New Docent in Physics
Three questions for Giovanni Volpe, appointed Docent in Physics at the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg.
What is your research about?
“I am conducting research in several different areas. Part of my work concerns artificial micro swimmers. In simple terms, this is about biological and artificial objects of microscopic size that can get around by themselves and counteract microorganisms. Research on micro swimmers involves many possibilities within basic science, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
“I am collaborating with Karolinska Institutet on a project that deals with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). We have developed software that serves as a toolkit, helping us to detect these diseases at an early stage.
“Another project deals with optical trapping and optical manipulation. Using optical tweezers, I can measure microscopic forces, for example.
“Finally, I am also working on a project that involves managing the challenges of condensed matter physics – in other words, matter and processes at the atomic level. With the help of machine learning, we can handle complex algorithms.”
What can society learn from your research?
“I hope that our work with micro swimmers can become a foundation on which we can build, so that in the future we can use them in real life. For example, this could involve cleaning contaminated soil or developing what are known as chiral drugs – medications that are more selective and more controllable and that have fewer side effects. It is to be hoped that our work in neuroscience will lead us to quickly detect and treat neurodegenerative diseases.”
What do you think is most exciting about the future?
“What is most exciting is the possibility of using artificial intelligence to solve physical and medical problems. In the future we will go from people developing and testing ideas to have data and systems under investigation speak for themselves.
Giovanni Volpe, Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg
031-786 9137, firstname.lastname@example.org