November 7, 2016

Katie Young

Katherine Young


PhD, Biomedical Engineering – Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University – In progress
MS, Biomedical Engineering – Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University – May 2020
BS, Biomedical Engineering – University of Texas at Austin – May 2016


Katie Young, originally from Austin, Texas, joined The Sulchek Lab in August 2016 as a graduate research assistant. She spent three years working with Dr. Amy Brock at the University of Texas on a project revolving around male breast cancer tumors and the protein that causes the cancer to be more metastatic than female breast cancer. Katie has so thoroughly enjoyed her time in the lab that she would like to turn cancer research into a lifelong career, with hopes of one day becoming a biomedical engineering professor. When she isn’t busy in the lab, Katie volunteers with the Christian organization Young Life, hanging out with and mentoring local middle school and high school students. She also loves to travel and is a big puzzle, book and Broadway musical aficionado.

Research Project: 

Single Cell Genomechanics

In the Sulchek lab, Katie is developing a new technique for correlating cell mechanical data with gene expression information on the single cell level. The method centers around several techniques and technologies including force spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM), single cell isolation with micropipette aspiration and multiplexed single cell RT-qPCR with the Fluidigm 96.96 Dynamic Array IFC.This method is being used to investigate several biological questions around the correlation between cell mechanics and expression of genes associated with the cancer metastasis, the epithelial to mesenchymal transition process and cancer cell stem-ness. Additionally, Katie is improving the throughput of the cell stiffness sorting microfluidic device for use in exploring how genes across the entire genome are associated with changes in cell mechanics.


Bongiorno, Tom, Gura, Jeremy, Talwar, Priyanka, Chambers, Dwight, Young, Katherine M., Wang, Gonghao, Jackson, Emily L., Qiu, Peng, McDevitt, Todd C., Sulchek, Todd. Biophysical subsets of embryonic stem cells display distinct phenotypic and morphological signatures. March 2018. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0192631.  

Chernaya, Olga, Zhurikhina, Anastasia, Hladyshau, Siarhei, Pilcher, William, Young, Katherine M, Ortner, Jillian, Andra, Vaishnavi, Sulchek, Todd and Tsygankov, Denis. Biomechanics of Endothelial Tubule Formation Differentially Modulated by Cerebral Cavernous Malformation Proteins. November 2018. iScience 9, 347-358.

Ni, Fang, Yu, Wen-Mei, Wang, Xinyi, Fay, Meredith, Young, Katherine M., Qiu, Yongzhi, Lam, Wilbur, Sulchek, Todd, Cheng, Tao, Scadden, David, Qu, Cheng-Kui. Ptpn21 controls hematopoietic stem cell homeostasis and biomechanics. March 2019. Cell Stem Cell 24 (4), 608-620.

Liu, Anna, Yu, Tong, Young, Katherine M, Stone, Nicholas, Hanasoge, Srinivas, Kirby, Tyler, Raj, Abhishek, Varadarajan, Vikram, Colonna, Nicholas, Liu, Janet, Lammerding, Jan, Alexeev, Alexander and Sulchek, Todd. Cell Mechanical and Physiological Behavior in the Regime of Rapid Mechanical Compressions that Lead to Cell Volume Change. November 2019. Small 16 (2), 1903857

Hu, Lingping, Ni, Fang, Wang, Xinyi, Fay, Meredith, Young, Katherine M., Lam, Wilbur, Sulchek, Todd, Qu, CK. Decreased cell stiffness enhances leukemia development and progression. February 2020. Leukemia 1-5.

Li, Guorong, Lee, Chanyoung, Read, A. Thomas, Wang, Ke, Navarro, Iris, Cui, Jenny, Young, Katherine M., Sulchek, Todd, Kopczynski, Casey C., Farsiu, Sina, Ethier, C. Ross, and Stamer, Daniel. Antifibrotic activity of a rho-kinase inhibitor restores outflow function and intraocular pressure homeostasis. [Submitted to eLife, Preprint available on bioRxiv]

Young, Katherine M., Xu, Congmin, Mezencev, Roman, Ahkee, Kelly, McDonald, John, Qiu, Peng and Sulchek, Todd. Correlating mechanical data and gene expression data on the single cell level to investigate metastasis. [Under Review at Genome Biology]

Kabariti, Saif, Young, Katherine M., Xu, Wenwei, Sulchek, Todd. Strain-Dependent elastography of cells reveals mechanical heterogeneity and stiffening due to confinement and attachment by the substrate. [In preparation for submission to Biophysical Journal]

Enten, Aaron, King, Lillian, Young, Katherine M., Willet, Nick, Sulchek, Todd. Pulse-modulated periodic backflush scaffold seeding to improve cell uniformity and density. [In preparation for submission to Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine]

Honors and Fellowships:

Georgia Tech President’s Fellowship
St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholar
Georgia Tech BME Outstanding Community Service Award
Georgia Tech BME Outstanding Departmental Service Award
Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (NIH F31) Recipient
ARCS Foundation Scholar

Contact Information:

Office: Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
315 Ferst Dr. #2112 Atlanta, GA 30332