Prize Recipient

Stephanie Gorczyca

Stephanie Gorczyca
University of San Diego


"For investigation into the effect of crowding on dynamics of DNA using single-molecule tracking techniques."


Stephanie Gorczyca graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego (Calif.) with a B.S. in biophysics and with a mathematics minor in May 2016. She currently attends the University of California, Los Angeles in the pursuit of D.D.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Her research interests are in bone regeneration and salivary diagnosis of oral cancer. As an undergraduate, Ms. Gorczyca investigated the crowding effects on the diffusion and conformation of DNA molecules in order to reveal their dependence on DNA length and topology, as well as crowding agent size, concentration, and structure. Because biological cells, which contain a high concentration of many macromolecules in a small volume, exemplify a crowded molecular environment, the results of her research can provide the essential information to facilitate advancements in the production of artificial cells, development of new drug delivery and gene therapy techniques, and creation of new biomaterials. During her three years as a researcher in the laboratory of Rae Anderson, USD, Ms. Gorczyca received the SURE scholarship, the Beckman Scholarship, and the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. She also coauthored a publication in the Biophysical Journal and was first author on her publication in Soft Matter. Ms. Gorczyca has presented her research at the American Physical Society’s March meetings, and the Beckman Symposium. Ms. Gorczyca is a member of the American Physical Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, and the Honor Society.

Selection Committee:

2016 Selection Committee Members: Malcolm R. Beasley (Chair), Samuel H. Aronson (Vice Chair), Charles Adler, John P. Cumalat, Eugene Demler, James Eckert, Joel Franklin, Amy R. Graves, Elizabeth McCormack, David Miller