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Laura FinziProfessor

Awards and Honors

  • President-elect of the faculty Senate of the Emory College of Arts and Science, 2024-2025
  • Invited Speaker and Chair of “The Fluid versus Gel Nature of the Genome” Symposium at the 68th Biophysical Society Meeting, 2024
  • Invited Speaker Biophysics School in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Italian Society of Pure and Applied Biophysics, Erice, Italy, 16-22 October
  • Co-Founder and -Chair of the “Single-molecule Forces, Manipulation and Visualization” (2022) and "Nanoscale biophysics" (2015) subgroups of the Biophysical Society
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Nomination Committee 2020
  • Co-founder of Women in Science at Emory (WiSE), 2016
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Executive Board, 2011-2013
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Program Committee, 2012-2014
  • Editorial Board Member, Biophysical Journal, 7/1/08 - 6/30/14 (two terms)
  • For a complete list, please see my CV:


Research Area

Single-molecule biophysics of transcription regulation.

Research Interests

The cell is a crowded and complex environment where various physical forces operate within the genome and modify organization and function. For example, changes in molecular crowding may induce liquid-liquid phase separation and confer a fluid, or gel-like, nature to the genome, while the combination of tethering of DNA to membranes and the activities of processing enzymes (molecular machines) subjects DNA to pulling and twisting forces. We are interested in investigating the interplay of these forces and in measuring their effects primarily on, but not necessarily restricted to, gene transcription. The ultimate goal is to predict a spatio-temporal map of genome transactions as a function of force and torsional state to better understand gene regulation.

Most of our investigations rely on complementary, experimental single-molecule techniques, such as the tethered particle motion technique, magnetic tweezers, atomic force microscopy and correlative confocal microscopy (C-Trap) which combines a dual optical trap, single-molecule fluorescence detection, and microfluidics.

We develop instrumentation, software, as well as theoretical modeling as needed to achieve our goals.

We are funded by the NIH and NSF and enjoy working with a cohort of diverse students and collaborating with colleagues worldwide.

For additional information, please visit the Finzi/Dunlap web page at