Areas of Research: Statistical mechanics of membrane systems
263 Carl Icahn Laboratory
Dr. Machta is broadly interested in the statistical physics of biological systems. The cellular program is carried out by proteins at a scale where thermal fluctuations can be enormous. How does the cell overcome and even take advantage of this noisy environment? Experiments have shown that cells tune their membranes to the proximity of a 2D liquid-liquid critical point, where thermal composition fluctuations become both spatially extended and long lived. Dr. Machta uses tools from statistical physics and information theory to unravel the implications of this critical point for cellular function.