Megan Valentine

B.S. 1997 Lehigh University
M.S. 1999 University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. 2003 Harvard University


Originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, I graduated from Lehigh University in 1997 with a B.S in Physics and a concentration in science journalism. While at Lehigh, I worked with Daniel Ou-Yang to develop a novel microrheology technique using oscillating optical tweezers and studied the viscoelastic properties of associating polymer solutions. After graduating, I entered the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Physics and began my thesis work with Dave Weitz's soft condensed matter group. In the fall of 1999, the Weitz group moved to Harvard University, and in the summer of 2003 I completed my Ph.D. there. My thesis work focused on developing new tools to study the micromechanical and microstructural properties of biopolymer networks, cells, and tissues. I also collaborated with Tim Mitchison's group to study the structural and rheological properties of cytoplasmic extracts and in vitro assembled mitotic spindles.

I am currently working with Polly Fordyce to study the coupling of kinesin's biochemical and mechanical cycles using combined optical trapping and single molecule fluorescence.

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