People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
683: Synthesizing Self-Healing Materials Using Squid Proteins - Dr. Melik Demirel
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Dr. Melik Demirel is a Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at The Pennsylvania State University. Melik is fascinated by complexity in living and nonliving systems. He works at the intersection of biology, materials science, and computational science to understand whether patterns in living and nonliving systems follow mathematical and statistical rules, to determine the underlying physical basis of these patterns, and identify relevant mechanisms. He likes listening to music to engage the creative aspects of his mind. Some of his favorites are composers like Beethoven and Rachmaninov. Melik’s wife plays piano, and his son plays piano and cello, so music is a big part of their lives. Malik received is B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Boğaziçi University in Turkey and was awarded his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Afterwards, Melik conducted postdoctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen, Germany. He accepted a faculty position at Penn State in 2003. Melik was a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research within the Department of Defense, was selected as a Wyss Institute Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, and was awarded the Outstanding Research Award from Penn State, among other honors during his career. In this episode, he tells us about his experiences in life and science.