Francesca Serra holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Parma, Italy, and a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge, UK. After her years as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Milan and at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2017 she became an assistant professor in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University, and in a few months she will start her new position as associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark. She leads an experimental group that studies liquid crystals and topological defects in different contexts, such as the behavior of defects near phase transitions, the optics of liquid crystal defects for the creation of components such as micro-lenses and beam splitters, and the analogies between liquid crystals and living cells. She can be found on Twitter @SerraLab_LC.
Read Francesca’s Emerging Investigator article “Emergence and stabilization of transient twisted defect structures in confined achiral liquid crystals at a phase transition” and check out all of the 2021 Soft Matter Emerging Investigator articles here.
How do you feel about Soft Matter as a place to publish research on this topic?
I have always found Soft Matter to be an ideal place to publish my research. In fact, some of the papers I am most proud of are published in Soft Matter. In my opinion, Soft Matter constitutes a unique resource both for publishing and for finding the relevant literature, especially for experimental studies that are at the intersection between physics and material sciences, or between physics and biology.