(This is not even the half of all the people that worked in the Guenza Lab. If your picture is missing please send it along with a description of what makes you the unique person that you are! It will be posted.)

Marina Guenza

Research Gate
Marina is from Genova, Italy, where she studied and received her Ph.D.. She was a tenured researcher at the Italian National Laboratory. Being from a city with one the most important European harbors since medieval times, she grew up with the desire of traveling and living in different countries. Which brought her to the United States. First at the University of Chicago, then at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and finally at the University of Oregon.
Marina still loves traveling and living in different countries. She speaks Italian, French, and English, and loves the literature in all these languages. She studied ancient Greek and Latin.
Photo on 4-25-13 at 4.10 PM #2

Marina’s favorite book is The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov (how about a woman flying in the night over the roofs of Moscow to go to a party at the Devil’s Palace?). She loves the Magic Flute by Mozart, more so in Bergman’s rendition (her first workstation was named Papageno. Her second workstation was Candide, from the novel by Voltaire). She loves the beauty of developing the scientific understanding of the phenomena of life.

Current Group Members

PhD Students


Pablo Romano

Pablo is a graduate student in the Physical Chemistry program.

Originally from Houston, Texas; he majored in Chemistry at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

His research interests are in exploring the dynamic fluctuations as DNA transitions between double to single stranded regimes.

His hobbies include musics (playing both guitar and piano), marathon watching television shows on Netflix, and on occasion enjoying the outdoors near and around Eugene.

Undergraduate Students

profile picture

Yelda Raheen

My name is Yelda Raheen and I am a general science major, with a minor in chemistry and psychology. I am first generation born in raised in the U.S. My parents immigrated here from Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union, and my Father is a family practice doctor while my mother is a registered Nurse. I believe that education should revolve around passion and cooperative learning v.s a grade-obsessed and competitive mindset. I hope to go to medical school and pursue the highest level of education/specialty I can. My character can be defined through this life motto; “I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity”.


Jared Brandon
From Portland, Oregon.

Went to Cleveland High School

Biochemistry major with declared minors in math and computer science
Clark Honors College

“My hobbies include playing basketball and other sports (I play for the club ultimate frisbee team), skating, playing guitar and piano, hiking, and freestyle rapping.”

Benjamin Clark
Benjamin is an undergraduate student in the Chemistry Department.
“I am from Beaverton, Oregon. I am pursuing a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Business. I have always love asking questions and learning the why behind every day things. I enjoy Chemistry because it gives me a chance to discover how the world works. My hobbies include playing piano, rock climbing, hiking, and building robots. I enjoy spending time with friends, going to church, and learning about how the world works. I hope to eventually work in research and development for a company after finishing grad school.”

Previous Group Members

PhD Students

Jeremy Copperman
Jeremy is a graduate student in the Physics Department.Jeremy is from Eugene Oregon and received an undergraduate degree in Physics from the UofO. Here is how Jeremy describes his own experience:”I am a graduate student in the physics department at the University of Oregon. When I’m not in the lab, I am probably chasing around my three boys ages 2, 7, and 8.

Hobbies include surfing, playing soccer, and enjoying a pint of local microbrew. My research in the Guenza group focuses primarily on theoretical approaches to the dynamics of biological macromolecules. A quote I have found inspiring comes from Feynman: “Everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jiggling and wiggling of atoms.” We are a long way from a microscopic description of everything living things do, but in my research I have started to come to grips with a microscopic description of a single protein in solution!”

Gesa Welker
Gesa is from Germany and she got her diploma in physics (equivalent to a Master’s degree) from the University of Konstanz in Germany. During her time as a Fulbright scholar at the UofO, she spent three months as a non-degree graduate student in the Guenza lab in 2013. Now she is living in the Netherlands, where she is working on a PhD in the field of quantum optics at the Leiden Institute of Physics.

Image credits: Karlee Smethers Photography
Image credits: Karlee Smethers Photography
“Being an experimental physicist, I very much enjoyed learning more about theoretical approaches and simulation techniques during my (much too short) time in the group. It was great to see how abstract concepts from my Statistical Physics class became tangible in current research.
Besides physics, I find languages and cultural differences highly fascinating. My current hobby is mastering the Dutch language. Other than that, I play the guitar and I love being outside, hiking, playing soccer or biking around.“

Anthony Clark and Jay McCarty
Here is the picture from the Press Release
Anthony Clark
Anthony Clark grew up in Helena Montana and wanted to be a physicist from a young age. He recieved his PhD in physics from the University of Oregon in March 2013, doing research work on coarse-graining theory for polymers. Currently, Anthony works as a postdoc in the group of Rich Friesner at Columbia University with a focus on improving free-energy perturbation techniques to gain predictive power over the binding affinity of protein-antibody complexes. In his free time Anthony likes to write songs and play his guitar, and ride his bicycle around.

Jay McCarty
Jay graduated in Chemistry at the University of Oregon in November 25th, 2013.
Here is what Jay says: ” My interests lie in the broad fields of soft condensed matter and biophysics, where I am interested in applying statistical mechanics (equilibrium and non-equilibrium) to study the structure and dynamics of complex macromolecular systems.
I received my Ph. D. in physical chemistry from the group of Marina Guenza at the University of Oregon, where my dissertation focused on developing a novel coarse-grained method for computer simulations of complex macromolecular fluids.

I am currently a postdoc working in the research group of professor Michele Parrinello at the Universita della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. My research is focused on the development of enhanced sampling methods for exploring the complex free energy surface of systems governed by multiple long-lived metastable states separated by kinetic bottlenecks.

While at Oregon, I was also involved in the Science Literacy Program, which is aimed at improving the scientific awareness and general scientific knowledge of non-science majors at the university. My graduate work was also partially supported through the NSF GK-12 fellowship for which my duties included spending time as a “resident scientist” in elementary school classrooms in rural Oregon, and participating in local scientific outreach activities.
Before graduate school, I received my B.S. in biochemistry from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. My hobbies include tennis, guitar, and skiing. My favorite scientist is Ludwig Boltzmann.”

Ha Truong and Anthony Clark
Ha received a BS degree from the University of Oregon and entered the Ph. D. program at Rice University, Advisor: Peter Wolynes.

Ivan Lyubimov
Here is the press release and the related NSF press release on Ivan’s work.
“We were able to show that when you run your simulation with less detail, it is possible to correct for these factors, and reconstruct the correct the dynamics of the real system from the coarse-grained description. Our theoretical procedure has been tested with different experiments and simulations, and works pretty well. No one else has been able to do this with a theoretical solution.
The method is different from others currently in use, because it is analytical rather than numerical. It removes the need for separate, time-consuming atomistic simulations to account for missing information obtained from coarse-grained simulations.”

Thomas Dannenhoffer
Thomas was a transfer student from Umpqua Community College. After on year of research in the Guenza Lab he entered the Ph. D. program in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

The Guenza Group 2015



Visiting Students 2015:

Alexander Ohnmacht – Physics Department, Constanz University, Germany.
Richard Gowers – Engineering Department, University of Manchester, UK (Paola Carbone’s group).

High School Students 2015:

Jake Hyatt – South Eugene High School, Eugene, OR.