Speaker Bios


Dr. Margaret Murnane

murnaneMargaret Murnane  is a Fellow at JILA and a member of the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado. She received her B.S and M.S. degrees from University College Cork, Ireland, and her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, and joined the faculty of physics at Washington State University in 1990.In 1996, Professor Murnane moved to the University of Michigan, and in 1999 she moved to the University of Colorado. She runs a joint research group and a small laser company with her husband, Prof. Henry Kapteyn. Prof. Murnane's research interests have been in ultrafast optical and x-ray science.

Dr. Siddharth Ramachandran

ramachandranSiddharth Ramachandran obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1998. Thereafter, he joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff and subsequently continued with its spin-off, OFS Laboratories. After a decade in industry, Dr. Ramachandran moved back to academics in 2010, and is now a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Boston University. Prof. Ramachandran’s research focuses on the optical physics of guided waves.


Dr. Steven Cundiff

cundiffSteven Cundiff 's primary research interest is in the general area of ultrafast optics. His lab's research areas includes the use of ultrafast pulses to study light-matter interactions, as well as their production and manipulation.The  primary tool for studying light-matter interaction is multidimensional coherent spectroscopy, which the lab is currently applying to both semiconductor nanostructures and atomic vapors. The lab is also working on developing a new type of mode-locked fiber laser to produce ultrafast pulses and on manipulating them by pushing pulse-shaping techniques to their ultimate limit in terms of spectral resolution.



Dr. Kathy LU

LuKathy Lu ’s research interest is mainly focused on nanomaterials and energy materials, including nanoparticle processing, patterning, and templating. From August 2004 to now, Kathy Lu has been a professor at Virginia Tech. During 2001-2004, she was a Materials Development and Processing Scientist at Energizer Battery Company. During 2000-2001, she was the Director of Materials Processing, Center for Innovative Sintered Products of Pennsylvania State University. Kathy Lu received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2000, her M.S. from Ohio State University in 1999, and her B.S. from Tianjin University, China in 1990. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, one book, several book chapters, and edited four books. Among different honors, Kathy Lu is the recipient of 2012 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award from Virginia Tech, 2011 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2008 Karl Schwartzwalder- Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award from American Ceramic Society, 2005 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and 2001 P/M Metallography Competition Award from APMI International.

Dr. Nancy Xu

xuNancy Xu is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Old Dominion University. Dr. Xu received her BS degree in Physical Chemistry from Xiamen University, and her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from University of Mississippi.  She pursued her postdoc research at the University of Texas at Austin, and Ames Lab/Iowa State University, before joining Old Dominion University (ODU) in 1998. She has held the position of Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry since 2009.  She has served as biological chemistry track director of an interdisciplinary PhD program in Biomedical Sciences since 2001.  Dr. Xu is also an affiliated faculty member in PhD program in Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Xu has directed NSF and NIH funded nanoscale interdisciplinary research program, aiming to develop and apply cutting-edge bionanotechnologies and ultrasensitive detection tools to address the most challenging questions in biomedical and nano sciences.  She holds one Worldwide Patent on DNA biosensor, and has two pending U.S. Patents on nanobiotechnology.

Dr. Louis DiMauro

dimauroLouis DiMauro is a Professor of Physics at Ohio State University.

The invention of the optical laser over five decades ago has transformed science and technology, providing broad benefits to society. The new millennium is equally poised for a renaissance in x-ray science enabled by a new class of light sources, the XFEL era. The XFEL’s unprecedented brightness and brevity will allow, for the first time, the production of ultra-fast molecular movies with atomic spatial resolution. New capabilities for coherent imaging of single macromolecule will contribute to cataloging the constituents of life. The extraordinary intensity will open the field of nonlinear optics in the x-ray regime. In this talk we will discuss the principles of these unique light sources and contrast x-ray matter interactions to the well-known response using optical lasers. In addition, a number of experiments conducted on the world’s first XFEL at SLAC, the LCLS, will emphasize the high frequency response of atomic systems.

Dr. Rein Ulijn

reinRein Ulijn is Professor in Nanochemistry and Vice Dean Research (Science) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The work in his group is focused on the development of minimalistic molecular materials and systems that are inspired by biology and have unique properties, such as adaptability, molecular recognition and programmability. These properties open up exciting new applications in wide ranging areas ranging from biomedicine to nanotechnology. Prof Ulijn is the holder of an  ERC Consolidator Grant and previously held fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust (2007-2012) and the EPSRC (2005-2010). He has received a number of awards, including the RSC Norman Heatley Medal (2013), RSC Emerging Technologies Award (2013) and Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal (2007). He has authored over 110 peer reviewed research articles, 7 patent applications, and given over 90 invited and keynote lectures at international conferences. Since 2004 he has generated a grant portfolio worth in excess of USD 9M as principal investigator with funding from ERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) and industry. He was founding director of Biogelx Ltd. (Glasgow, 2012) and Renephra Ltd. (Manchester, 2009).  He gained his MSc degree in Biotechnology at the University of Wageningen (Netherlands) (thesis 1998), PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde (Thesis 2001) and postdoctoral training at the University of Edinburgh. From 2003-2008 he was in the School of Materials, University of Manchester (promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and Reader in 2007).

Dr. Diane Lipscombe

lipscombeDiane Lipscombe graduated with a PhD in Pharmacology from University College London in 1986. Her journey into the world of calcium ion channels started when she joined Richard Tsien as a postdoctoral associate at Yale University School of Medicine and subsequently at Stanford University Medical School. In 1992 she joined the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University, where she works closely with undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees. She directs the Neuroscience Graduate Program. She is interested in the cellular mechanisms used to optimize calcium ion channel function. Calcium ion channels regulate many critical neuronal functions including transmitter release, nerve growth, and synaptic plasticity. Her lab's current research focus is on cell-specific alternative splicing in the mammalian nervous system. The lab studies cellular mechanisms that control calcium channel function in normal as well as in disease states, including chronic pain and mental illness.

Dr. P. M. Ajayan

ajayanP. M. Ajayan earned his B. Tech in metallurgical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1985 and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 1989. After three years of post-doctoral experience at NEC Corporation in Japan, he spent two years as a research scientist at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Orsay in France and nearly a year and a half as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung, Stuttgart in Germany. In 1997, he joined the materials science and engineering faculty at Rensselaer as an Assistant Professor and was the Henri Burlage chair Professor in Engineering until 2007. He joined the mechanical engineering and materials science department of Rice university, as the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering from July 2007. Professor Ajayan's research interests include synthesis and structure-property relations of nanostructures and materials science and applications of nanomaterials. He is one of the pioneers in nanotechnology and specifically in the field of carbon nanotubes he was involved in the early work on the topic along with the NEC group. He is a world leader in the field of nanomaterials and their applications. Ajayan has received several awards including the Distinguished Career Award for Alumni of the Department of Materials Science at Northwestern University (alma mater - graduate), Distinguished Alumni  Award from Banaras Hindu University (alma mater – undergraduate) Senior Humboldt Prize, 2006 MRS medal, AAAS fellow, Scientific American 50 recognition in 2006, RPI senior research award (2003), the Burton award from the microscopic society of America (1997) and the Hadfield medal for the outstanding metallurgist in India (1985). He also holds two Guinness book of world records, one for creating the smallest brush and the other for creating the darkest material.

DR. Mark Stockman

mark stockmanMark I. Stockman , Ph. D., D. Sc., is a Professor of Physics at Georgia State University at Atlanta, GA. He is currently also a Guest Professor at Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Max Plank Institute for Quantum Optics (Germany) and a Visiting Professor for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics.


Dr. Mikhail A. Noginov

noginovMikhail A. Noginov graduated from Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology (Moscow, Russia) with a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Automatics in 1985. In 1990 he received a Ph.D. degree in Physical-Mathematical Sciences from the General Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia). In 1997, Dr. Noginov joined Norfolk State University. He started as a Research Associate Professor, and then, as a teaching faculty, advanced in ranks from an Assistant Professor to a Professor (Department of Physics and Center for Materials Research.) In 2010, Dr. Noginov was named Norfolk State University Eminent Scholar 2010-2011. Dr. Noginov has published three books, six book chapters, over 100 papers in peer reviewed journals, over 100 publications in proceedings of professional societies and conference technical digests (many of them invited). Dr. Noginov is a member of OSA, SPIE, and APS. He has served as a chair and a committee member of several conferences of SPIE and OSA. He regularly serves on NSF panels and reviews papers for many professional journals. Since 2003, Dr. Noginov is a faculty advisor of the OSA student chapter at NSU. Dr. Noginov's research interests include Metamaterials, Nanoplasmonics, Random Lasers, Solid-State Laser Materials, and Nonlinear Optics.

Dr. Yimin Zou

zouYimin Zou is Professor and Vice Chair in the Section of Neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego.From his website : Normal behavioral functions rely on precise and complex neural circuits linking large ensembles of neurons. In development, axons and dendrites extend in a highly directed manner and elaborate intricate branches and arbors to establish organized patterns of synaptic connections. A genetic program plays a profound role in the formation of these networks by specifying neuronal cell types, positioning neurons, guiding axons and dendrites and forming appropriate functional synapses. Neural activity shapes circuit development and coordinate with the genetic program.


Dr. Jeremy Levy

levyJeremy Levy 's research interests are primarily based upon exploring novel phenomena in solid state systems, in order to provide the physical foundation for future technologies. Areas of interest include physical systems capable of quantum information processing and quantum computation, nanoscale control over metal-insulator transition in polar/non-polar oxide heterostructures, the study of ferroelectric domain dynamics using optical probes, ferroelectrically nanostructured semiconductors, formation of Ge/Si quantum dots by "directed self-assembly", and development of novel optical and scanning probe techniques including near-field optical microscopy. He is the director of the Center for Oxide-Semiconductor Materials for Quantum Computation (COSMQC).

Dr. Michael F. Summers

summersMichael Summers' research focuses on NMR studies of proteins and macromolecular interactions, with a major emphasis on the structural proteins that comprise the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1).  His laboratory typically includes large numbers of students from diverse backgrounds, and he has led efforts to develop programs for retaining minority students in the sciences.  Dr. Summers is a recipient of the Carl Branden award of the Protein Society, the Emily M. Gray Mentoring Award of the Biophysical Society, the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education, the Mentor Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Microbiology Hinton Award for Mentoring, and the White House Presidential Award for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Spring 2012

Dr. Michael OverDuin

overduinMichael Overduin received his Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in 1993, where he studied signaling protein structures with David Cowburn and Nobel Laureate Dr David Baltimore.  He then conducted postdoctoral research on cell adhesion mechanisms at the University of Toronto.  Moving to the University of Colorado Denver in 1995, he established a laboratory with funding from the National Cancer Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  His discoveries of how receptors and endocytic membranes are targeted were recognized by Pew Scholar and Basil O'Conner Awards. In 2003 Michael joined the University of Birmingham as the Chair of Structural Biology. As Executive Director he established the Henry Wellcome Building for Biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.   This facility houses the UK’s most advanced magnets and probes for protein and metabolomics research, and won support from the Wellcome Trust and European Commission to provide open access to national and international users.

Dr. Stefan Maier

maier Stefan Maier is a Professor of Nano Photonics at Imperial College, London, UK. Photonics has tremendous potential for communication, sensing, imaging and a myriad other tasks, but light is challenging to control, whether we require to store it, or use it to address objects less than the wavelength in size. New designer materials, based on metallic nanostructures, allow us to marry photonics with nanotechnology, offering a way to break the diffraction limit of light via controlled excitation of surface plasmon modes. This seminar will present advances in our fundamental understanding of nanoplasmonic excitations, particularly at the boundary between classical and quantum physics. Taken together, nanoplasmonics and metamaterials show the promise for step changes in all areas of science and technology where control over light is a prominent ingredient, and applications in  quantum optics, nanometrology, green energy, biosensing, and light harvesting will be discussed. To learn more about Dr. Maier's work click HERE

Dr. Jerry Melillo

melillo Jerry Melillo is a Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus at The Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and a Professor of Biology at Brown University. Professor Melillo specializes in understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems from local to global scales, using a combination of field studies and simulation modeling. In 1996 and 1997, he served as the Associate Director for Environment in the US President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Melillo has served as the President of the Ecological Society of America and of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), an international headquartered at UNESCO, Paris. He is an honorary Professor in the Institute of Geophysical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, two ecology textbooks and three edited volumes on biogeochemistry. Over the past decade he has co-led two assessments for the US Global Change Research Program on the impacts of climate change on the United States; the first published in 2000 and the second published in 2009.  He is currently the Chair of the third National Climate Assessment due to be delivered to the President and Congress in December of 2013. To find out more about his work click here

Dr. Gennady Shvets

gennady_shvetsGennady Shvets is an Associate Professor of Physics at the Universty of Texas, Austin. His research interests include: Theory and Simulations: laser-plasma interactions; plasma based accelerators; photonics; nano-plasmonics; Experiment: phonon-assisted nanolithography; and compact surface-wave accelerators. To find out more about his work click here




Spring 2011

Dr. Trevor Douglas

trevor Trevor Douglas is the Letters and Sciences Distinguished Professor at Montana State
University where he is also the Director of the Center for Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials. Dr
Douglas was born in South Africa, earned his undergraduate degree (biochemistry) from
University of California at San Diego (1986) and his PhD (inorganic chemistry) at Cornell
University (1991). He completed post-doctoral work at Bath University in the UK working in
the area of biomineralization. He has pioneered the use of viruses as synthetic materials for the
templated growth of nanomaterials. Applications for these materials include the development
of novel drug delivery, diagnostic imaging probes, magnetic storage, and catalysis. At Montana
State University he established the Center for BioInspired Nanomaterials, a collaborative
multidisciplinary center with biologists, chemists, engineers, and physicists.




Dr. Kevin Gardner

kevin_gardner Kevin Gardner is the Virginia Lazenby O’Hara Chair in Biochemistry and W.W. Caruth Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. After obtaining his undergraduate training at UC Davis (Biochemistry; 1989), he began working in the area of biomolecular NMR via Ph.D. studies with Joe Coleman in the Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry department at Yale (1989-1995). From here, he joined Lewis Kay’s group at the University of Toronto for postdoctoral research (1995-1998). While there, he developed a combination of biochemical, biophysical and computational tools to extend the ability of solution NMR methods to study the structure and dynamics of larger proteins. In 1998, Dr. Gardner joined the departments of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he is currently a Professor in these departments. His research group integrates structural, dynamic and kinetic information from solution NMR studies with results from other biophysical and biochemical methods to probe the signaling mechanisms of environmental sensory proteins. The long-term goals of this research are to understand how related protein folds can be harnessed to sense different environmental stimuli – e.g. blue light, oxygen, organic compounds – to control different output functions. In doing so, such studies lay the foundation for both understanding the natural regulation of these systems and their artificial control.

Dr. Charles Marcus

marcus1 Charles Marcus is Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Marcus was raised in Sonoma, California, and was an undergraduate at Stanford University (1980-84). He received his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1990 and was an IBM postdoc at Harvard 1990-92. He was on the faculty in Physics at Stanford University from 1992 to 2000, then returned to Harvard University. From 2004 to 2009, he was the Director of Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems. Research in Marcus’s research group involves the fabrication of submicron electronic structures—semiconductor quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, and graphene-based microstructures—and the measurement of electron transport in these structures, usually at low temperatures. His scientific interests include mesoscopic quantum phenomena at the interface between micro and macro scales, where quantum properties coexist with disorder and decoherence. Currently, research activities include the realization of spin-based qubits for quantum information processing and the realization of topological quantum computing schemes based on the 5/2 fractional quantum Hall state. Marcus is also exploring the use of quantum dots in medical imaging, focusing primarily on materials with long nuclear spin relaxation as an imaging agent for magnetic resonance imaging.

Dr. Vladimir M. Shalaev

vlad shalaev Vladimir (Vlad) M. Shalaev , the Robert and Anne Burnett Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, specializes in nanophotonics, plasmonics, and optical metamaterials. Vlad Shalaev received several awards for his research in the field of nanophotonics and metamaterials, including the Max Born Award of the Optical Society of America for his pioneering contributions to the field of optical metamaterials and the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, APS, SPIE, and OSA. Prof. Shalaev authored three books, twenty one book chapters and over 300 research publications.