SP test

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Zia Group

Akshay Maheshwari

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Emma Gonzalez

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Brian K. Ryu

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Alp M. Sunol

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Jen Hofmann

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Corinne G. Weeks

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Aaron Brown

Graduate Student

Zia Group

Theo Yang

Graduate Student

Akshay Maheshwari

Graduate Student

Akshay is an MD/PhD student in the Bioengineering department working jointly with Drs. Roseanna Zia and Drew Endy. He is working towards operational mastery of living matter by bridging the fields of colloidal physics and synthetic biology. In his current projects he is developing theoretical, modeling, and experimental frameworks grounded in colloidal physics and statistical mechanics for systematically elucidating how, beyond their biochemistry, molecules physically organize to produce whole-cell biological functions essential for life.

Emma Gonzalez

Graduate Student

Emma's work supports our group's challenge to understand the physics inside living cells. Our approach is to model the dynamics of a confined polydisperse suspension – a model cell – via non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics theory, which is leveraged in our Confined Stokesian Dynamics algorithm. Her goal is to develop hydrodynamic theory that will allow us to model non-equilibrium physical processes present in the cell milieu.

Brian K. Ryu

Graduate Student

Brian is studying time-dependent thermodynamic phase behavior of colloidal materials. By dynamically controlling states by tuning interparticle potentials and executing quench-anneal protocols, he envisions that a wide range of new materials can be created. When he is not researching and practicing colloid physics, Brian researches and practices various ways to cook meat, hoping to be a connoisseur of meat one day.

Alp M. Sunol

Graduate Student

Alp develops physics-based computational models to study how colloidal scale interactions at different biological conditions affect spatial organization and transport dynamics of molecules inside cells.  When not researching how physics at the microscopic level impacts cellular fitness, he enjoys other forms of fitness such as the gym, pickup soccer and basketball, and long walks on the beach.

Jen Hofmann

Graduate Student

Jen's research focuses on how colloidal-scale physics inform and orchestrate biological processes inside of cells. In particular, she's interested in coarse-graining macromolecular interactions for increased biofidelity of dynamic colloidal simulations, with which we can probe biological processes at long time-scales while maintaining spatial resolution. Outside of lab, she loves cooking and baking new things, watching soccer, and hiking with her dog!

Corinne G. Weeks

Graduate Student

Corinne develops theoretical models to predict point wise average properties of heterogeneous suspension flow that preserve microscopic detail of particle distribution. In her free time, Corinne is a master sandcastle architect.

Aaron Brown

Graduate Student

Aaron is interested in computational and theoretical modeling of particle suspensions. In his research, he aims to expand our group’s Parallelized Fluctuating Stokesian Dynamics (PFSD) to handle polydisperse size distribution. Doing so will allow further investigation of important problems in suspension mechanics, particularly the role of polydispersity in the colloidal glass transition. In his free time, he enjoys running, watching the Phillies(!), practicing showtunes on piano, and spending time with friends.  

Theo Yang

Graduate Student

Theo is a PhD student working jointly with Professors Roseanna Zia in Chemical Engineering and Dan Jarosz in the School of Medicine. He is interested in the biophysical factors that underlie protein aggregation in eukaryotic cells. Specifically, he is interested in developing colloidal simulations and experimental methods for understanding how the phase behavior of protein condensates at long biological time scales informs cellular stress adaptation and the development of prions. Outside of lab, Theo likes playing soccer and reading sci-fi.