Adam E. Cohen, PhD
Harvard University Department of Physics
Adam Cohen's research focuses on developing and applying new physical tools to probe molecules and cells, with project ranging from quantum mechanics to pure biology. His lab developed a new class of fluorescent protein indicators of membrane potential, which allow one to visualize electrical dynamics in neurons, heart cells, and bacteria. He also discovered a new property of electromagnetic fields, optical chirality, which determines the degree of chiral selectivity in the interaction of light with chiral molecules. He invented an Anti-Brownian Electrokinetic trap (ABEL trap) capable of trapping and manipulating individual fluorescent molecules in solution at room temperature. Part of the lab is now studying chemical reactions whose outcome is exquisitely sensitive to small magnetic fields--a consequence of quantum coherence in a room-temperature liquid.
Research in the Cohen Lab is unified by the search for ways to achieve precise control over the classical and quantum states of molecules, under conditions that are warm and wet and squishy.