Dr. David A . Weitz

Adjunct Professor, CIPR

Professor Weitz is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. He holds several other affiliations at Harvard including: Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, Director of the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) and core member at the Wyss Institute of the Biomedical Engineering. He started his career in 1978 as a Physicist with Exxon Research and Engineering and progressed to become the Science Area Leader on Complex Fluids at the company before joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 as a Professor of Physics. In 1999, he was appointed the Gordon McKay Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University.

He is a member of both the US National Academy of Sciences (2010) and the US National Academy of Engineering (2016). He is also a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Chemistry (2013). His credentials include: 75 trainees in academic positions (assistant professors and associate professors), 49 graduated students, 23 current students, 166 graduated post docs, 22 current post docs, 711 published papers and 84 issued patents. He founded 20 startup companies. His h-index is 133 (close to 62,000 citation hits as per the Web of Science).

Weitz and his group study the properties of colloidal suspensions to investigate the behavior of crystals and glasses as well as the properties of highly disordered gels.  They use confocal microscopy, scattering and rheology to investigate both fundamental properties that are modeled using the colloidal particles as well as more technological applications of these systems.  They also investigate other soft materials such as foams, emulsions and gels, to study the relationship between their internal structure and dynamics and their bulk properties, developing a fundamental understanding that can also impact on technological applications.

Weitz and his group also are developing methods to make ‘designer’ emulsions and foams on a drop-by-drop basis using a class of microfluidic devices that they have developed.  They fabricate multiple emulsions with exquisite precision and they explore both the basic physics of these structures, as well as their potential uses for encapsulation of active materials.  In addition, they explore the scale-up of these structures to make useful quantities of materials.

Professor Weitz is a member of the Global Partnership Advisory (or Assessment) Committee at the CPG. He will support the post doctoral exchange initiative with Harvard University. He will engage with faculty and researchers on nucleating and further developing the programs related to Materials Science, Colloids and Interfaces, and Oilfield Chemistry at the CIPR, CPG and KFUPM.  More particularly, he will help in:

  • Screening, interviewing and recommending candidates
  • Mentoring young faculty and researchers
  • Developing and co-developing short courses and full-length graduate courses on the topic of complex fluids
  • Developing lab capabilities related to the programs of interest
  • Contributing to CPG and KFUPM publication records

Educational Qualification

  • B.S., Honors Physics, University of Waterloo, 1973.
  • A.M., Physics, Harvard University, 1975.
  • Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, 1978. (Advisor: Prof. M. Tinkham).

Research Interests

  • Physics of soft condensed matter, colloidal dispersions, foams and emulsions, biomaterials.
  • Mechanics of biomaterials, cell rheology.
  • Microfluidic techniques for new complex fluid structures, bio-chemical assays, screening.
  • Synthesis of new soft materials; engineering structures for encapsulation
  • Multiphase fluid flow in porous media
  • New optical measurement techniques for dynamics and mechanics of random systems.
  • Multiple scattering of classical waves.

Selected Publications

Publications for 2018

  • “High-Throughput Double Emulsion-Based Microfluidic Production of Hydrogel Microspheres with Tunable Chemical Functionalities toward Biomolecular Conjugation,” E.Y. Liu, S. Jung, D.A. Weitz, H. Yi and C.-H. Choi, Lab Chip 18, 323 (2018).
  • 690. “Surfactant Variations in Porous Media Localize Capillary Instabilities During Haines Jumps,” Y. Edery, S. Berg and D. Weitz, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 028005 (2018).
  • 691. “Microfluidic Templated Multicompartment Microgels for 3d Encapsulation and Pairing of Single Cells,” L. Zhang, K. Chen, H. Zhang, B. Pang, C.H. Choi, A.S. Mao, H. Liao, S. Utech, D.J. Mooney, H. Wang and D.A. Weitz, Small 14, 1702955 (2018).
  • 692. “Rapid Patterning of Pdms Microfluidic Device Wettability Using Syringe-Vacuum-Induced Segmented Flow in Non-Planar Geometry,” C.-H. Choi, H. Lee and D.A. Weitz, ACS Appl. Mat. & Inter. 10, 3170 (2018).
  • 693. “Gold Nanorods Conjugated Porous Silicon Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Calcium Alginate Nano Hydrogels Using Microemulsion Templates,” H. Zhang, Y. Zhu, L. Qu, H. Wu, H. Kong, Z. Yang, D. Chen, E. Makila, J.J. Salonen and H.A. Santos, Nano Lett. 18, 1448 (2018).
  • 694. “Throughput Enhancement of Parallel Step Emulsifier Devices by Shear-Free and Efficient Nozzle Clearance,” E. Stolovicki, R. Ziblat and D.A. Weitz, Lab Chip 18, 132-138 (2018).
  • 695. “Interaction of Spin-Labeled Hpma-Based Nanoparticles with Human Blood Plasma Proteins–Introduction of Protein-Corona Free Polymer Nanomedicines,” D. Klepac, H. Kostkova, S. Petrova, P. Chytil, T. Etrych, S. Kereïche, I. Raska, D.A. Weitz and S.K. Filippov, Nanoscale, 10, 6194 (2018).
  • 696. “Geometric Constraints During Epithelial Jamming,” L. Atia, D.P. Bi, Y. Sharma, J.A. Mitchel, B. Gweon, S.A. Koehler, S.J. Decamp, B. Lan, J.H. Kim, R. Hirsch, A.F. Pegoraro, K.H. Lee, J.R. Starr, D.A. Weitz, A.C. Martin, J.A. Park, J.P. Butler and J.J. Fredberg, Nat. Phys. 14, 613 (2018).
  • “Microfluidic Model Porous Media: Fabrication and Applications,” A. Anbari, H.T. Chien, S.S. Datta, W. Deng, D.A. Weitz and J. Fan, Small 14 (18), e1703575 (2018).
  • 698. “Regularized Lattice Boltzmann Multicomponent Models for Low Capillary and Reynolds Microfluidics Flows,” A. Montessori, M. Lauricella, M. La Rocca, S. Succi, E. Stolovicki, R. Ziblat and D. Weitz, Computers & Fluids 167, 33-39 (2018).
  • 699. “Tissue and Cellular Rigidity and Mechanosensitive Signaling Activation in Alexander Disease,” L.Q. Wang, J. Xia, J. Li, T.L. Hagemann, J.R. Jones, E. Fraenkel, D.A. Weitz, S.C. Zhang, A. Messing and M.B. Feany, Nat. Commun. 9, (2018).
  • 700. “Elucidating the mechanism of step emulsification,” A. Montessori, M. Lauricella, S. Succi, E. Stolovicki and D.A. Weitz, Phys. Rev. Fluids, 3, 072202 (2018).
  • 701. “Dynamic Microcapsules with Rapid and Reversible Permeability Switching,” J.G. Werner, B.T. Deveney, S. Nawar and D.A. Weitz, Adv. Funct. Mater., 28, 1803385 (2018)
  • 702. “Hydrogel Microcapsules with Dynamic pH-Responsive Properties from Methacrylic Anhydride,” J. Werner, S. Nawar, A.A. Solovev and D.A. Weitz, Macromol. 51, 5798 (2018).
  • 703. “Microfluidic fabrication of microparticles for biomedical applications,” W. Li, L. Zhang, X. Ge, B. Xu, W. Zhang, L. Qu, C.-H. Choi, J. Xu, A. Zhang, H. Lee, and D.A. Weitz, Chem. Soc. Rev. 47, 5646 (2018).
  • 704. “Single-cell sequencing leads a new era of profiling transcriptomic landscape,” H. Zhang, N. Cui, Y, Cai, F. Lei and D.A. Weitz, Bio-X Res, 1, 2 (2018).
  • 705. “A Versatile Strategy to Fabricate 3D Conductive Frameworks for Lithium Metal Anodes,” L.-Y. Qi, L. Shang, X. Chen, L. Ye, W. Zhang, P. Feng, W. Zou, N. Cao, H.-H. Zhou, D.A. Weitz and X. Li, Adv. Mater. Interfaces, 5, 1800807 (2018).
  • 706. “Evolution on the biophysical fitness landscape of an RNA virus,” A. Rotem, A.W.R. Serohijos, C.B. Chang, J.T. Wolfe, A.E. Fischer, T.S. Mehoke, H. Zhang, Y. Tao, W.L. Ung, J.-M. Choi, J.V. Rodrigues, A.O. Kolawole, S.A. Koehler, S. Wu, P.M. Thielen, N. Cui, P.A. Demirev, N.S. Giacobbi, T.R. Julian, K.
  • Schwab, J.S Lin, T.J. Smith, J.M. Pipas, C.E. Wobus, A.B. Feldman, D.A. Weitz, E.I. Shakhnovich, Mol. Biol. Evol., 35, 2390 (2018).
  • 707. “Wetting controls of droplet formation in step emulsification,” M.L. Eggersdorfer, H. Seybold, A. Ofner, D.A. Weitz and A.R. Studart, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 9479 (2018)
  • 708. “Collective Shape Actuation of Polymer Double Emulsions by Solvent Evaporation,” W. Shi, J.E. Didier, D. E. Ingber and D. A. Weitz, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10, 31865 (2018).
  • 709. “Determining the Lipid Specificity of Insoluble Protein Transmembrane Domains,” R. Ziblat, J. Weaver, L.R. Arriaga, S. Chong and D.A. Weitz, Lab Chip 18, 3561 (2018).
  • 710. “Tumor-Vasculature-on-a-Chip for Investigating Nanoparticle Extravasation and Tumor Accumulation,” H.-F. Wang, R. Ran, Y. Liu, Y. Hui, B. Zeng, D. Chen, D.A. Weitz and C.-X. Zhao, ACS Nano 12, 11600 (2018)
  • 711. “Versatile Hydrogel Ensembles with Macroscopic Multidimensions,” Q. Li, Y.-W. Zhang, C.-F. Wang, D.A. Weitz and S. Chen, Adv. Mater. 1803475 (2018) DOI: 10.1002/adma.201803475.

Awards & Honors

  • Developed Diffusing-Wave Spectroscopy and exploited it for novel studies of soft materials.
  • Developed microrheology and applied it to biomaterials, polymers, colloids and emulsions.
  • Developed confocal microscopy to investigate dynamics of 3D colloidal suspensions.
  • Developed microfluidics for compartmentalized bio-assays, and synthesis of new materials.
  • Developed method for inexpensive single-cell sequencing of large number of cells
  • Founded 20 start-up companies based on microfluidics applications.
  • Developed techniques to study cell rheology, and showed importance of non-linear behavior.
  • Developed use of self-assembly to synthesize new encapsulation structures
  • Developed Diffusing Acoustic Wave Spectroscopy to study solid particle dynamics in fluids.
  • Discovered novel colloidal interactions in anisotropic fluids with emulsions in liquid crystals
  • Showed that the structure of colloidal aggregates is fractal.
  • Developed general model for surface-enhanced light scattering at rough metal surfaces.
  • Performed several experiments in space with NASA support to study basic colloid physics.
  • Created Science and Cooking, one of the most popular courses at Harvard