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About S. M. Tabei

Dr. Tabei received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Waterloo in Canada in the Quantum Matters group. His Ph.D. thesis explains how the interplay of quantum fluctuations and disorder leads to novel emergent phenomena in the disordered quantum magnetic material LiHoF4.  As a postdoctoral scholar, he decided to utilize his experience to quantitatively elucidate the collective behavior of biological systems. Dr. Tabei received the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) cross-disciplinary postdoctoral fellowship award and joined the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago. He is inspired by how spatial and temporal fluctuations lead to precise emergent properties in living systems. Dr. Tabei theoretically investigates a number of concrete, not disjoint, topics in the context of spatial pattern formation, intracellular transport and adaptive immunity.

Motivated students at different levels from biology, chemistry, and physics, who are enthusiastic about life and have quantitative abilities, are welcome to join his research group.


Present Assistant Professor, Physics, University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics


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Honors and Awards

  • The APS Moore Foundation Travel Award (2015)
  • Iowa NSF EPSCOR Capacity Building Project Grant (2015)
  • Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic A airs Pre-Tenure Faculty Grant Award (2014)
  • The International Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Cross-Disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, University of Chicago (2009-2012)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies Award, PhD level, University of Waterloo (2008)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (OGSST - 2007)
  • University of Waterloo International Doctoral Student Award (2004 - 2007)
  • University of Waterloo International Graduate Student Award (2003)


  • Computational Physics
  • General Physics I (with lab)

Contact Information

University of Northern Iowa
Physics Building 313
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0150

Office: PHY 313
Phone: (319) 273-2475


Articles (14)