Dr. Afik began his scientific career in experimental physics. After obtaining BSc. in Physics and Biology at the Hebrew University, his Ph.D. research at the Weizmann institute focused on complex flows. Interested in the development and ageing of multicellular organisms, he held a short postdoctoral appointment at Weizmann in computational modeling. Now at the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech, he will be studying Caulerpa, a giant single-cell alga which exhibits a complex morphology and differentiated organs, and challenges the notion that pattern formation results from cell-cell interactions.
In addition to the fundamental questions to be explored, this line of research could potentially lead to insights into alternative energy resources and crop optimization.
He will be using his expertise in experimental fluid dynamics and soft condensed matter, as well as in data analysis, to bring a physical and mathematical approach to the study of plant development and regeneration, focusing on the spatio-temporal dynamics of active self-organization.
Dr. Afik is noted for having developed his own tools for obtaining and analysing experimental data, which he then gladly shares with others. His postdoc is also being funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Dr. Afik is married with two children.