Paul Ackerman

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email Address:
Office Location: 
314 Hoyt Laboratory

I am currently studying the surface physics of protein and nucleic acid condensates in living cells. Even though evolution has solved the problem of organizing biomolecules in all organisms, mechanisms underlying self-organization in living matter are still poorly understood. On the other hand, nonliving emulsions like milk or paint are well-studied systems in which immiscible components and morphology are stabilized by surface-active-agents known as surfactants. Drawing an analogy between emulsions and multicomponent cellular fluids suggests that surface physics plays a vital role in molecular organization of mesoscopic structure in multicomponent fluids. My goals are to probe the universal surface physics governing immiscible cellular fluids, to synthesize the organization of cellular biomolecules and condensates and to apply the knowledge gained to understand the functioning of natural systems.