Alexander-Katz

Alfredo
Alexander-Katz
Walter Henry Gale Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
B.S. Physics, UNAM (Mexico), 1998
Ph.D. Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2004

Disciplines: 

  • Biophysics
  • Computational Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Theory
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polymers
  • Self Assembly

Research: 

Prof. Alfredo Alexander-Katz' doctoral work focused on understanding the self-assembly of copolymers using novel field-theoretical methods. As an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, he moved to Munich to study the dynamics of driven polymers. His work in Munich led to an important discovery that unraveled the mystery behind the process of blood clotting at high shear rates and opened new routes for the development of novel shear responsive materials. He later moved to the Ecole Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle (Paris, France) as a CNRS postdoctoral researcher to study charged polymer solutions and their self-assembly with direct applications to fuel cells. His current interests lie in the realm of self-assembly and dynamics of biological soft-materials using a combination of analytical theory and simulations. His group is particularly focused in designing novel polymer-like drug delivery carriers and understanding their response to chemical and physical stimuli. This work aims to enable a new generation of drug-delivery vectors that could target different areas of the body in a very specific manner, and to provide a much deeper understanding of the processes of adhesion and targeting in flow. Other topics that he is currently pursuing is understanding the supramolecular self-assembly of chlorophyls in the antennas of Photosynthetic Bacteria which are the most efficient light harvesting organisms on Earth, as well as studying the dynamics of driven soft systems in general. The research in Prof. Alexander-Katz's group is highly interdisciplinary, and lies at the interface of materials, biology, physics, chemistry and medicine.

Ellen Swallow Richards, MIT’s first alumna, was the wife of Robert H. Richards, the first head of Course III.