Farshad Abdollah-Nia was born and raised in Mashhad, a city in north-eastern Iran, in a middle-class family. His father worked as a civil engineer and his mother was a high school teacher before they retired. In high school, Farshad became interested in physics through the study and preparation for the National Physics Olympiad in which he won a silver medal. He later pursued a degree in Physics at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He entered the graduate program in Physics at Colorado State University in 2011 and received his Master’s degree in 2013. Farshad has been interested in interdisciplinary areas of research in the sciences, and in particular, areas in which the modeling and quantitative analysis tools in a physicist’s repertoire can help solve biological and health science problems. With this in mind, he joined Prof. Van Orden’s lab in the Chemistry Department for his doctoral research, where he is now studying biological molecules, their reactions and their conformational dynamics using single-molecule fluorescence fluctuation analysis techniques. His main focus has been on studying the folding-unfolding dynamics of DNA and RNA molecules, as well as their binding-unbinding reactions with proteins and ions. Farshad has been involved in developing and using higher-order and two-beam variants of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) which help obtain more information about the studied systems.
Farshad is passionate about bringing science to the public and making it more accessible to students. He taught voluntarily in charity organizations in Iran and directed high school science projects. He was involved in the Little Shop of Physics at CSU and has proudly served as Teaching Assistant in dozens of entry-level physics labs and recitation classes at CSU. Farshad chose Colorado State University for its location in one of the most livable cities according to multiple nationwide rankings, featuring a safe and friendly environment, clean air, quality drinking water and access to great outdoor facilities. Farshad enjoys running, hiking, camping and rafting in the beautiful trails, mountains and rivers of Colorado. He is also enthusiastic to learn about the design and flight dynamics in radio-controlled aircraft and explore ideas in music theory as his current hobbies.