Diana Valverde Mendez

Graduate Student
228 Carl Icahn Lab

PhD Program in Physics, entered 2016


I am working with Josh Shaevitz and am in the 5th year of the physics PhD program. I'm interested in understanding the physical properties of the different components of the bacterial cell (cytoplasm, nucleoid, etc), and how these properties affect the internal processes necessary for the cell’s function. My research combines techniques from molecular biology, custom built optics and image analysis to study the three-dimensional movement of nanoscopic probes inside live bacteria. By tuning a variety of parameters, such as the metabolic state of the cells and the type, size and charge of the probe particles, we are able to explore the physics governing diffusion processes in the cells, which are highly relevant for the bacterial cell’s function.