Soft and Biological Matter Physics Faculty

Prof. Daniel Beller uses theory and computation to study soft matter and biological physics. His group’s research focuses on spatial organization and its consequences in a variety of systems such as liquid crystals, colloidal crystals, cytoskeletal biofilament suspensions, and bacterial colonies.

Prof. Brian Camley is a new faculty member who uses theory and computation to study the physics of cell biology. This includes questions like “How do cells work together to find a signal?” or “How do proteins move in fluid membranes?”

Dr. Ana Damjanovic is in the biophysics department, and is interested in working with physics students. She is working on understanding how ion channels work, and especially the role of electrostatics in determining the ion selectivity and conductance of ion channels.

Prof. Robert Leheny is interested in both soft and hard condensed matter physics. He has recently been focused on complex fluids and liquid crystals.

Prof. Daniel Reich conducts research in biological physics, where he applies magnetic nanoparticles and microfabricated systems to studies of cell mechanics and cellular mechanotransduction.

Prof. Francesca Serra is a new faculty member in experimental soft matter physics and her research focuses on liquid crystals. In particular, she studies the optics of topological defects and the interaction of living cells with liquid crystal elastomers.

Prof. Yaojun Zhang has broad interests in biophysical modeling of living systems, with a current focus on biomolecular condensates and liquid-liquid phase separation — an emerging field at the interface between physics and biology.