Matthew Preble
Matthew Preble
Graduate Research Assistant
Advisor : Prof. Gordon
Office: RLM 14.218/NMS 4.324
(512) 584-0314


Pursuing Ph.D. in Physics

The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, TX (Fall 2009 – Present)

B.A. in Physics

Boston University – Boston, MA (2008)


Graduate Research Assistant

Gordon Lab – Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, The University of Texas at Austin (Jan. 2011 – Present)

Teaching Assistant

The University of Texas at Austin (Fall 2009 – Present)

PHY 338K – Electronics Techniques (Fall 2009)

PHY 116L – Laboratory for Electricity and Magnetism (Spring 2010)

PHY 353L – Modern Physics Laboratory (Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012)

Optics Laboratory Technician

Tenebraex Corporation – Boston, MA (Nov. 2008 – Jul. 2009)

Current Research

I am working with Professor Vernita Gordon and Matthew Leroux, researching model lipid membrane systems. Our interest is in investigating the hypothesis that the suppression of membrane fluctuations can trigger phase separation in giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of multiple lipid species. An increase in the temperature at which the membranes phase separate is the expected result of fluctuation suppression. Phase separation in lipid membranes has relevance to the way in which living cells organize transmembrane proteins together to accomplish various functions. Lipid rafts are an example of phase separation in the membranes of living cells.

I am also interested in the use of video microscopy and computerized tracking to analyze interactions between bacteria on a surface. Dr. Benjamin Cooley uses these techniques to probe the dynamics of early biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and we aim to apply these tools to examining co-cultures of the pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, which have clinical relevance as co-infectors of the cystic fibrosis lung.