I received my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the University of California, San Diego, in 1995 and 2000, respectively, with Professor Shelly Schultz. I was then a postdoctoral scholar in Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology with the nanofabrication group of Professor Axel Scherer. From 2003-2008, I was an Assistant Professor of Physics at the California State University, Long Beach, as well as a Visiting Associate Faculty at the California Institute of Technology. Although I earned an early tenure, I could not resist the temptation to join the Applied Physics and Instrumentation Group at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus in 2008.
I am passionate about novel sensitive instrumentation and measurement techniques as well as the design and development of unique gizmos and micro-devices that allow them. My scientific career started in the field of magnetic nanostructures where I focused on the nanofabrication, measurement, and recording of single magnetic nanoparticles for ultra-high-density patterned media data storage. I then spent two brief periods of my career on the fabrication and studies of unique plasmon optical properties of individual metallic nanoparticles followed by the development and studies of nanowire-based VHF nanomechanical resonators. Finally, for several years prior to joining Janelia, I focused my career on the question of whether it is possible to engineer magnetic fields and develop novel sensors to achieve three-dimensional atomic resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Now at Janelia my attention has shifted to the development of novel microdevices for electrophysiology. I am developing the tools for both extracellular and intracellular neural recordings, and my primary goal is to provide the neuroscientists at Janelia with the ability to measure electrical properties of active neural circuits with single-cell resolution.