Boston Universities Chemistry and Physics Departments welcome one of our newest faculty members, Professor Masha Kamenetska!

in Uncategorized
June 7th, 2017

MASHAWe are happy to welcome Dr. Kamenetska as our newest Assistant Professor who will hold academic appointments in the Boston University Departments of Chemistry and Physics. Her hire resulted from faculty search associated with the Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) Program for a CAS junior faculty member. Masha’s experimental interests focus on single molecule measurements and biophysics and she will develop instrumentation that combines novel multiple optical trapping techniques with optical measurements to study the molecular level details of important biological structure function relationships.

Her academic training in Physics and her molecular level focused research make her an ideal candidate for our interdisciplinary MSE faculty position with joint (50:50) appointments in Chemistry and Physics. Dr. Kamenetska graduated with a B.S. in Physics from MIT and received her Ph.D. with distinction in Applied Physics in 2012 from Columbia University. There she carried out single molecule level conductance and nano manipulation measurements to learn about metal-molecule junctions, which are essential for developing molecular level electronics. While a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, Masha built a novel optical tweezer for mechanical force and optical measurements of biological systems. Dr. Kamenetska was awarded the Robert Simon Memorial Prize for best Ph.D. in the Department of Applied Physics, Columbia University in 2012 and was a recipient of an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology.

Dr. Kamenetska’s research interests lie in creating tools to probe physical phenomena at the single molecule level, which is an urgent need across multiple disciplines. In particular, she wants to make headway in tackling human diseases such as cancer because we need to understand how the conformation of individual DNA-protein complexes affects access to genes by transcription machinery. Similarly, she’ll focus on advance energy conversion devices and further miniaturize electronics that are needed to understand how the structure of the molecule-metal junction affects electron transport across the interface. Her goal is to further our understanding of structure and function of chromatin—DNA condensed by proteins, and of metal-molecule devices by developing novel, label-free, multi-probe, single molecule techniques.

Masha is our first joint junior hire, which highlights BU’s strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and training.   Please join us in welcoming Dr. Kamenetska to BU’s Chemistry and Physics Departments starting on July 1st!