Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics &
Office: 213 MathPhysics
Ranjan Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor in Physics, is a theorist
working on a broad range of research problems in the areas of biological physics and soft condensed matter. He is particularly fascinated
by the mysteries of life at the meso-scale, that is, at scales between atoms and
organisms. His current research
is aimed towards understanding the emergence of spatio-temporal organization and morphology in
biological and man-made systems. Questions that motivate his research include
how living cells maintain and, in many cases, spontaneously generate dynamic yet stable structures in
an apparently chaotic setting, and how molecular noise could give
rise to differentiation and variability in single cells. He has recently developed a course on the physics of
biomolecular networks and an undergraduate course on methods of Physics (now a required course for Clark physics majors).
Ranjan Mukhopadhyay received his Ph.D. from Caltech
and did postdoctoral work at Simon Fraser University and the University of
Pennsylvania. He spent two years at NEC Laboratories in Princeton before
joining Clark in 2003.
Some of his current projects are:
Physical principles for protein and lipid organization in bacteria
- Physical modeling of bacterial cell wall and bacterial cell shape determination
- The interplay of geometry and composition for biological membranes
- Geometry, assembly, and mechanics of elastic sheets and fibres
- Broken order parameters and nonlinear elasticity/hydrodynamics
- Stability, noise, and switching in genetic and epigenetic networks.
- ``Cell shape and cell-wall organization in Gram-negative
bacteria," K.C. Huang, R, Mukhopadhyay, B. Wen, Z. Gitai, and N.S. Wingreen,
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105, 19281-19286 (2008).
- ``Self-organized periodic positioning of protein clusters in growing bacteria," H. Wang, N.S. Wingreen, and R. Mukhopadhyay, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 218101(4 pages) (2008).
"Mechanical Basis of Shapes and Shape Transformations of Red Blood Cells," G. Lim, M. Wortis, and R. Mukhopadhyay, 168 pages, research article in Soft Matter: Volume 4: Lipid Bilayers and Red Blood Cells, Wiley VCH (2008).
"Particle-hole symmetry and the dirty boson problem," P. Weichman and R. Mukhopadhyay, Phys. Rev. B 77, 214516 (39 pages), (2008). Selected for Editor's choice in Phys. Rev. B.
"Lipid localization in bacteria through curvature-mediated microphase separation," R. Mukhopadhyay, K.C. Huang, and N.S. Wingreen, Biophysical J. 95, 1034-49 (2008). Selected by Science for Editor's pick in Biophysics.
"Exponential sensitivity of noise-driven switching in genetic networks," P. Mehta, R. Mukhopadhyay, and N.S. Wingreen, Phys. Biol. 16, 026005 (6 pages), (2008).
"Semi-soft Nematic Elastomers and Nematics in Crossed Electric and Magnetic Fields," F. Ye, R. Mukhopadhyay, O. Stenull, and T. C. Lubensky, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 147801 (4 pages), (2007).
"A curvature-mediated mechanism for localization of lipids to bacterial poles," K.C. Huang, R. Mukhopadhyay, and N.S. Wingreen, PLoS Computational Biology 2, e15, 1357-1364 (2006).
"Optimal path to epigenetic switching," D.M. Roma, R. A. Flanagan, A. E. Ruckenstein, A. M. Sengupta, and R. Mukhopadhyay, Phys. Rev. E 71, 011902 (5 pages), (2005).