In Brief:

  • Born, Allentown, PA
  • Harvard, ’08 A.B. Chemistry
  • University of Chicago, ’13 Ph.D. Chemistry
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, MIT

I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania to two chemical engineers who emigrated to the US from Argentina.  Home life was bilingual, active and very argumentative.  I was told at a young age that I had a future as a PA system–likely necessitated  by being the youngest child of 3.  Like many Argentines my ancestry is a mix of Italian, French Basque and Lebanese (Caram is spanishified Arabic for generous).

After high school, I attended Harvard, initially with the intention to major in international relations. Taerial-1-allentown-pahat lasted about a month before I drifted over to chemistry.  Participating in the Harvard REU, I researched with Jim Anderson studying trace atmospheric radicals, and with Vinny Manoharan studying self-assembled colloidal nanoclusters.  I also played in Harvard Band, and even had the opportunity to write and announce our halftime shows.  In that capacity I helped build the worlds largest conducting baton, setting a Guinness Book world record (which alas, has been broken twice since then).  I also played in the Harvard Jazz Bands (getting to play with legends, Benny Golson and Hank Jones) .

I went on to do my PhD at the University of Chicago with Greg Engel, studying quantum coherence, and multidimensional spectroscopy. I lived 1 block away from President Obama, until he was elected (when he moved, for obvious reasons). After graduate school, I made my way back to Boston, where I work at MIT with professor Moungi Bawendi bridging the chemistry and engineering departments as the Bob Silbey Center for Excitonics Postdoc.  Here I work broadly on spectroscopy of fluorescent nanomaterials, with a focus on exciton transport and system-bath interactions.

In July 2017 I started as an assistant professor in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.  My group studies molecules and materials which interact with light in new and exciting ways. Reach out if you are interested in learning more!