Welcoming Dr. Justin Caram

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The UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomes Justin Caram, who will join our department as an assistant professor of physical chemistry this July.

Professor Caram will take up residency in the department in July 2017. His group’s research will leverage the detection, sorting, and timing of individual photons to unravel heterogeneity, complex chemical processes, and energy flow in nanomaterial and biological systems. Their research will combine time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) and path length interferometry to develop new spectroscopies that probe chemical systems across the visible and shortwave infrared. The Caram group’s research will have two primary scientific directions: the influence of energetic disorder on optoelectronic materials and the complex chemistry of oxidative stress. This research has broad applications – from creating efficient light harvesting materials to understanding disease modalities.

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Justin was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania to chemical engineers who immigrated to the United States from Argentina. Home life was bilingual (Spanish and English), and a mix of Italian, French Basque and Lebanese culture (Caram or Karam means generous in arabic).  After high school, Justin attended Harvard, initially to study international relations. He changed his major to chemistry after researching trace atmospheric radicals with Professor Jim Anderson and self-assembled colloidal materials with Professor Vinny Manoharan. Justin went on to receive his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago with Professor Greg Engel, studying quantum coherence using multidimensional electronic spectroscopy.  After graduate school, he returned to Boston where he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) bridging the chemistry and engineering departments as the Robert J. Silbey Center for Excitonics Postdoctoral Fellow. Working with Professor Moungi Bawendi he studied fluorescent nanomaterials, with a focus on exciton transport and system-bath interactions in extended excitonic materials.