Milena Chakraverti-Wuerthwein

2021 Hertz Fellow
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Milena Chakraverti-Wuerthwein is a biophysicist and social activist dedicated to deepening our understanding of the brain and to supporting scientists from underrepresented backgrounds.

Milena will be joining the PhD Program in biophysical sciences at the University of Chicago this fall. Once there, she plans to work with Professor Stephanie Palmer, an expert in information theory, and Professor Jason Maclean, an authority on network science, to expand our understanding of the neural network involved in visually predicting movement. Through this work, she hopes to explain how functional structure in the brain impacts computation, contributing a critical foundation for such research as treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Milena explored diverse questions at the intersection of biology and physics, from behavioral science to microscope development to materials physics, building a repertoire of experimental and computational methods to complement her physics theory education. She subsequently developed a cutting-edge method for enumerating topology in phase-separated liquid-liquid mixtures, work that led to a first-author publication in Physical Review Letters. In parallel, Milena developed and ran an intergenerational mentorship program for women in physics. She received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton in 2020.

She currently works with Science and Arts Engagement NY, Inc., leveraging Harlem middle school and high school students’ interest in gaming to inspire lifelong engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Milena grew up in Southern California.

Graduate Studies

University of Chicago