Prof. Ramin Golestanian joins us since March 2018 as a new director from Oxford University and heads the Department of Living Matter Physics. The new department is engaged in a wide range of theoretical research aimed at a multi-scale understanding of the dynamics of living systems from a physical perspective. The aim is to understand the complex dynamics of living matter well enough to be able to make it from the bottom-up; i.e. from molecules to systems. The research topics cover, broadly speaking, chemical and mechanical nonequilibrium activity in Living Matter across the scales. The complementary lines of research focus on collective properties of enzymes, nonequilibrium and osmotic activity of nanopores and channels, dynamics of membranes and the role of confinement on enzyme suspensions and integral-membrane channels, chemical signalling and collective chemotaxis, mechanical signalling and active hydrodynamics of cilia, flow of information in active matter, and homeostasis and stability of living systems as compound ensembles of the above components.
Ramin Golestanian (born on 26 February 1971) obtained his BSc from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, and his MSc and PhD from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS) in Zanjan. His PhD work was conducted under the remote supervision of Mehran Kardar from MIT, and was followed by an independent postdoctoral research fellowship at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has held academic positions at IASBS, the University of Sheffield, and Oxford University, and risen through the ranks until he became a Full Professor in 2007. He has a broad interest in various aspects of nonequilibrium statistical physics, soft matter, and biological physics. Golestanian is distinguished for his work on active matter, and in particular, for his role in developing microscopic swimmers and active colloids. He is elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, and recipient of the Holweck Medal of the Société Française de Physique and the Institute of Physics, EPJE Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize, Martin Gutzwiller Fellowship of the MPI-PKS, Nakamura Lecturer Award of UCSB, and 50th-Anniversary Most Distinguished Alumni Award of Sharif University of Technology.
Ramin Golestanian has been a strong advocate for the type of biological physics that regards biological systems as living matter, and aims to address new physical questions in these systems. To learn more about his research, see a public lecture he gave in September 2013 to a group of Oxford alumni about his research area, Living Matter, which is available as an Oxford podcast, and a Colloquium entitled "Making Living Matter from the bottom up" that he gave at École Normale Supérieure in Paris in March 2016. He currently serves as Chair of IUPAP C6 Commission on Biological Physics, and Divisional Associate Editor (DAE) at Physical Review Letters (APS).
For PhD opportunities in our department as part of the Max Planck School “Matter to Life”, you can send your application here: