Born and raised in Los Angeles during the halcyon days of the aerospace industry, I was interested in science and engineering from an early age. Nevertheless, through much of my youth I dabbled in a variety of other subjects before returning to my one true love (at least at that time) -- physics. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Physics in 2004.
In college, I was a member of an all-undergraduate team that conducted research on fluid mixing on surfaces in microgravity environments (including a ride on the “Vomit Comet”). Shortly thereafter, I spent a summer in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University modeling the effects of pointing error on the Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Spectrograph. For graduate school, I decided to focus on more applied aspects of physics. After a brief stint in plasma physics at MIT, I joined the Computational Biophysics Group of Prof. Collin Stultz and became quite enamored with proteins.
I received my PhD in Physics from MIT in early 2010 and then moved back to the West Coast to join Prof. Teresa Head-Gordon’s group in the QB3 Institute at UC Berkeley as a postdoc. In the fall of 2011 I returned to my old stomping grounds -- the LA area -- as a visiting assistant professor of physics in the Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. After three good years at Keck I moved to Caltech as a research assistant professor in the planetary science department, where I worked for nearly two years. Now I've joined the faculty of Cal State LA as an assistant professor of physics and biology!
Outside of academic life, I have participated in several different extracurricular activities. The one that my friends probably complain about the most though is cycling. I was a member of the MIT Cycling team and still ride my bike every once in a while. I'm hoping to get back on the velodrome and the road, as well as off-road in one of California’s (and New England’s) favorite spectacles -- cyclocross! In another life, I was a bartender at and later the chair of MIT’s famed Muddy Charles Pub.