Biography

In Brief:

  • Born, Allentown, PA: October 29, 1985
  • 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, 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.

I am starting in July 2017 as an assistant professor in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.