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Postdoc Publications

Our members are active and established members of their respective scientific communities. Here is a sampling of some of their recent publications. Congratulations Caltech Postdocs!

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Renyu Huet al. Helium atmospheres on warm Neptune- an sub-Neptune-sized Exoplanets and applications to GJ 436b. Astrophysical Journal 807, 8 doi:10.1088/0004-637X/807/1/8

Hyunsung David Jun, et al. Rest-frame optical spectra and black hole masses of 3<z<6 quasars. Astrophysical Journal 806, 109 doi:10.1088/0004-637X/806/1/109.

We extend the scaling relation between the rest-frame optical continuum and the line luminosity of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to the high-luminosity, high-redshift regime that has rarely been probed before.


Chao-Wei Tsaiet al. The most luminous galaxies discovered by WISE.  Atrophysical Journal 805 90 doi:10.1088/0004-637X/805/2/90.

This study reports 20 new extremely luminous infrared galaxies (ELIRGs) recently discovered by WISE. These supermassive black holes are born with large mass, or assemble mass very rapidly.

Media coveragephys.orgastronomy.comJPL news  



Noelle Stiles, et al. Auditory Sensory Substitution is Intuitive and Automatic with Texture Stimuli. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 15628. doi:10.1038/srep15628

Millions of people are blind worldwide. Sensory substitution (SS) devices can assist the blind by encoding a video stream into a sound pattern, recruiting visual brain areas for auditory analysis via crossmodal interactions and plasticity. 

Media coverage: Caltech


Aleksandra Checinskaet al. Microbiomes of the dust particles collected from the International Space Station and Spacecraft Assembly Facilities. Microbiome 2015, 3:50. doi:10.1186/s40168-015-0116-3.

In this study, next-generation sequencing was used to determine microbial diversity of samples collected from an air filter and vacuum cleaner bags used on the International Space Station (ISS) and at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) cleanrooms. 

Media coverage: JPL News, Science Daily, NASA


Prabhat S. Kunwar, et al. Ventromedial hypothalamic neurons control a defensive emotion state. eLife 2015;4:e06633. doi:10.7554/eLife.06633.

This study demonstrates that the hypothalamus can implement a fear-like emotion state, challenging the textbook view that it serves simply as a relay for emotion states encoded in the amygdala.

Media coverage: Nature


Louise Scharf, et al. Broadly Neutralizing Antibody 8ANC195 Recognizes Closed and Open States of HIV-1 Env. Cell, 162 (6). pp. 1379-1390. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.035.

In this study we solved the three-dimensional structure of this antibody in complex with the entire spike, and showed in detail exactly how the antibody recognizes the virus.

Media coverage: Caltech, Science Daily



Adela Nano, et al. Panchromatic luminescence from julolidine dyes exhibiting excited state intramolecular proton transfer. Chemical Communications 51, 3351-3354. doi:10.1039/C4CC09832C.

Here we have presented the panchromatic emission form julolidine dyes. Our approach can open the route to the synthesis of a new class of white-light-emitting single molecule systems, as promising luminescent materials (e.g. OLEDs and LECs).   


Min Xueet al. Chemical Methods for the Simultaneous Quantitation of Metabolites and Proteins from Single Cells. Journal of the American Chemical Society 137 (12), pp 4066–4069. doi:10.1021/jacs.5b00944.

We developed a microfluidic chip to simultaneously measure metabolites and proteins from single cancer cells. It can unveil the metabolic signature of tumors and provide potential therapeutic guidance for personalized cancer treatments.


Earth and Climate Sciences

Maria del Mar Flexaset al. Role of tides on the formation of the Antarctic Slope Front at the Weddell-Scotia Confluence. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, 3658– 3680, doi:10.1002/2014JC010372

The Antarctic Slope Front is a circumpolar structure in the ocean separating cold inshore waters over the continental shelf from warm, salty water offshore. This structure is described, and the importance of tides in climate models is discussed.


Justin Stachnik, et al. Precursor environmental conditions associated with the termination of Madden-Julian oscillation events. J. Atmos. Sci., 72, 1908–1931. doi:

The Madden–Julian oscillation is the leading mode of intraseasonal climate variability in the tropical atmosphere and represents a broad envelop of eastward-moving cloud and precipitation anomalies that occur on the planetary scale.



Nicolas Lee, et al. Design algorithm for the placement of identical segments in a large spherical mirror. J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 1(2), 024002. doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.1.2.024002.

We compute the positions of identical hexagons on a spherical surface such that the deviation in gap width between hexagons is small. We apply this to the design of segmented telescope mirrors to reduce the effect of gaps on optical performance.



Vassilios Christopouloset al. Inactivation of Parietal Reach Region Affects Reaching But Not Saccade Choices in Internally Guided Decisions. Journal of Neuroscience, 19 August 2015,35(33):11719-11728. 

Recent findings from our lab suggest that neurological disorders, such as extinction (i.e., an inability to perceive multiple stimuli of the same type simultaneously) can be related to deficits in making decisions, rather than to deficits in attention.


Planetary Sciences and Geology

Yang Chenet al. Evidence in Tissint for recent subsurface water on Mars.  Icarus 425, 55–63. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.05.004.

We report unambiguous chemical evidence for subsurface water activity in the martian crust at <600 Ma based on the data from Tissint, a fresh martian meteorite fall with minimal terrestrial weathering.


Ingrid J. Daubaret al. The morphology of small fresh craters on Mars and the Moon. Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, 11926202639, doi:10.1002/2014JE004671.

The depths of new meter-scale craters on Mars range widely, but average near expected for primary craters on rocky surfaces. On the Moon, small fresh craters are shallower, indicating they are secondary craters or degraded, unrecognized primaries.


Anezina Solomonidouet al. Temporal variations of Titan's surface with Cassini/VIMS. Icarus, accepted. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.05.003.

Looking at atmospheric haze and surface albedos on Titan, dunes and undifferentiated mid-latitude plains do not change with time. The areas Tui Regio and Sotra Patera show clear evidences of darkening and brightening respectively with time.


Report your recent publications!