Soft Matter Physics

"... These beautiful soap bubbles, which are
 the delight of our children."
                                 - Pierre-Gilles De Gennes

Biological Physics

"How would we express in terms of the statistical theory the marvelous faculty of a living organism?"
                                       - Erwin Schrödinger

Statistical Physics

"More is different"
                                     - Philip W. Anderson

Soft Matter, Biological and Statistical Physics
Research Group

Ali Naji

   Current Position:
      since 2011  Associate Professor, School of Physics, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM),
                        Tehran, Iran
   Academic Associations:
      since 2011  Newton International Fellowship Alumni (10-year package), The Royal Society, The British
                        Academy of Engineering, and The British Academy, UK
                        
- Associated with Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge,
                        
 UK


      from 2015   ICTP Associate Member (5-year package), The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical
                       Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy

 
   Education:
      2001-2005  Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics (Soft Matter and Statistical Physics), Ludwig Maximilian
                      
University, Munich, Germany

      2000-2001  Diploma in Condensed Matter Physics, The Abdus Salam International Centre for
                       Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

      1998-2000  M.Sc. in Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

      1994-1998  B.Sc. in Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
 
   Postdoctoral Research Experience:
      04/2010 - 05/2011   Newton International Fellow, Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical
                                  
Physics (DAMTP), Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge,
                                   UK
                                   
      05/2009 - 03/2010   Newton International Fellow, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy,
University
                                  
of Sheffield, UK

      12/2005 - 01/2009   Postdoctoral Research Scholar jointly at Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry,
                                   Dept. of Physics, and Materials Research Laboratory,
University of  California,
                                  
Santa Barbara (UCSB), USA
 
   Awards:
      2015   Associate Membership Grant (5-year package), The Abdus Salam International Centre for
               
Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy

`
      2011   Newton International Fellowship Alumni (10-year package), The Royal Society, The British
               
Academy of Engineering, and The British Academy, UK

      2008   Newton International Fellowship Award, The Royal Society, The British Academy of
                Engineering, and The British Academy, UK


 
     2000   Diploma Scholarship, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP),
                Trieste, Italy
 
   Research Interest:
      - Current research topics: Physics of Coulomb fluids and strongly coupled soft matter such as highly
       
charged colloids, polymers and membranes, electrostatics of virus-like nano-capsids, electrostatics of
       
DNA and DNA complexes, like-charge attraction phenomena, Casimir effect, charged disordered
       
systems, disordered liquid-crystalline films and, more recently, also physics of active matter,
       
specifically, nano-swimmers and self-propelled colloids and bacteria

      
- Previous research topics: Diffusion on ruffled biological and elastic membranes, charged polymer
       
brushes, charged polymer multilayers, electrophoresis of DNA

      
- Methods of research include advanced analytical methods (e.g., techniques of equilibrium and
       
non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and statistical field theory) as well as extensive numerical
       
simulation techniques (e.g., Monte-Carlo, Brownian Dynamics and Hydrodynamic simulations)  
 
   Publications Highlights (see complete list of publications here)
      - Publication and citation record can be viewed at:
       
  ISI ResearcherID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/F-6352-2010
         Google Scholar profile: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=uiYVmIIAAAAJ
         ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ali_Naji4/

      
- Total citations: 1066 / H-index: 19 (ISI Web of Knowledge, Nov. 2014)

      
- Published more than 45 papers (since 2003) in peer-reviewed international journals of highest
       
standing, 4 book chapters, and co-edited a major book on “Electrostatics of Soft and Disordered
       
Matter”
(Pan Stanford Publishing, 2014)

      
- Published several invited review papers, including highly cited reviews in Physics Reports (more
       
than 180 citations), Physica A (more than 100 citations), Advances in Polymer Science (more than
       
49 citations), a recent Perspective article in the Journal of Chemical Physics and an invited review
       
in preparation for Reports on Progress in Physics (2015)

      
- Journal publications also include 5 papers in Physical Review Letters (“the world's foremost physics
       
letters journal”) and other top Soft Matter and Biophysics journals including Macromolecules (ranked
       
#1 by ISI in total citations in the category of polymer science), Journal of Physical Chemistry B
       
(ranked #1 in total citations in the category of physical chemistry), Journal of Chemical Physics
       
(most highly cited journal in atomic, molecular & chemical physics), altogether more than 24 papers
       
published in high-impact journals (Impact Factor > 3) including also Soft Matter, Biophysical
       
Journal
, Physical Review A, and Physical Review B


      
- Our research has been highlight by various professional and public media, including the American
       
Institute of Physics, Springer, Science Daily, PhysOrg, Europhysics News, etc, and, recently, also by
       
the Financial Times. For a list of recent news and highlights on our publications, please see our News
       
page 
 
   Research Highlights (see complete list of publications here)
      - Contributed significantly to the development of the strong-coupling theory of charged soft matter such
       
as highly charged colloids, polymers, membranes and Coulomb fluids (see, e.g., Phys. Rep. 416, 129
       
(2005) and the recent invited Perspective article J. Chem. Phys. 139, 150901 (2013) written for JCP
       
Spotlight Collections)

      - Contributed significantly to the understanding of charge disorder phenomena as a new paradigm in
       
charged soft matter and also within the context of Casimir effect (see, e.g., the recent book
       
"Electrostatics of Soft and Disordered Matter” by Pan Stanford Publishing, 2014, and recent highlights
       
in our News page)

      - Developed novel hybrid numerical strategies to simulate dynamics of mesoscopic objects coupled to a
       
background   fluctuating field such as the diffusion of inclusions within biological membranes (see
       
Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 138102 (2009))

      - Contributed to the understanding of the experimentally observed electrophoresis of DNA through
       
analytical as well as hydrodynamic simulation methods (see Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 176103 (2008))

      - Predicted anomalous swelling of charged osmotic polymer brushes that was confirmed directly in
       
experiments (see, e.g., J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 16870 (2004))

      - Contributed in developing a robust model for determination of internal electrical properties of charged
       
polymer multilayers that was successfully tested in experiments (see Macromolecules 39, 463
       
(2006))

      - Developed a novel Monte-Carlo sampling method in order to study the counterion-condensation
       
transition which led to the resolution of long-standing issues relating to the nature and universality
       
class of this transition in the context of charged polymers (see Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 185703 (2005))

      - Collaborated extensively with various international research groups including researchers from UCSB,
       
UCLA, National Institutes of Health (USA), Jozef Stefan Institute and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia),
       
University of Cambridge (UK), University of Toulouse and University of Bordeaux (France), University of
       
Lund (Sweden), Helsinki University of Technology (Finland), Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich
       
and Technical University of Munich (Germany), Max Planck Institute for Polymer Science (Mainz,
       
Germany) and Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam, Germany),
       
Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald (Germany), Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore, India),
       
Yerevan State University (Armenia), University of Isfahan, Khajeh-Nasir Toosi University, and Sharif
       
University of Technology (Iran)