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Olivia Leland


Haloarchaea thrive with remarkable adaptability in the heartiest of landscapes. Certain haloarchea species transform from single cells into multicellular tissues when confined. My research blends approaches from biochemistry and soft matter physics to unravel the forces behind an example of prokaryotic multicellularization. My research uses Traction Force Microscopy (TFM), membrane rheology, and tension sensors to understand the biomechanics of confinement sensation.

I began my academic career at Santiago Canyon College. I received an A.S. in Chemistry while studying aptamer therapeutics in the Cocco Lab at the University of California, Irvine. After transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles, I began researching nanoparticle delivery systems for Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) dyes within the Sletten Lab, ultimately earning a B.S. in Biophysics. Now, as a doctoral candidate in the Martin A. Fisher School of Physics, I aim to apply my unique background and versatile skillsets to study biological systems.


I am the proud owner of 250+ books (as of 11/16/21) and the mother of two black cats, Turnip and Parsnip.

oleland [at] brandeis [dot] edu

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