Ph.D. in Physics
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I was intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of the research going on in the Physics Department. Furthermore, the research labs are impressive and the professors are very experienced.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
I completed my MSc in Fall 2018. Additionally, I won a travel award for the 2019 and 2020 Biophysical Annual Meeting. My poster ranked 3rd at the World Summit on Advances in Science, engineering and technology this Fall.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
Indianapolis is beautiful and the cost of living in the city is very reasonable. I particularly enjoy visiting the state parks which are very colorful and scenic!
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
I got my first MSc in photonics working on Quantum dots. Now my research focuses on electrostatic and van der Waals interactions of lipid membranes in the presence of polarizable solutes, of which zwitterions form a particular class. Currently there is no quantitative agreement in the literature between experiments. My research will contribute to the development of bioinspired nano materials as well as to a better understanding of biological events such as membrane fusion and binding of signaling molecules to cellular membranes. In each case, membrane receptors have been identified and they clearly play specific roles in these processes. However, direct interaction with and within membranes provide a biophysics basis for these processes to take place. In particular, van der Waals attraction at intermediate ranges (larger than molecular scale) provides a "glue" for the biological material to stay together in close proximity. The goal of my research is to obtain an agreement between measurements and calculations of van der Waals interactions between lipid membranes.