Professor of Physics & Astronomy; UCI Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning [Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara]. Professor Dennin brings expertise in laboratory studies on the behavior of biologically relevant organics, including proteins, to the ORU. Professor Dennin’s main research interests are in systems that are driven out of equilibrium and model systems for biological membranes. Some of the questions focused on in his lab include:

  • How does the spatial organization of lipid domains impact protein-membrane interactions?
  • Can we understand fluctuations during the flow of complex fluids in terms of an effective temperature?
  • Can we use fluctuations in probe particles to understand the response of biologically relevant networks to external stresses?

A number of model systems are studied in his lab in an attempt to answer these, and other questions. One of the main tools is Langmuir monolayers (single layers of molecules at the airwater interface). This system offers an ideal environment for studying interfacial interactions that are relevant to biological processes. Current projects in biological physics consider the interaction between proteins and monolayers and the mechanical properties of actin- lipid complexes. These complexes play an important role in the structural integrity of cells. This work is done in collaboration with faculty from biology and chemistry.

Research Interests:

  • Experimental condensed matter

Selected Honors and Awards:

UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching (2007)

UCI Teaching Excellence Award, School of Physical Sciences (2006)

UCI Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Research (2001 – 2002)

Cottrell Scholar (2000 – 2006)

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2000 – 2004)

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research (2000)

Outstanding/Inspirational Professor within School of Physical Sciences (1999)

Research Innovation Award, presented by Research Corporation (March 1999)

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