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.
More 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!