Associate Professor of Physics and Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Physics
A.B. The University of Chicago, Physics
Email: comstock at pa.msu.edu
Matt has had a broad and diverse scientific career. He began as a summer high school lab assistant in a plant virology lab (with Les Lane) and then a non-linear optics lab (with Stephen Ducharme) both at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As an undergrad at Chicago he investigated anti-matter in the cosmos in the high-energy astrophysics groups of Dietrich Mueller and Simon Swordy. At Berkeley he got small and was the first to directly observe individual photomechanically switching molecular machines using scanning tunneling microscopy in the lab of Michael Crommie. During his postdoc at UIUC with Yann Chemla and Taekjip Ha, Matt transitioned to investigating biophysical molecular machines building a new cutting-edge single-molecule instrument that combined high-resolution optical tweezers with single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. With this new technique he observed DNA helicases moving along and unwinding DNA and switching conformations and directions at the same time. In August 2012, Matt joined the faculty at MSU.
Previous postdoc with Nils Walter, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Previous postdoc with Peter Lu, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Ph.D. Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Indian. Advisor: Prof. Pratik Sen
B.S. Physics, Chemistry and Maths, and B. Ed. Teaching Methods and Eduction, Dr. Bhimrao Aambedkar University, Agra, India
Leading RNA helicase and additional single molecular fleezers projects, developing high-resolution fleezers methods, mentoring junior lab members and substantially contributing to overall lab leadership.
Email: yadavraj at msu.edu
B.S. Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Leading RNA helicase projects and developing high-resolution fleezers methods.
Email: senanaya at msu.edu
B.S. Physics, Colgate University, New York
Leading molecular machine projects and developing high-resolution tweezers methods..
Email: hugh389 at msu.edu
MSU Physics and Math. Contributing to tweezers instrumentation development and molecular machine projects.
Email: elsadeki at msu.edu
Contributed to molecular machine projects. Will be going to med school. Now starting a new position in a clinic.
Email: jernsta4 at msu.edu
MSU Microbiology then NSF supported post-baccalaureate research assistant contributing to RNA helicase projects. Now starting PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Bio at Washington University, St. Louis!
Email: cotterky at msu.edu
Lead RNA helicase and then telomerase efforts. Currently a postdoc in Ibrahim Cisse's lab (Max Plank - Freiburg).
Contributed to molecular machine and protein folding projects.
Lead the fluorescence part of the team that developed and built the MSU multi-color high-resolution fleezers. Worked on molecular machine and folding projects. Currently in Taiwan.
Worked on protein folding projects and jointly advised with Prof Lisa Lapidus.
Lead the tweezers part of the team that developed and built the MSU multi-color high-resolution fleezers. Worked on molecular machine and folding projects.Very sadly passed away in 2017.
Contributed to building the MSU multi-color high-resolution fleezers. Led projects in single-cell trapping and cell electrochemistry measurements. MSU Physics and Astronomy - obtained masters degree.
Contributed to building the MSU multi-color high-resolution fleezers. MSU Physics and Astronomy - obtained masters degree.
Contributed to molecular machine and folding projects over 4 years spent in the lab. Initially a professorial assistant. Was award both the Foiles and Osgood awards by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Currently a PhD student at UC Berkeley in Physics and Biophysics working in Ahmet Yildez's lab (recently recieved an NSF graduate research fellowship!).
Former undergraduate research assistant and Charles Drew Science Scholar.
Former undergraduate and post-bacalaureate research assistant. A de-facto lab manager that contributed to many projects.
Former undergraduate and post-bacalaureate research assistant that contributed to both single molecule and single-cell trapping projects. Now at TU Dresden in a bioinformatics graduate program.
Former undergraduate and post-bacalaureate research assistant. Contributed to many projects including: development of a new compact high-resolution tweezers instrument, development of the 'random phase' AOD control method, single cell trapping. Now at Cambridge University Chemistry PhD program.
Former undergraduate research assistant contributing to many single molecule and fluorescence development projects (he also briefly trapped spore shooting fungi!) Received PhD from U Wisconsin-Madison Medical Physics.
Former undergraduate research assistant assisted in building two tweezers instruments and developing single cell trapping methods.
Former undergraduate research assistant (professorial assistant) contributed to molecular machine projects. Currently PhD student in Physics at U Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Former undergraduate research assistant (professorial assistant) contributed to molecular machine projects.
2022 Spring semester foreign exchange student from Germany contributed to molecular machine projects.
2018 REU student contributed to protein folding projects (enough to be a co-author on a paper!)
2017 REU student. Subsequent Goldwater Fellow and currently in Physics PhD program at Notre Dame
2016 REU student.
2016 REU student. Now a PhD student in biophysics at the University of Chicago (Dinner and Sosnick groups)
2015-2016 foreign exchange student from Lancaster University, England, contributed to molecular machine projects.
2013 REU student contributed to building the MSU fleezers including construct assembly automation. Now a PhD student in physics and biophysics at UIUC (Selvin group)