Principal Investigator

Antonia Statt is the Principal Investigator of the lab. She did both her graduate and undergraduate work in Physics with Prof. Binder at the University of Main in Germany. After that she moved to Princeton, NJ as a PCCM postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Panagiotopoulos in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department.

Post Docs

Ashley Knoerdel joined the lab in 2023 after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with her PhD in Biophysics and Quantitative Biology. She will be collaborating with Dow. Ashley splits her free time between reading science fiction and fantasy novels and spending time with her grumpy cat and two goofy dogs.

Graduate Students

Rusen Argun ( obtained this BS in Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, before joining our lab in 2020. He is investigating the aggregation and phase behavior of microplastics particles, which not only pose a serious risk to our health and the environment, but are also poorly understood and characterized on a fundamental colloidal level due to their heterogeneity.  

Tzortzis Koulaxizis ( joined the lab in 2021 after obtaining his BS in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. He is investigating the concept of nucleation in polymer melts, by utilizing Molecular Dynamics simulations for production of crystalline materials with enhanced properties.

Brandon Jeong ( joined the lab in Fall 2022. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Oregon State University after completing his undergraduate research under Milo Koretsky. His current research implements molecular dynamics polymer simulation to predict force-responsive mechanophore behavior as a pathway towards understanding polymer response to stress on a microscopic scale. In the long term, he hopes to use computational methods to provide further mapping between a polymer’s microscopic structure and its macroscopic properties.

James Tallman ( joined the lab in Fall 2023. They received their B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University. Their current research implements Molecular Dynamics simulation to understand the ability of membranes assembled from lipids and block co-polymers to inhibit crystallization of small drugs.

Undergraduate Students

Yu Fu ( joined the lab in the summer of 2023. She is an undergraduate student in physics and math at UIUC. Her current research, mentored by Rusen, involves using neural network algorithms to accelerate molecular dynamics simulations

Staci Strader joined the lab in spring of 2024. She is an undergraduate in materials science and engineering. Her current research is mentored by Brandon Jeong and uses molecular dynamics to understand how  mechanophores respond to force.

Interested in joining the lab?

email: and tell us why you’d like to join and attach a recent resume.

Former Group Members

Andres Gonzales joined our lab in 2022 from Chemical Engineering department. His project is about complex fluid flows (e.g. polymer solutions) through channels with expansions and constrictions.

Arjun Goswami joined our lab in 2020 after obtaining his BS in Physics from Caltech. He left 2021 with a Masters Degree in Physics from UIUC.

Steve Skala joined our lab in 2021 and worked on a collaborative project on modeling the behavior of mechanophores in triblock copolymers until 2022. He is now a Graduate Student at UCSB!