Milstein, Joshua N.

Ph.D. | Associate Professor | Physics | Biophysics and Physical Chemistry

Contact Information

905 569 4598
905 828 5425
Mailing Address: 
3359 Mississauga Road
Postal Code: 
L5L 1C6
Milstein Picture

Research Areas:

Single-molecule biophysics, DNA mechanics and dynamics

Research Profile:

The Milstein laboratory for biological physics focuses on studying the spatial organization and dynamical motion Milstein Researchof DNA,which, while being intimately involved in genetic function, has operational effects that are not clearly understood. Errors in genetic expression, besides arising from mistakes in the code itself, could also manifest by macromolecules that over-twist or over-stretch the DNA, problems in packing within the cell or nucleus, long-range interference between genes, and so on. Our research aims to clarify important biological questions from how bacteria transform into harmful pathogens to how embryonic stem cells differentiate. To address these questions, we build and develop single-molecule tools such as optical tweezers, for applying controlled forces to biological molecules, and super-resolution microscopes, for imaging fine structure within bacteria and the cell nucleus.  Our laboratory is a truly-interdisciplinary environment filled with a range of researchers, from physicists and biomedical engineers to biologists and computer scientists.

Courses Taught:

PHY255H5, PHY325H5 and JCB487 (undergraduate), PHY2704H1 (graduate)


H. Wang and J. N. Milstein,"Simulation assisted analysis of the intrinsic stiffness for short DNA molecules imaged with scanning atomic force microscopy, PLoS ONE 10(11), e0142277 (2015).

R. Pollari and J. N. Milstein, "Improved axial trapping with holographic optical tweezers", Opt. Express 23, 28857-28867 (2015)

Axial Tweezers: Optical Trapping Heads in a New Direction.” S. Epstein, R. Pollari and J. N. Milstein, Biophysical Journal 108, 2759-2766 (2015).

A Biomechanical Mechanism for Initiating DNA Packaging.”
H. Wang, S. Epstein, S. Ali, W. Navarre and J. N. Milstein, Nucleic Acids Research 42, 11921 (2014).

Rapid Feedback Control and Stabilization of an Optical Tweezers with a Budget Microcontroller.” D. Nino, H. Wang and J. N. Milstein, Eur J Phys 35, 055009 (2014).

Two-color DNA nanoprobe of intracellular dynamics.” J. N. Milstein, M. Chu, K. Raghunathan and J. -C. Meiners, Nano Lett. 12, 2515 (2012).

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