Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Chemistry
Competition: US & Canada
Udayan Mohanty is a Professor of Chemistry at Boston College. He is one of the world’s foremost researchers in the fields of polyelectrolyte behavior of nucleic acids and supercooled liquids.
Educated at Cornell University and Brown University, Mohanty spent two years at the University of California, San Diego, as a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Kurt E. Schuler, where he worked to develop stochastic techniques to describe transport properties in disordered systems. He then took up a position as postdoctoral research associate of Stuart A Rice at the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago. Here, Mohanty studied transport properties of liquid metal surfaces and polymer physics and developed his theories on supercooled liquids and solid-liquid phase transition.
During his years at Boston College, Mohanty has held visiting positions at some of the most prominent research venues here and abroad, including at MIT, Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, and Max Planck Institute fur Polymerforschung. His interactions with scientists around the globe and his work at BC have resulted in many major accomplishments, such as his molecular theory of freezing, statistical mechanical theory of icosahedral quasi-crystals, connection between thermodynamics and kinetics of supercooled liquids, model for bifurcation of alpha and beta relaxation in supercooled liquids, statistical mechanical theory of counterion condensation and polarization of DNA oligomers, dynamics of intrinsically curved DNA (A-tracts) in gels, polyelectrolyte behavior and kinetics of aminoacyl-tRNA on the ribosome, tight bounds on salt dependence of preferential interaction coefficient, and theory on the conformation order of random RNA sequences.
Udayan Mohanty is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for Advancement of Science. During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, he will be conducting theoretical studies of rare events in complex systems.