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Faculty Research Forum features Dr. Jeffrey Groff February 12

ISSUED: 29 January 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Dr. Jeffrey Groff, assistant professor of physics at Shepherd University, will present his talk “From Gravity to Gradients: The Nanoscale Physics of Cells” Wednesday, February 12 at 3 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies auditorium.

Understanding macroscopic multicellular life requires the study of processes occurring in the microscopic nanoscale world of individual cells where the relevant physics is very different from the physics governing macroscopic processes. This talk will draw on examples from Groff’s research to highlight some physical principles that are important to the nanoscale processes of life. Experimental results will be presented to highlight the relative unimportance of gravity at the nanoscale compared to diffusion. Additionally, the importance of electrochemical gradients at the nanoscale will be emphasized by sharing results from his computational neuroscience and calcium signaling research.

Groff completed his undergraduate degree at McDaniel College, master’s degree and Ph.D in applied science at the College of William and Mary. His research interests include the computational study of neural communication and intracellular calcium signaling, teaching biological physics in introductory physics courses, and the application of embedded electronics for environmental monitoring. His most recent publications are “Estimating the Size of Onion Epidermal Cells from Diffraction Patterns” appearing in the Physics Teacher and “Exploring Dynamical Systems and Chaos Using the Logistic Map Model of Populations Change” appearing in the American Journal of Physics. Groff also serves on the board of directors for the American Conservation Film Festival and recently was honored by receiving the McDaniel Honors Program Scholar Alumni Award.

The Faculty Research Forum is a monthly lecture series implemented by the faculty and designed to highlight the current scholarship of Shepherd University faculty members. Presentations are drawn from across the campus community and are presented free of charge to faculty, staff, students, andmembers of the community. The purposes of the Faculty Research Forum are to bring together committed scholars from all disciplines, to highlight the scholarly accomplishments of Shepherd University faculty, to encourage collaborative relationships both within and across academic disciplines, and to contribute to the spirit of research and inquiry that defines what it means to be an institution of higher education.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, go to

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