I am interested in understanding (i) how transcription factors find their targets on DNA and activate transcription despite the presence of nucleosomes and (ii) how structural details of trans-activators and cis-elements quantitatively fine-tune gene regulation at the cellular level.
Research integrates my work in complex fluids and granular media and the biomechanics of locomotion of organisms and robots to address problems in nonequilibrium systems that involve interaction of matter with complex media.
Our laboratory studies the physics of soft materials with a focus on the connection between microscopic order and macroscopic properties. The underlying theme is to pursue basic understanding and address fundamental questions. However, we also address applied problems and pursue industrial collaborations since many of the materials we study can be viewed as model systems for those that are often used in applications. Current projects include (i) studying the phase behavior and properties of packed soft objects, (ii) understanding the consequences of confinement and curvature over the equilibrium states of ordered materials, which in many cases require the existence of topological defects in their ground states, and (iii) developing microfluidic techniques to study fundamental fluid mechanic questions and to generate new materials through directed assembly and mixing of the components.
Complex Systems and excitable media. Experimental physiology. High performance computing and GPU. My work is on excitable media, complex systems, and pattern formation, using a combined approach of theory, experiments, and computer simulations.