Organizing Committee




Nausheen Shah – Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Dr. Shah received her Ph.D in Physics from the University of Chicago in 2009. Before joining the faculty at Wayne State in September 2015, she completed her postdoctoral training at FermiLab and University of Michigan. Her research focus is theoretical high energy particle physics. She is very excited to be part of CUWiP!





Rosie Chu – Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Dr. Xiang-qiang Chu received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from Peking University (China), and Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June 2010. After two years of postdoctoral research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), she joined Department of Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State University as an Assistant Professor in August 2012. Her research interests focus on probing the structure and dynamics of biomolecules, nano-materials and their hydration water or surface water through neutron and X-ray scattering spectroscopy and computational simulations.



Jian Huang – Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy







Ratna Naik – Professor of Physics & Astronomy








Dawn Niedermiller – Undergraduate Academic Advisor







Gil Paz – Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Professor Paz joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State in 2011.  His research is in theoretical high energy physics. Most recently he has been studying the proton radius puzzle. Please ask him about it! 




Takeshi Sakamoto – Associate Professor of Phys. & Astronomy

Professor Sakamoto joined the department of Physics and Astronomy, WSU as an Assistant Professor in 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. He received his PhD degree in the Department of Physics at Kanazawa University, Japan in 2001. His postdoctoral training was with Dr. James Sellers at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, MD in 2001-2009. His research focuses on single molecule imaging by fluorescence microscopy.



Zhixian Zhou – Associate Professor of Phys. & Astronomy

Dr. Zhixian Zhou received his PhD from Florida State University/National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 2004. After working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate, he joined Wayne State University as an assistant professor in 2007 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2013. Dr. Zhou has been working in the field of low-dimensional materials and electronics for over ten years. 




Graduate Students (Ph.D. and M.S.)

Victoria Drolshagen (Nuclear Physics) – M.S. Student

Victoria is a second-year graduate student at Wayne State University. Her research is in theoretical nuclear physics and she is currently working with Professor Abhijit Majumder to study jets in heavy ion collisions. Victoria is interested in science outreach and increasing female and LGBTQIA representation in STEM. She is very excited to be a part of CUWiP at Wayne.



Laura Gunther (Bio Physics) – Senior Ph.D. Student

Laura is a recently graduated Ph.D. student from Wayne State University. She worked with Dr. Sakamoto studying the kinetic properties of cardiac troponin I and T in heart failure by stopped flow analysis, a collaboration between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dr. J.P. Jin's lab in the Department of Physiology in the Wayne State University Medical School. She will be continuing her research career as a postdoc at Penn State Medical School. She is very excited to be a part of CUWiP and promote women in physics!



Abir Kabbani (Bio Physics) – Senior Ph. D. Student

Abir has her bachelor's degree in Physics from Beirut Arab Univeristy in Beirut, Lebanon and is now a physics graduate student at Wayne State Univeristy. She is working with Dr. Christopher V. Kelly on developing a new novel super-resolution microscopy technique that enables the exploration of nanoscale properties of the cell membrane. She enjoys swimming and attending her son's soccer games. This is her first time attending a CUWiP and she is very excited to be a prt of it!




Rebecca Meerschaert (Medical Physics) -- Junior Graduate Student

Rebecca is a first year graduate student studying Medical Physics at Wayne State University. She is currently working on a cervical adaptive radiotherapy project with WSU professor, Dr. Ling Zhuang. She is interested in interdisciplinary research and promoting and furthering the strides that women in physics have and will make. 




Rachael Merritt (Astronomy) – M.S. Student

Rachael is a second-year graduate student studying astrophysics at Wayne State University. She is currently studying structural properties of neutron stars with Professor Ed Cackett. She attended two CUWIP – 2013 at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and in 2014 at the University of Chicago. She is very excited for CUWIP to be at Wayne!




Zoe Woodward (Bio Physics) – Ph. D. Student






Undergraduate Students

  • Kellie Clark
  • KeVaughna Patrick