mechanics and Materials, 303-306, pp. 1379 - 1384, http://dx.doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.303-306.1379
    Journal articles | 2012
    Tuniz A; Pope B; Wang A; Large MC J; Atakaramians S; Min SS; Pogson EM; Lewis RA; Bendavid A; Argyros A; Fleming SC; Kuhlmey BT, 2012, 'Spatial dispersion in three-dimensional drawn magnetic metamaterials', Optics Express, 20, pp. 11924 - 11935, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.011924
    Journal articles | 2011
    2011, 'Fiber metamaterials with negative magnetic permeability in the terahertz', Optical Materials Express, 1, pp. 115 - 120, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OME.1.000115
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Drawn metamaterials with plasmonic response at terahertz frequencies', Applied Physics Letters, 96, http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3428576
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'Side-hole fiber sensor based on surface plasmon resonance', Optics Letters, 34, pp. 3890 - 3892, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.34.003890
  • Preprints | 2023
    Zhang SJ; Lowe LA; Anees P; Krishnan Y; Fai TG; Szostak JW; Wang A, 2023, Passive endocytosis in model protocells., , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2023.01.07.522792
    Preprints | 2023
    2023, Lipid exchange promotes fusion of model protocells,
    Preprints | 2023
    2023, Using holographic microscopy to measure the effect of confinement on crowding agents in lipid vesicles, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.2303.00126
    Conference Papers | 2021
    2021, 'Digital hologram denoising using conditional generative adversarial networks', in Optics InfoBase Conference Papers
    Preprints | 2021
    2021, Dehydration Enhances Prebiotic Lipid Remodeling and Vesicle Formation in Acidic Environments, , http://dx.doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv-2021-rqs79
    Preprints | 2021
    2021, Dehydration Enhances Prebiotic Lipid Remodeling and Vesicle Formation in Acidic Environments, , http://dx.doi.org/10.33774/chemrxiv-2021-rqs79
    Preprints | 2021
    2021, Thermal oscillations enable reshuffling of genetic material in a primitive cell cycle, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.01.438038
    Preprints | 2020
    2020, Bulk self-assembly of giant, unilamellar vesicles, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.2003.03115
    Preprints | 2018
    2018, Holographic Microscopy with Python and HoloPy, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1806.00058
    Preprints | 2017
    2017, Charged hydrophobic colloids at an oil/aqueous phase interface, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1701.08801
    Preprints | 2016
    2016, Colloidal particle adsorption at liquid interfaces: Capillary driven dynamics and thermally activated kinetics, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1604.06836
    Preprints | 2016
    2016, Contact-line pinning controls how quickly colloidal particles equilibrate with liquid interfaces, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1607.08154
    Preprints | 2016
    2016, Effects of contact-line pinning on the adsorption of nonspherical colloids at liquid interfaces, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1607.08167
    Conference Papers | 2014
    Keshavarzi G; Wang A; Barber TJ; Yeoh GH; Manoharan VN, 2014, 'Holographic microscopy of micron-sized droplets at liquid-liquid interfaces', in Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2014
    Conference Papers | 2013
    2013, 'Discovering colloid-interface interactions with digital holographic microscopy', in Digital Holography and Three-Dimensional Imaging, OSA, presented at Digital Holography and Three-Dimensional Imaging, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/dh.2013.dtu2a.2
    Conference Papers | 2013
    2013, 'Relaxation dynamics of colloidal particles at liquid interfaces', in Tokuyama M; Oppenheim I (ed.), AIP Conference Proceedings, AMER INST PHYSICS, Tohoku Univ, Inst Fluid Sci, GCOE, Sendai, JAPAN, pp. 336 - 343, presented at 4th International Symposium on Slow Dynamics in Complex Systems, Tohoku Univ, Inst Fluid Sci, GCOE, Sendai, JAPAN, 02 December 2012 - 07 December 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4794594
    Preprints | 2013
    2013, Using the Discrete Dipole Approximation and Holographic Microscopy to Measure Rotational Dynamics of Non-spherical Colloidal Particles, , http://dx.doi.org/10.48550/arxiv.1310.4517
    Conference Papers | 2012
    2012, 'Spatial dispersion management in three-dimensional drawn magnetic metamaterials', in 2012 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, CLEO 2012
    Conference Papers | 2012
    2012, 'Spatial dispersion management in three-dimensional drawn magnetic metamaterials', in Optics InfoBase Conference Papers, OSA, presented at Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/qels.2012.qtu3f.2
    Conference Papers | 2011
    2011, 'Drawn metamaterial fibers with negative permeability', in 2011 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics: Laser Science to Photonic Applications, CLEO 2011
    Conference Papers | 2011
    2011, 'Drawn metamaterial fibers with negative permeability', in Optics InfoBase Conference Papers, OSA, presented at CLEO: Science and Innovations, http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/cleo_si.2011.cwk2

Our lab works at the intersection of physics, chemistry, materials science, to answer questions about soft matter. Soft matter is everything that deforms easily - cell membranes, cream, gels - because internally, the components are held together by weak bonds (on the order of kT).

Studying soft matter can not only give us insight into the science of the everyday, from personal care products in the bathroom to the microfoams in our cappucinos, but can also shed light on basic science like the principles behind self-assembly and how cell-based life started on Earth.

For further details please see our lab website:



Research interests:

  • Self-assembly
  • Holographic microscopy
  • Lipid bilayer membranes
  • Biophysics
  • Optics
  • Soft matter
  • Origins of life
  • Holography
  • Microscopy
  • Astrobiology

Selected public engagement:

My Research Supervision

I currently supervise HDR and Honours students, for details please see the lab website.

My Teaching

I really enjoy relating material in the classroom to our experience of the natural world, and our experience of the every day. Science and chemistry are everywhere, and everyone can enjoy complex problem solving whether it be in the lab or in the board room.

I teach into CHEM2921 (Food Chemistry), CHEM3061 (Chemistry of Materials), and CDEV3000 (Practice of Work).