Robert H. Austin

Princeton University

Primary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1999)

Research Interests

My research has spanned three areas: protein dynamics and conformational statistics, DNA dynamics and basepair sequence elastic variability, and applications of micro/nanofabrication technology to cellular and molecular biology. I am active in all three areas, which I find have many common themes. The protein dynamics work has expanded to the use of free-electron lasers to do time-resolved nonlinear IR dynamics. The micro-fabrication work has led to the invention of diffusional mixers used to study protein folding dynamics. The DNA dynamics work has proven vital in designing nanofabricated near-field scanners to be used in mapping single DNA molecules. The molecular biology and cellular biology work entails close collaboration with medical centers and molecular biologists, as I investigate ways to isolate rare cells from blood samples using a combination of microfluidics and cell surface biological markers.

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