Jung-Ren Huang


06/01/06: I was awarded Gregor Wentzel Research Prize by the Physics Department of University of Chicago.

05/24/06: I passed the oral exam (thesis defense) and got my PhD degree today.

04/20/06: I have accepted a post-doc offer from Prof. Tom Mason of UCLA.

04/15/06: A mirage over Lake Michigan was observed from my apartment in the afternoon. See My pictures.


  • Who am I?

I am a physicist by training and currently a graduate student at the Physics Department of the University of Chicago. I plan to receive my Ph.D. degree in the summer of 2006 and then pursue a career in academia. You can learn more about me by clicking on the links below.
My CV (short version)
More about me
My pictures
  • My research interests:
  I have broad interests in soft condensed matter physics, biological physics, and fluid dynamics. My appreciation of these fields has been nurtured in the superb inter-disciplinary research environment of the University of Chicago since I became a graduate student of the University (see More about academic experience).

   In past few years my research has been focused primarily on the century-old puzzle of myelin formation and coiling. Myelin figures or simply, myelins are multilamellar tubes composed of nested cylindrical bilayer membranes. My advisor Prof. Thomas A. Witten and I proposed a geometrical mechanism to explain why myelins form. Our model predicts that a flat multilamella is unstable against myelin formation when the inter-bilayer repulsion is sufficiently large. This work was largely inspired by the experiment (cond-mat/0509740) done by Ling-Nan Zou and Prof. Sidney R. Nagel at the University. In addition, I also proposed a theory to explain the coiling instability of myelins. My theory of myelin coiling is in a sense similar to the classical Euler buckling of a thin elastic rod under axial compression. I believe my works offer some important insights into the physics of myelinic structures. My research has led me into the physics associated with bilayer membranes. To be more specific, I am interested in statistical mechanics of soft membranes, defects in multilamellae, polymer-bilayer interaction, and biomembranes.

   Recently biological physics also attracted my attention. Nature has created complex biological systems that can produce biomaterials functioning with high efficiency. Understanding of the workings of biological systems and biomaterials is desired not only because of academic curiosity but also because of their potential utility in our daily lives. As a physicist, I am particularly interested in mechanics and statistical mechanics of biomaterials and biological systems.

   The complex phenomena in fluid mechanics have always caught my eye. I am intrigued by the issues such as coalescence and mixing of two liquid drops, dynamics of impact of one liquid drop on a solid or liquid surface, and effect of surfactants. In addition, I am also interested in applications of microfluidics. For example, I am interested in developing microfluidic experiments to investigate the mixing of surfactant and water.

Myelin formation and coiling

More about my academic experience

  • Contact information:                                
          James Franck Institute

            Center for Integrative Science

          University of Chicago
          929 E 57th St., CIS E224
          Chicago, IL 60637
            Email: jhuang2 AT uchicago DOT edu



Last updated on June 02, 2006.