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Corey O'Hern, PhD

Professor; Assoc Prof Dept of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Physics; Associate Professor


Prof. O'Hern is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Physics, co-founder of the Integrated Graduate Program in Physical and Engineering Biology, and Director of the Program in Physics, Engineering, and Biology. His research employs theoretical and computational methods (e.g. all-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations) to tackle a broad range of fundamental questions in soft matter and biological physics. Current projects include the dynamics of protein folding, unfolding, and aggregation, the binding and self-assembly of proteins, and the structural
and mechanical properties of cells and tissues in the context of collective cell motion and wound healing.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
    University of California, Los Angeles (2002)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
    University of Chicago (2002)
  • PhD
    University of Pennsylvania, Physics (1999)
  • BS
    Duke University, Physics (1994)


  • Jamming and glass transitions in disordered solids
    Israel (2013-2015)
    With colleagues Profs. Itamar Procaccia and Eran Bouchbinder from the Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, we are carrying out theoretical and computational studies of disordered solids such as metallic glasses, jammed granular materials, and dense colloidal suspensions. We are interested in developing fundamental descriptions of avalanches and yielding under applied stress, anharmonicities that occur during vibrations, and slow relaxations and collective rearrangement

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
NSF Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation AwardNational Science Foundation2008
NSF Faculty Early Career Development AwardNational Science Foundation2005
Graduated Summa Cum LaudeDuke University1994
Phi Beta KappaDuke University1994

Professional Service

American Physical SocietyGroup on Nonlinear and Statistical Physics of the American Physical Society2008 - 2011

Departments & Organizations