People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
532: Applying Physics and Nanotechnology to Understand Mechanics and Shape in Biological Systems - Dr. Sonia Contera
Manage episode 248173097 series 2394067
Dr. Sonia Contera is an Associate Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Oxford Physics Department, and a Research Fellow of Green Templeton College. She is also the author of the recently released book Nano comes to Life. Sonia is interested in biology and the mechanics of biology across different space and time scales. She develops experiments and techniques to understand the physics that allow biological systems to build nano-scale molecules into cells, organs, tissues, and organisms.. Projects in Sonia’s lab include studying and treating pancreatic tumors, understanding heart arrhythmias, and the physics of plant growth. When she’s not doing science, Sonia likes to relax and do nothing. She also enjoys spending time with people she loves, talking to people, cycling, walking, exploring art, and learning new languages. Sonia received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She attended graduate school at Beijing Languages and Culture University and subsequently worked as a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Sonia was then awarded a Japanese Government Monbushō scholarship to attend Osaka University where she received her PhD in Applied Physics. Next, Sonia was awarded an E.U. Fellowship to Japan at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research SANKEN at Osaka University. Prior to coming to Oxford in 2003, she served as a Research Assistant Professor at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In 2008, Sonia founded the Oxford Martin Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine at the Oxford Martin School. In our interview, Sonia shares more about her life and science.