Andrew Balchunas

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QB Experience
“The QB program at Brandeis was a unique opportunity to become more familiar with biology, and collaborate with biologists, while doing a physics Ph.D. The last time I had seen biology I was a freshman in high school, and it was a subject I wanted to know, but did not want to explicitly study. It is nice to be exposed to current research in biology, in understandable terms, and to see how research is conducted in another branch of science.”
Started QB in 2013
MRSEC Research in the Dogic Lab
“I am studying two dimensional colloidal membranes which are many microns in diameter. These membranes are about a thousand times larger than a typical lipid bilayer, so they are much more easily observed with a microscope, but have the same energetic form of lateral compressibility and bending rigidity. This allows us to make measurements on a very large scale which are useful to explain what is happening on the much smaller scale of the cell. Specifically, I work with a unique microfluidic device that allows for a full in situ buffer exchange. This tool is useful to see what happens when you drive a system out of equilibrium. My experiments up to now have explored what happens to one of these membranes as you raise, or lower, the osmotic pressure from the outside of the system.”