Dr Lorenzo Di Michele
Oppenheimer Research Fellow; John Henry Coates Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow
I was born in Abruzzo, a central-southern Italian region on the Adriatic coast.
I received my first degree in Physics from the University of L’Aquila (Italy), followed by a Masters in Condensed Matter Physics.
After a brief experience at the National Physical Laboratory (Teddington, UK), in 2010 I moved to Cambridge, Cavendish Laboratory, to start my PhD in the group of Erika Eiser. There my research interest shifted towards Soft Matter, the branch of Condensed Matter Physics focusing on plastics, emulsions, liquids and all the highly deformable and fragile states of matter. I am specifically interested in self-assembly of colloidal units, with size ranging from a few atoms to the size of a cell. Similarly to atoms and molecules, these objects are strongly influenced by thermal fluctuations and obey the laws of statistical mechanics. By controlling the interactions between these objects one can get them to self-assemble into smart materials. An elegant way to control these interactions consists of covering the colloidal particles with short DNA strands, which selectively bind to their complementary sequences inducing selective adhesive forces between the particles.
I received my PhD in November 2013. From October 2013 I hold the Oppenheimer Early Career Research Fellowship, awarded by the School of Physical Sciences, and the John Henry Coates non-stipendiary Research Fellowship in Emmanuel.
Besides my research activity I enjoy taking part in and organizing outreach events.
I carry on my research in the Biological and Soft Systems Sector of the Cavendish Laboratory. Currently I am mostly interested in responsive tissue-like materials made of DNA and lipid vesicles, artificial analogues of cell membranes.