Arjun G. Yodh
Arjun G. Yodh is the James M. Skinner Professor of Science and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Until recently he was Director (2009-2020) of The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) and its NSF-supported Materials Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). His home department is Physics & Astronomy; he has a secondary appointment in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine, and he is a member of the graduate groups of the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Yodh’s research at Penn has spanned a wide range of fundamental and applied investigations in condensed matter physics, medical physics, biophysics, and optical science. This work includes early contributions to the nonlinear optics of solid-solid interfaces, and fundamental research in soft matter including studies of melting and frustration in colloids and liquid crystals, design and measurement of entropic forces, stabilization of carbon nanotubes in solution, and discoveries about the role of particle anisotropy in phenomena ranging from Brownian motion to coffee rings. He has also done pioneering work in biomedical optics, demonstrating and clinically translating concepts in light diffusion for noninvasive imaging and monitoring of tissue blood flow, hemodynamics, metabolic responses, and therapeutics in cancer and brain.
In addition to mentoring more than 100 PhD students and post-doctoral associates during his career, Yodh has made significant contributions to education, outreach and diversity at Penn (broadly defined). As LRSM Director he played a major role creating and implementing STEM education and outreach programs that target people at all levels, from K-16 to PhD students, post-docs, teachers, local academe and industry, and the general public. Notable among these efforts are LRSM partnerships with the University of Puerto Rico (PREM, Co-Director) and the Girard College of Philadelphia, as well as research experience programs for undergraduates (REU, Site-grant PI), high school students (PSSI), and high school teachers (RET) in the Philadelphia region and beyond.
Yodh graduated from Cornell University (1981) with a B.Sc. in Applied & Engineering Physics; he obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard (1986) under the guidance of Tom Mossberg, and he then spent two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a post-doc working with Steven Chu and Harry Tom. Yodh joined the faculty at Penn in 1988, where he has remained for his entire career.