Spotlight on new faculty: Ido Golding, Biological Physics

Jessica Raley for Illinois Physics
11/7/2019

The Department of Physics at Illinois welcomes an extraordinary set of ten new faculty members this year. Eight of them have arrived on campus and have begun setting up their labs and settling into life in Champaign-Urbana. Two more faculty are set to arrive in January. We will feature each of them here over the next couple of weeks. Check back regularly to learn more about the exciting work these new faculty members are doing.

Professor Ido Golding in his office
Professor Ido Golding in his office

Professor Ido Golding

As a biological physicist, Ido Golding studies the function of living cells. He is best known for the experimental quantification of key biological processes, such as gene expression and viral infection, inside individual bacterial cells. In his research at Illinois, he seeks to uncover the process by which cells with the same DNA differentiate to become distinct from one another. Ido’s work draws on resources from multiple areas of physics—both experimental and theoretical—to answer this central biological question. He says, “Biology traditionally has not had the tools to address the difference between cells.” On the other hand, statistical physics has the tools to look at many different particles that do different things, and “yet they come together to make one entity, like a liquid, or a superconductor, or a magnet, or a star.” Ido’s work capitalizes on these insights from physics to understand this key biological phenomenon, that is, “many, many simple entities becoming one more complex entity.” 

To learn more about Ido's research, or to inquire about working in his lab, please visit his website.

Recent News

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Outreach

FUTURE-MINDS-QB, a bridge program streamlining a path from a master’s degree at Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, to a doctoral degree at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has received a T32 training grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The FUTURE-MINDS-QB program will provide rigorous training, a nurturing environment, and academic and professional mentorship for students from underrepresented ethnic, racial, and gender groups in quantitative biology and biomedical data sciences. Quantitative biology encompasses bioinformatics, computational biology, genomic biology, and biophysics. The program is currently accepting applications.

  • Research Funding

In the quest to uncover the mysteries of the gravitational universe, the Simons Foundation awarded Illinois Physics Professor Nicolás Yunes a Targeted Grant in Mathematical and Physical Sciences to study astrophysical and cosmological signatures of dynamical Chern-Simons (dCS) gravity. Yunes, who is the founding director of the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (ICASU), shares the $2 million award with Brown University Professor of Physics Stephon Alexander.

  • Outreach

Over the course of three days, the festival featured the work of over fifty contributors. It was attended by nearly a hundred people each day. During each of the festival’s four themed sessions, videos, conversation, and live performances took place in rapid succession. In the dialogue that emerged, the boundaries between disciplines blurred, as scientists danced their research, played their data as sound, and discussed favorite pieces of art, challenging their colleagues to do the same—sometimes in real time. Artists, on the other hand, explained particle physics models through textiles, magnetism through dance, and physics fundamentals through comic books.