Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences

Spotlight On: CAS Postdoctoral Scholars

Postdoctoral Scholars Enrich the Intellectual Atmosphere

(Photo: Dr. Ny Kieu)

Dr. Marta Marchini is a postdoc working in the lab of Thomas Sanger, professor in the Department of Biology. She joined Loyola in January 2022 after a yearlong Covid-19-associated delay. Originally from Italy, Dr. Marchini completed her doctorate in evolutionary and developmental biology at the University of Calgary.

Marchini has published in leading cross-disciplinary journals such as eLife, Evolution, and Scientific Reports. At Calgary, she mentored 13 students and received an award for excellence in student mentorship.

While at Loyola, Marchini will examine the developmental bases of craniofacial diversity in vertebrates. Her work will address what genetic and developmental changes make a lizard look like a lizard instead of a chicken, mouse, snake, or any other number of species. She will significantly advance the experimental potential of reptilian model systems, which have largely been forgotten about in embryological studies.

Marchini is already set to present her findings this summer at the joint meeting of the Society of Developmental Biology and Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology meeting being held at the end of July. While at Loyola, she will also mentor research students and teach within our introductory biology program, bringing her enthusiasm of biology to the LUC student population.

Dr. Ny Kieu earned in 2013 a master’s degree in Theoretical Physics at the University of Natural Science in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2015, she was awarded an A*MIDEX scholarship to join the Master Space Program at Aix-Marseille University, France. She subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Granada, Spain. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on the features of lightning just before and after discharging.

At Loyola, Kieu is working with Dr. Rasha Abbasi in the Department of Physics studying gamma-ray emission from lightning using a telescope array detector. The results of this work will improve the understanding of lightning, which in turn will improve the ability to mitigate its negative effects and associated radiation hazards.

“Every year, we welcome talented postdoctoral fellows to the College of Arts and Sciences, where they enrich the intellectual atmosphere with their energy and innovative ideas as they develop their research agendas with senior faculty,” said Peter J. Schraeder, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “They will eventually go on to permanent positions elsewhere, where they will teach and mentor others based on their invaluable experience within the College of Arts and Sciences.”