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Source: Amit Chakrabarti, 785-532-1625,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-2535.

Friday, Oct. 29, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University theoretical physicist will present his Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award lecture at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the Little Theater at the K-State Student Union.

Amit Chakrabarti, professor of physics, earned the graduate faculty award for the 2009-2010 school year. The honor recognizes outstanding research and advising of graduate students.

His lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be "Fat Fractals, Skinny Nuclei and Patchy Proteins." A reception will follow.

Chakrabarti has interests in soft matter and statistical physics. He has worked on diverse soft-matter systems ranging from liquid mixtures, polymers, liquid crystals, aerosols, colloids, nanoparticles and, most recently, self-assembly of proteins. His work has been supported by a variety of sources, including NASA and the National Science Foundation.

One of his current research collaborations is understanding how insulin crystals form from aqueous solutions. Insulin is an important drug in the treatment of diabetes; understanding the process of microcrystal formation is important for developing new methods of drug delivery. Chakrabarti also is working on fiber formation in sickle cell hemoglobin, the mutant form of hemoglobin responsible for sickle cell anemia.

"In my lecture I will give examples of self-assembly in colloids, aerosols, nanoparticle supercluster formation and simple models of proteins," Chakrabarti said. "Although the models used for protein self-assembly are simple minded, they provide important insight into insulin microcrystal formation, fiber formation in sickle cell hemoglobin, and hierarchical pattern formation in amelogenin molecules for teeth enamel formation."

Chakrabarti has a master's and a bachelor's in physics from the University of Calcutta, India, and a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota. He joined K-State in 1990 and was named a full professor in 2000. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, and mentored eight doctoral students and several postdoctoral fellows.