Daniel Kim-Shapiro

This will now be my seventh year as Chair of Physics and most likely my penultimate year – my renewed contract was for two years which will end in 2025.  As you can see from the news, we have a lot going on.  Thankfully, the entire faculty is working hard to maintain excellence in our program and make it even better.

The lab is doing very well with graduate students Laxman Poudel and a new graduate student Thilini Karunarathna who just joined us.  Ellie Alipour completed her PhD in April and now has a permanent job at Atrium Health in Charlotte.  Stephen Baker (WFU PhD grad) is also working in the lab now as a research professor.     We have a lot of projects going on with several external NIH grants covering topics from basic research on nitric oxide delivery to a Phase 3 clinical trial on using of Beet root juice as a treatment for peripheral artery disease. 

My youngest son is now 2nd-year student at UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs), my middle son is a 3rd year at Reed College, and my oldest graduated from NC State.  My wife is still working hard as a Pathologist. I do hope to see people at homecoming this year.  Please reach out and let us know how you are doing.

During the past year, I continued work with my research students and published a paper related to quantum effects in black hole spacetimes.  My research group consisted of WFU undergraduates.

Catherine (Shuyu) Chen, Emily Foley, and Amanda Peake along with two graduate students, Shohreh Gholizadeh Siahmazgi and Ian Newsome.  On July 1, 2023 I began two years of phased retirement.  I am working half time for this period and will be fully retired on July 1, 2025.  However, I plan to continue with research during my retirement.

George Holzwarth

George Holzwarth continues to explore the mechanisms used by particles like viruses to move through the fine pores in the mesh of cytoskeletal fibers in living cells, using fluorescence microscopy, single particle tracking, and machine learning. Undergraduates Kate Smith and Ryan Oglietti, as well as Jed Macosko (Physics) and Doug Lyles (Biochemistry, WFU School of Medicine), all collaborated on this work.

Jed Macosko

Both undergraduate researchers who were seniors in the G.Holzwarth/Macosko lab last year, R. Oglietti and K. Smith, are now attending or accepted to Wake Forest Medical School. Congratulations! Both Dr. Holzwarth and Dr. Macosko continue to publish papers with their undergraduate researchers and grad students from the Bowman Gray campus. Their latest manuscript is now under review. Dr. Macosko launched two new FYS courses this fall. Both have a fintech theme, which will hopefully attract business-minded students to the physics department. Macosko also is active with a college ranking website and, as can be imagined given the shake-up with US News & World Report’s ranking system, has had many opportunities to speak to reporters about good and bad ways to use big data to rank universities. On the home front, Dr. Macosko’s wife, Dr. Cecilie Macosko continues with her career in medicine. Also, Macosko and Dr. Guthold plan to defend their running titles (in their age group!) at a 5K/10K event this month!

Dr. Macosko always enjoys hearing from former students and recently has had the pleasure of learning about engagements being celebrated and new children being welcomed–such wonderful news from those who spent time in the Macosko, Holzwarth, and Guthold labs!

Rick Matthews

While I miss teaching since I retired, I enjoy spending time traveling and with my children and grandchildren. My grandkids range in age from 4 to 12, all fun ages.

Carolyn and I have done a bit of travel, hitting central Europe for a couple of weeks last summer, and looking forward to visiting Greece this year. Trips to the national parks out West have given me wonderful opportunities to indulge in my long-neglected hobby of photography.

I hope to see many of you at homecoming this year. We had great fun on the quad at last year’s homecoming! Bring your little ones – and not so little ones – for the demo show!