Beren, Christian


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Short Biography

Christian grew up in Philadelphia and in his free time enjoys ice hockey, skiing and hiking.  He received a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, and while at Lehigh he pursued research under Dr. Dmitri Vezenov studying self-assembling DNA monolayers using Atomic Force Microscopy. As an undergraduate, he also spent a summer at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, exploiting plasmonic coupling in thin metallic films to enhance their optical properties, particularly for application as molecular sensors.

Christian came to UCLA to pursue his PhD studying the self-assembly of virus particles in the lab of Profs. William Gelbart and Charles Knobler.  He is currently teaching General Chemistry at UCLA as a Libby Teacher-Scholar, and continues to work in the field of Physical Virology. In particular, Christian investigates how basic physical properties of RNA affect both the assembly and disassembly of single-stranded RNA viruses.  In addition to research, Christian is involved with the CNSI outreach program at UCLA, a program that brings nanoscience experiments to Los Angeles area high schools.