Prof. Sahand Jamal Rahi

photo Prof. Since July 2018 I have been leading the Laboratory of the Physics of Biological Systems at the Institute of Physics at EPFL.

Before that, I spent a year as a visiting scholar in the Department of Physics at Harvard University working with Prof. Aravi Samuel.

Previously, as an independent Fellow at The Rockefeller University, I made a transition from theoretical physics to the intersection of biology and physics, pursuing theory and experiments in collaboration with Prof. Fred Cross.

In my graduate training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD physics, 2010), I conducted theoretical research on quantum fluctuation (Casimir) forces with Profs. Mehran Kardar (adviser) and Robert Jaffe (co-adviser). Before going to MIT, as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania (BA, MS, 2005), I worked with biophysicist Prof. Kim Sharp. During my college years I also spent a few summers in Germany, where I worked with Dr. Volkhard Helms at the Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik and took classes at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main (Vordiplom mathematics, 2003).

Before leaving for college I completed my schooling in Germany and lived in Paris, France as a child. I was born in Tehran, Iran, where my parents come from as well.

In addition to science, I enjoy sports and music.

Curriculum Vitae

Appointments

EPFL
– Assistant Professor
– 2018-

Harvard University
– Visiting Scholar
– 2017-2018

The Rockefeller University
– Fellow
– 2010-2017

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
– PhD, Department of Physics
– 2005-2010

University of Pennsylvania
– BA, MS
– 2001-2005

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany
– Vordiplom Mathematics
– 2002-2003

Gymnasium Oberursel, Germany
– Abitur
– 2001

Awards and Grants

The Rockefeller University
– NIH T32 Training Grant 2014-2017
– Merck Fellowship 2013-2014
– Fellowship, Center for Studies in Physics and Biology 2010-2013

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
– Graduate Fellow, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara, Fall 2008
– MIT-France Travel Grant, Summer 2008
– Lester Wolfe fellowship 2005-2006

University of Pennsylvania
– Phi Beta Kappa
– Second Place, Class of 1880 Mathematics Competition
– Mathematics Undergraduate Research Prize 2005
– Rose Undergraduate Research Award 2005
– William E. Stephens Memorial Prize 2004-2005 (Undergraduate research prize, Department of Physics and Astronomy)
– Rose Fund Award 2002-2003
– University Scholar
– Vagelos Scholar in Molecular Life Sciences

Talks

58. Oscillatory stimuli differentiate adapting circuit topologies
Swiss Physical Society meeting
Aug. 2018, invited talk

57. Using dynamical stimuli to discriminate network topologies
Kardar-Fest, in celebration of Prof. Mehran Kardar’s 60th birthday
Jun. 2018, contributed talk

56. Using dynamics to investigate cell cycle control
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Yeast Systems Biology Group Meeting
May 2018, invited talk

55. Using dynamical stimuli to differentiate network topologies
Harvard Medical School, Theory Lunch
Apr. 2018, invited talk

54. Oscillatory stimuli differentiate adapting circuit topologies
International Conference on Systems Biology, Blacksburg, Virginia
Aug. 2017, contributed talk

53. Using oscillations to elucidate cell cycle control and signal processing
q-bio Conference, Rutgers University
Jul. 2017, invited talk

52. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried
Apr. 2017, invited talk

51. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Physics
Mar. 2017, invited talk

50. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Yale University, Systems Biology Institute and Department of Physics
Mar. 2017, invited talk

49. Oscillatory stimuli resolve fundamental circuit topologies for adaptation
Systems Biology Conference, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Feb. 2017, contributed talk

48. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Johns Hopkins University, Departments of Physics and Biophysics
Feb. 2017, invited talk

47. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Rutgers University, Quantitative Biology Seminar
Feb. 2017, invited talk

46. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Princeton University, Biophysics Seminar
Feb. 2017, invited talk

45. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Department of Physics
Feb. 2017, invited talk

44. Dynamics: Challenge and tool for understanding living systems
Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Physics
Jan. 2017, invited talk

43. Using dynamics to elucidate biological systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biophysics Seminar
Nov. 2016, invited talk

42. How many clocks control the cell cycle?
International Conference on Systems Biology, Barcelona
Sep. 2016, contributed talk

41. Using dynamics to elucidate biological systems
University of Zurich, Biophysics Symposium
Jun. 2016, invited talk

40. Identifying negative feedback loops by their dynamics
Anderson Cancer Center Retreat, The Rockefeller University
Apr. 2015, contributed talk

39. Timed, pulsatile termination signal for mitosis in halted cell cycles
Cell Cycle Conference, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
May 2014, contributed talk

38. Transcription in halted cell cycles
Anderson Cancer Center Retreat, The Rockefeller University
Apr. 2014, contributed talk

37. Using timing to elucidate signaling pathways and cell cycle control
The Rockefeller University, Center for Studies in Physics and Biology
Sep. 2013, invited talk

36. Using dynamics to identify network topologies
International Conference on Systems Biology, Copenhagen
Aug. 2013, poster

35. Using dynamics to identify network topology
APS March Meeting, Baltimore
Mar. 2013, contributed talk

34. Optimal cell cycle checkpoint decisions
108th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
Dec. 2012, contributed talk

33. Biochemical “FM radio” receivers
Harvard Medical School, Theory Lunch
Dec. 2012, invited talk

32. Characterizing biological adaptive circuits by their frequency-detection properties
Harvard Medical School, Galit Lahav lab group meeting
Jul. 2012, invited talk

31. Biochemical “FM radio” receivers
Systems Biology Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Mar. 2012, poster

30. Characterizing biological frequency-detection circuits by their dynamical properties
Institute for Advanced Study, The Simons Center for Systems Biology
Jan. 2012, chalk talk

29. Biochemical “FM radio” receivers
106th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
Dec. 2011, contributed talk

28. Casimir interaction of an object with a cavity
103rd Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
May 2010, contributed talk

27. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Casimir, van der Waals and nanoscale interactions school
École de Physique des Houches
Apr. 2010, invited talk

26. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Third Annual Greater Boston Area Quantum Matter Meeting
Apr. 2010, contributed talk

25. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
UC San Francisco, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Mar. 2010, invited talk

24. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
UC San Diego, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics
Mar. 2010, invited talk

23. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics
Mar. 2010, contributed graduate student lunch talk

22. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Virginia Tech, Department of Physics
Mar. 2010, invited talk

21. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
The Rockefeller University, Center for Studies in Physics and Biology
Feb. 2010, invited talk

20. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Northeastern University, Center for Complex Network Research
Feb. 2010, invited talk

19. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
University of Geneva, Département de Physique de la Matière Condensée
Feb. 2010, invited talk

18. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics
Feb. 2010, invited talk

17. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Yale University, Condensed Matter Theory Group
Jan. 2010, invited talk

16. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
ICTP, Trieste
Jan. 2010, invited talk

15. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Université Paris-Sud, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
Jan. 2010, seminar

14. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Technische Universität München, Faculty of Physics
Jan. 2010, invited talk

13. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Center for Theoretical Physics
Jan. 2010, invited talk

12. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart
Jan. 2010, invited talk

11. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Universität Heidelberg, Institute for Theoretical Physics
Jan. 2010, invited talk

10. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden
Jan. 2010, invited talk

9. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam
Jan. 2010, invited talk

8. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen
Jan. 2010, invited talk

7. Scattering Theory Approach to Electrodynamic Casimir Forces
102nd Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
Dec. 2009, contributed talk

6. Melting of Persistent Double-Stranded Polymers
Symposium “Trajectories and Friends” in celebration of Prof. Nihat Berker’s 60th birthday
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics
Oct. 2009, invited short talk

5. A General Formulation for the Casimir Energy and its Practical Application
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara
Nov. 2008, invited talk
Recording

4. Nonmonotonic effects of parallel sidewalls on Casimir forces between cylinders
Université Paris-Sud, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
Jun. 2008, seminar

3. Melting of Persistent Double-Stranded Polymers
99th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
May 2008, contributed talk

2. Prediction of Transcription Factor Specificity Using All-Atom Models
97th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
May 2007, contributed talk

1. Mapping Complicated (Protein) Surfaces onto a Sphere
95th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University
May 2006, contributed talk