Biophysics Experimentalist

Na Ji


Na Ji received her B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science & Technology of China in 2000. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California Berkeley in 2005, working in the laboratory of Yuen-Ron Shen. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Materials Sciences Division of LBNL for 10 months, before moving to the Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute to continue her postdoctoral training in 2006. She became a Group Leader at Janelia Research Campus in 2011. She returned to join the Physics and Molecular & Cell Biology...

Alessandra Lanzara

Professor, Charles Kittel Chair in Physics

Alessandra Lanzara received her PhD in physics from Universita’ di Roma La Sapienza, Italy in 1999. She was a postdoc at Stanford University for three years since 1999. In 2002 she joined the physics Department faculty at UC Berkeley as Assistant Professor and since 2011 she is a Full Professor. She is also a Senior Faculty Scientist at the Materials Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2002.

She is recipient of many prizes among which was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008 and elected to the American Academy of Art and Science in...

Holger Mueller


Holger Müller successfully applied for his first patent when he was 14. Later, he did his undergraduate thesis with Jürgen Mlynek at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He graduated from Humboldt-University, Berlin, with Achim Peters as his advisor. Müller received a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and joined the group of Steven Chu in Stanford as a postdoc. In July 2008, he joined the physics faculty at U.C. Berkeley.

Research Interests

Our research has been advancing atomic, molecular and optical physics to probe nature at the utmost sensitivity. Examples are...

Naomi Ginsberg


Naomi S. Ginsberg is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Faculty Scientist in the Materials Sciences and Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Imaging Divisions at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she has been since 2010. She currently focuses on elucidating the electronic and molecular dynamics in a wide variety of soft electronic and biological materials by devising new electron and optical imaging modalities that enable characterization of fast and ultrafast processes at the nanoscale and as a function of their...

Frances Hellman

Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School

Frances Hellman received her BA in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1978, graduating summa cum laude and phi beta kappa with high honors in physics. She received her PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1985, studying what were then considered the high Tc superconductors (the A15's). After a 2 year postdoc in thin film magnetism at AT&T Bell Labs, she went to UCSD as an assistant professor in 1987, where she received tenure in 1994 and became a full professor in 2000. She joined the Physics Dept at UC Berkeley in Jan 2005, and became Chair of the Department in 2007. She...

Hernan Garcia

Associate Professor of Biophysics, Genetics, Genomics and Developmental Biology

Hernan G. Garcia obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2003. He then moved to Caltech where he obtained a PhD in Physics in 2011 working in the laboratory of Rob Phillips. From 2011 to 2014 he took a postdoctoral position in the Physics Department at Princeton University in the laboratory of Thomas Gregor first as a Dicke Fellow and later as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface Fellow. Since 2015 he has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and the Department of Physics...

Michael DeWeese


Michael DeWeese received his BA (1988) in physics from UC Santa Cruz and his PhD (1995) in physics from Princeton. From 1995-1999 he took a computational postdoctoral appointment at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, with a fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He then pursued experimental neuroscience as a postdoctoral researcher at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, NY from 2000-2006. In 2007 he took a junior faculty position at UC Berkeley and he is currently an Associate Professor of Physics and Neuroscience.

Research Interests

Our group’s research...

Ahmet Yildiz


Ahmet Yildiz received his Ph.D. in Biophysics with Paul Selvin at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2004. After completing his postdoctoral work with Ron Vale at the University of California San Francisco, he joined the Physics Department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2008.

Research Interests

Eukaryotic cells are intricately organized on many length and time scales, from molecules to organelles. Much of this organization is achieved by motor proteins, which directionally transport intracellular components along cytoskeletal tracks (myosin on actin...

Can synthetic polymers replace the body’s natural proteins?

March 20, 2023

3D renderings of polymers on a white background

Most life on Earth is based on polymers of 20 amino acids that have evolved into hundreds of thousands of different, highly specialized proteins. They catalyze reactions, form backbone and muscle and even generate movement.

But is all that variety necessary? Could biology work just as well with fewer building blocks and simpler polymers?

Ting Xu, a...

Eric Betzig


Eric Betzig is a Professor of Molecular and Cell biology, the Eugene D. Commins Presidential Chair in Experimental Physics, a Senior Fellow at the Janelia Research Campus, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. His Ph.D. thesis at Cornell University and subsequent work at AT&T Bell Labs involved the development of near-field optics – an early form of super-resolution microscopy. He left academia in 1995 to work in the machine tool industry, but returned ten years later when he and friend, Harald Hess, built the first super-...