Welcome to my site. I am a 6th year graduate student in Physics working in the lab of Dan Blair and within the Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology I(SM)^2, where I plan on defending my thesis in early 2017. My area of research is in Soft Condensed Matter, essentially the study of squishy materials.

meMore specifically, I am interested in biological networks. The systems I study most frequently are silk gels; we can create extremely strong solid like networks out of silk proteins via multiple methods. Our first paper, Rheology of Reconstituted Silk Fibroin Protein Gels: The Epitome of Extreme Mechanics, looked into the mechanical properties of silk gels made with an electric field. However, we can more controllably form networks with either the addition of acid or enzymatic cross-linking.

I study these silk-based materials using a variety of methods that include bulk rheology, confocal microscopy, small angle neutron scattering, and dynamic light scattering.

In addition to silk, I am interested in other biological systems, particularly the cell. The cell is an extremely complicated environment that we oversimplify out of necessity. When learning about cells, I was always put off by the way people said things along the lines of, “it does this so that it can do that” as if the cell consciously made a decision. Now, I see Physics as a tool to truly understand what is happening and, more importantly, why?

Feel free to contact me at a.pasha.tabatabai(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested or have any questions!


Recent Posts

APS March Meeting recap

Laissez les bonnes physiques rouler.

March Meeting 2017 was fun not only because it was in New Orleans, but because the sessions were interesting and diverse. When not hearing about the Physics of the Cytoskeleton or Cell and Tissue Mechanics, I was drinking chicory coffee at Cafe du Monde or eating a delicious vegan poboy at Seed.

Talks of particular interest to me were:

Itai Cohen – Once again, Itai makes the list. Not only does he provide an entertaining talk, but he addressed the issue of friction in colloidal systems that I have mentioned previously. More specifically, he discussed how two particles don’t have to come into contact in order to “feel” one another.

Farzan Beroz – The extracellular matrix is a heterogeneous place. Farzan talked about quantifying the spatially varying stiffness of a collagen network by modeling deformations from 3D confocal images. The arXiv paper can be found here.

Margaret Gardel – Among many things, the ability to achieve an active nematic, similar to Zvonomir Dogic’s lab, with a contractile system stood out.

  1. Upcoming Talk: Percolation is not the end of gelation Leave a reply
  2. Protein phase separation Leave a reply
  3. Fotografiert mit dem iPhone 6 Leave a reply
  4. The 2016 Physics Nobel is for … what? Leave a reply
  5. The first citation Leave a reply
  6. Imaging a collagen network under shear Leave a reply
  7. Silk in the News: “Dragon Silk” Leave a reply
  8. PMMA particles on silk fibers Leave a reply
  9. Rheology in the news: Workshop recap 1 Reply