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ResearchMy main research interest lies in applying methods of statistical physics to biologically motivated questions.
Recent work by Ahnert et Al. has been conducted in the field of Complexity and Evolution, exploiting algorithmic self-assembly to address questions in evolutionary dynamics and on complexity and modularity in nature.
I am currently working in the field of algorithmic self-assembly, focusing on non-deterministic structure growth. I study out of equilibrium growth behaviours that systems of two or more tiles can produce on a 2D lattice, once simple interaction rules are defined between the faces of the tile-types in the system.
So far, I have been investigating transitions from bound to unbound growth in simple two tiles systems, displaying fractal behaviour at criticality. The simplicity of this model has made experiments with DNA tiles techniques viable, replicating theoretical predictions.
We are now applying what we have learned about two-tile behaviours to systems made of larger numbers of constituents, making quantitative predictions on their growth phenomena. Such methods will extend the toolbox used for studying algorithmic self-assembly, allowing us to add further stochastic elements to previous models of evolutionary dynamics in the context of genotype-phenotype maps.
In Plain English
Self-Assembly is a well know process, through which complex structures can arise in nature once a simple set of rules is defined upon basic constituents. In my investigation, I am trying to look at the simplest possible pathways that nature might exploit to self-assemble structures and solve problems in Biology.
Deterministic self-assembly is the process through which, once a set of rules is defined on some constituents, there is only one possible final structure that can be generated, whereas non deterministic self-assembly can produce several or an infinite number of final structures or states. So far, investigations in deterministic self-assembly and complexity have been successful in showing that symmetric and modular structures are favoured in biological self-assembly, for example in protein complexes. I aim to study simple systems of two tiles type giving rise to non deterministic self-assembly setting out to understand the physics behind them. I aim to understand how nature exploits such pathways in complex biological processes and their importance in the broad field of Complexity and Evolution.
- A one-dimensional statistical mechanics model for nucleosome positioning on genomic DNA
- (2016) Physical Biology, Volume 13, Number 1 Non-deterministic self-assembly of two tile types on a lattice
- Editors' Suggestion in (2016) Physical Review E 93, 042412
- Nondeterministic self-assembly with asymmetric interactions
- (2016) Physical Review E 94, 022404
- The determinism and boundedness of self-assembling structures
- (2016) arXiv:1610.06628