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Biology offers a rich and rewarding field for applying ideas and techniques from physics, resulting in exciting research that not only delves into the machinery of life but also enriches and advances physics. Professor Ajay Gopinathan's main interest lies in understanding the inter-relationship between the non-equilibrium nature, structure, mechanical properties and function in biological systems.
Current research involves using methods from soft condensed matter physics (statistical mechanics, polymer physics, elasticity) to address various issues such as different aspects of cell motility including force generation and membrane dynamics, protein translocation across membrane pores, kinetic control of the cytoskeletal network, the structure and function of biopolymer aggregates and the diffusion of macromolecules in crowded, sticky environments.
Research is conducted using a combination of analytical and computational techniques, often in collaboration with experimental groups. Other interests include colloidal dynamics, self-organization in polymeric systems and statistical mechanics of biological and artificial networks.