Giovanni Zocchi

Giovanni Zocchi

Office: Office: 3-124 Knudsen, Lab: PAB A-425/429
Phone: Office: 310-825-4018, Lab: 310-206-0715
E-Mail: [javascript protected email address]

Educational Background: 
  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of Chicago (1990)
  • Undergraduate degree (Laurea) in Physics, Universita’ di Pisa and Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy (1985)
Positions Held: 
  • 2010 - pres.     Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA
  • 2005 -  2010    Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA
  • 1999 - 2005     Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA
  • 1993 - 1999     Research Faculty, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 1990 - 1993     Postdoctoral Fellow, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris (France)
  • 1985 - 1990     Research Associate, University of Chicago

Honors: 2017 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology 

Research Interest: 

Origins. My Ph.D. and postdoctoral research was in the field of non-linear dynamics, instabilities, and turbulence. For a brief description, click here.  

Present Research. My group is focused on the physics of biological macromolecules (proteins, DNA). Our approach is informed by diverse areas of condensed matter physics: materials science, nonlinear dynamics, polymer physics, nanoscience. Living matter arguably comprises the most interesting non-equilibrium systems on earth. Our aim is to uncover universal features (where they exist) of the non-equilibrium processes which sustain life. Our ambition is to do so through beautiful experiments.

By coupling a chemical reaction to conformational motion, biological molecules, specifically enzymes, perform the molecular tasks which maintain the non-equilibrium state of the living cell. These chemical machines form the molecular basis of life. Our goal is to understand the minimal design requirements for such molecular machines. Then we can build our own.

For a more specific description of current projects, and the group’s publications list, see our Lab website: Zocchi Laboratory for Molecular Biophysics