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Los Alamos National Laboratory

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LANL Distinguished Postdoc Fellows

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Meet LANL's Current Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows

LANL Distinguished Fellows (pdf)

Ludmil Alexandrov

J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group (T-6), Theoretical Division

Ludmil Alexandrov, J Robert Oppenheimer Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge
MPhil in Computational Biology, University of Cambridge
B.S. in Computer Science, Neumont University

Research: Ludmil's research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms behind the molecular processes involved in somatic mutagenesis and aging.

Bio: Ludmil is co-mentored by William Hlavacek and Thomas Leitner. He previously was a research student at LANL, as well as Harvard Medical School. In between his studies, he worked for two years as a business technology consultant for Deloitte Consulting, specializing in information management in the public sector. During his Ph.D. studies, Ludmil developed the first comprehensive map of the signatures of the mutational processes that cause somatic mutations in human cancer. In 2014, for his work on cancer, Ludmil was recognized by Forbes as one of the "30 brightest stars under the age of 30 in the field of Science and Healthcare."

Enkeleda Dervishi

Marie Curie Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (MPA-CINT), Materials Physics and Applications Division

Enkeleda Dervishi, Marie Curie Distinguished Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Systems, University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR)
B.S. in Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Research: Enkeleda's principal research project at LANL includes the synthesis of unique multi-functional composites (graphene/metal/ carbon nanotubes) for a number of applications ranging from energy storage to sensors and nano-electronics. This innovative research will provide an insight into the interaction between graphitic nano-materials. She will also work on collaborative research efforts to develop novel hetero-structures (thin film oxides and carbon nano-materials) and hybrid nano-composites.

Bio: Enkeleda is mentored by Stephen Doorn. During her appointment as a postdoctoral fellow/research assistant professor at the UALR Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences, she focused on synthesis of various carbon nanostructures and their applications in photovoltaic devices and in the bio-nano area. Enkeleda has served as PI and Co-PI for several grant proposals funded by the FDA, NASA/SBIR, and NSF, to name a few. During her graduate studies, she received the outstanding Ph.D. graduate student award and the M.K. Testerman award for excellence in research. She is currently a reviewer and on the editorial board for a number of journals. Her main research interests are in catalysis and development of multi-functional materials for electronics and energy storage applications.

Pavel Dub

J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Inorganic, Isotope, and Actinide Chemistry Group (C-IIAC), Chemistry Division

Pavel Dub, J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Organometallic and Coordination Chemistry, Université de Toulouse
Ph.D. in Physical and Organoelement Chemistry, A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences
M.S. in Organometallic Chemistry from the Higher Chemical College, Russian Academy of Sciences

Research: Pavel’s research interests span organometallic and computational quantum chemistry, reaction mechanisms, molecular spectroscopy and molecular catalysis based on organometallic chemistry. Chiral catalysts are of pivotal importance in the production of many thousands of materials and products in the field of fine chemicals, chiral drugs, as well as optical materials. Catalysis can also aid in the reduction of water and air pollution, as well as to minimize the waste of natural resources and energy. Asymmetric hydrogenation provides the most powerful way to produce a wide range of enantio-enriched compounds for synthetic organic chemistry without forming any waste due to added reductants. Recent progress in science and technology, however, demands more powerful and sophisticated catalysts bearing tunable functions. Pavel’s current research focuses on the rational design of novel transition metal-based molecular catalysts, in particularly, for asymmetric hydrogenation of racemic carboxylic acid derivatives based on dynamic kinetic resolution.

Bio: Pavel is mentored by John Gordon. At the age of 18, his early research career began at the A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences (INEOS RAS) and included three subsequent summer internships in the Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination, UPR CNRS 8241 (LCC CNRS) in 2005, 2006, and 2007, respectively. Based on this research focused on proton transfer processes in transition metal hydride chemistry, Pavel was awarded a Ph.D. with Prof. DSc. Elena S. Shubina as his advisor. Independently, he completed a second Ph.D. degree working under Prof. Dr. Rinaldo Poli. He then spent two and a half years (2010-2013) as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Dr. Takao Ikariya's group at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he discovered a novel family of ionic chiral bifunctional catalysts. He joined LANL as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow in 2013 prior to receiving the Distinguished Postdoc Fellow appointment.

Arianna Gleason

Reines Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Shock and Detonation Physics Group (M-9), Explosive Science and Shock Physics Division

Arianna Gleason, Reines Distinguished Postdoc

Education: Ph.D. in Mineral Physics, University of California, Berkeley
B.S. in Geophysics and Planetary Science from the University of Arizona

Research: Arianna’s research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms behind the phase transitions and material strength at extreme conditions.

Bio: Arianna is co-mentored by Cindy Bolme (M-9) and Prof. Wendy Mao, Stanford University. Arianna started conducting scientific research in 1998 on asteroid/comet detection and discovery with the group Spacewatch at the University of Arizona. During her Ph.D. studies, Arianna explored the elasticity and plasticity of Earth-relevant materials at extreme conditions using static compression techniques (i.e., diamond anvil cells) combined with synchrotron sources to help interpret Earth’s seismic information and provide insight into the evolution of the Earth’s interior. During her early postdoctoral work, in collaboration with LANL staff, she conducted experiments using the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory providing direct observation of material structure during phase transformation with femtosecond time resolution – allowing unprecedented measurements of transition kinetics, including grain nucleation and growth rates a extreme conditions. In 2014, she received the Early Career Award in Mineral and Rock Physics from the American Geophysical Union. She joined LANL as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, prior to receiving the Distinguished Postdoc Fellow appointment.

Zhongbo Kang

J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Group (T-2), Theoretical Division, and Subatomic Physics Group (P-25), Physics Division

Zhongbo Kang, J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics, Iowa State University
M.S. in Theoretical Physics, Central China Normal University
B.S. in Physics, Central China Normal University

Research: Zhongbo's research is at the forefront of Perturbative Quantum Chromodynamics, the underlying theory of strong interactions. He is particularly interested in studying the nucleon and nuclear structure at very high energies. To elucidate how the most fundamental building blocks of matter, quarks and gluons, give nucleons and nuclei their momentum and spin, one has to identify sensitive experimental observables and construct accurate theoretical tools to extract this information. Zhongbo's project aims to develop a new comprehensive state-of-the-art formalism suitable for high-precision data analysis over a very wide range of energies. This will, in turn, enable the extraction of the nucleon and nuclear structure, encoded in the quark and gluon distri­bu­­tion functions, through a global analysis of world’s experimental measurements of high-energy proton and nuclear reactions. His work will also strengthen the scientific case for a future Electron Ion Collider, a flagship U.S. nuclear physics facility.

Bio: Zhongbo is co-mentored by Ivan Vitev and Patrick McGaughey. Previous to joining LANL, he was a research associate at the RIKEN BNL Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory and then was selected as a Distinguished Postdoc Fellow. His LANL research focuses on the theory of strong interactions. Zhongbo has published 55 papers, including six Physical Review Letters. He has given 67 talks at international conferences and workshops and seminars at leading research institutions, including 46 invited talks. He serves as a referee for all major journals in his field and was named a most valued referee for Nuclear Physics A in 2012 and 2013. He joined LANL as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, prior to receiving the Distinguished Postdoc Fellow appointment.

Michael McCumber

Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellow
Subatomic Physics Group (P-25), Physics Division

Michael McCumber, Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics, Stony Brook University
M.A. in Physics, Stony Brook University
B.S. in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics, University of Arizona

Research: Michael's primary research focus is on experimental signatures of energy loss and hydrodynamic flow in Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), a new phase of matter created in collisions of nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). His recent work includes development of a future jet detector (sPHENIX) at RHIC to study the microscopic properties of the QGP, as well as a transverse spin asymmetries and nuclear structure. Michael serves as a Physics Working Group convener for the PHENIX experiment where he is responsible for directing the collaboration's results on high momentum and large mass particles. He has also been responsible for the high bandwidth data acquisition upgrades needed for the installation of silicon tracking.

Bio: Michael is co-mentored by Xiaodong Jiang and Patrick McGaughey. His Ph.D. dissertation on particle correlations in heavy ion collisions was selected for the RHIC & AGS Best Experimental Thesis Award in recognition of outstanding research conducted at BNL. He joined LANL as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow after working as a research associate at the University of Colorado. He is a regular referee for Physical Review on the topic of QGP physics.

Tammie Nelson

Feynman Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Physics and Chemistry of Materials Group (T-1), Theoretical Division, and the Shock and Detonation Physics Group (M-9), Explosive Science and Shock Physics Division

Tammie Nelson, Feynman Distinguished Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Rochester
M.S. in Chemistry, University of Washington
B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University

Research: Tammie’s current research combines advanced electronic excited-state modeling and mixed quantum/classical molecular dynamics using surface hopping techniques to simulate photoexcited dynamics in extended conjugated molecules. After a molecule absorbs light, a typical scenario includes relaxation of the initial excitation via complex phonon/vibronic mechanisms through multiple excited states, leading to spatial energy transfer, excitation localization/delocalization, and/or charge separation phenomena. Understanding and control over these processes lies in the heart of all our efforts to design functional photoactive materials. Tammie is currently working to develop and implement combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) excited-state methods for treatment of solvent and thermal bath effects. Her work with M-9 involves optical control of photoinduced processes and optical initiation of high energy materials and developing an understanding of how the relevant excited-state vibrational modes influence relaxation pathways.

Bio: Tammie is co-mentored by Sergei Tretiak and Jason Scharff. Tammie received an S.P. Pavlou and D.E. Strayer endowed fellowship in Chemistry. As a graduate student, she worked with Prof. Oleg Prezhdo investigating nonradiative relaxation phenomena in carbon nanomaterials. She first came to LANL as a GRA working with Sergei Tretiak where she focused on developing new methods for nonadiabatic excited-state molecular dynamics simulations. She was a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, prior to receiving the Distinguished Postdoc Fellow appointment.

Hung-Ju Yen

J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy Group (C-PCS), Chemistry Division

Hung-Ju Yen, J Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoc Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University
M.S. in Applied Chemistry, National Chi Nan University
B.S. in Applied Chemistry, National Chi Nan University

Research: Hung-Ju's main research interest lies in the organic synthesis of electroactive, high refractive polymers and functional nanographenes with tailored optical and electronic properties. Triarylamine derivatives synthesized by Hung-Ju have led to the world’s best electrochromic devices in terms of electroactive reversibility and coloration efficiency. Multi-step organic synthesis gives rise to a series of nanographene derivatives with tunable solubility and catalytic activity. Hung-Ju will further demonstrate their application for electrochromic, light-emitting, gas separation, lithium-ion battery, and memory devices. Hung-Ju also uses a combined organic synthesis and simulation approach to provide design principle of molecules with optimized energetic to control the flexibility, turn on voltage, cycles, life-time, and stability for memory devices.

Bio: Hung-Ju is mentored by Hsing-Lin Wang. He completed his Ph.D. degree with the 1st prize of Ph.D. graduates from National Taiwan University (NTU) under the guidance of Prof. Guey-Sheng Liou. He joined LANL after working as a postdoctoral researcher at NTU for a year. He has written/been involved in several grant proposals funded by National Science Council, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industrial Technology Research Institute, and Institute of Nuclear Energy Research. His current research interest is in the bottom-up organic synthesis of organosoluble and functional nanographenes for organic electronic and energy devices. He joined LANL as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, prior to receiving the Distinguished Postdoc Fellow appointment.

Alex Zylstra

Reines Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Plasma Physics Group (P-24), Physics Division

Alex Zylstra, Reines Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow

Education: Ph.D. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A. in Physics, Pomona College

Research: Alex’s research is in the field of high energy density physics. He works on experiments using laser facilities, such as the National Ignition Facility at LLNL and the OMEGA laser at LLE, to create plasmas at the extreme conditions relevant to inertially-confined laboratory fusion and stellar interiors.

Bio: Alex is co-mentored by Hans Herrmann and Ray Leeper. As his thesis research, he characterized fusion implosions on the National Ignition Facility using proton spectroscopy, measured several fusion reactions relevant to nuclear astrophysics using plasmas, and studied charged-particle stopping in dense plasmas. As a graduate student he was a NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellow and a NSF fellow. His current research interests include alternative low-convergence fusion implosions, collisional energy transport rates in fusion plasmas, and few-nucleon fusion reactions relevant to nuclear astrophysics.

Innovations for a secure nation

Four Los Alamos projects selected as R&D 100 Award finalists

Four Los Alamos projects selected as R&D 100 Award finalists

Finalists include X-ray imaging, pipe corrosion, data handling and damage-detection software  

» All Innovations


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