Joseph Tibbs
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


University of Northern Iowa, B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Physics, 2020

Research Interests

I am interested in single-molecule detection and creating Photonic Crystal sensors for research and medical applications.  In general, I am driven by projects which combine a fundamental understanding of physics phenomena with a biomolecular system’s relevance and flexibility.  Finding new ways to measure and study these systems is what I hope my PhD prepares me for.

Research Experience

University of Northern Iowa Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Undergraduate Thesis
Atomic Force Microscopy study of DNA persistence length
Advisors: Dr. Justin P. Peters, Dr. SM Ali Tabei

National Institute of Standards and Technology
SPS Summer Research Fellow
Scanning Probe Microscopy development of calibration standards
Advisor: Joseph Kopanski

University of Iowa Department of Biochemistry and University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics
FUTURE in Biomedicine Fellow and Undergraduate Research Assistant
Development of software suite for analysis of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy data
Advisors: Dr. Maria Spies, Dr. SM Ali Tabei


Pokhrel, N., Caldwell, C. C., Corless, E. I., Tillison, E. A., Tibbs, J., Jocic, N., … & Antony, E. (2019). Dynamics and selective remodeling of the DNA-binding domains of RPA. Nature structural & molecular biology26(2), 129-136.

Honors and Awards

  • NSF GRFP Fellow
  • Barry Goldwater Scholar
  • National Biophysical Society Travel Grant Awardee