Postdoctoral Fellows


Alavirad_photoYahya Alavirad (UCSD) is a condensed matter theorist with broad interests in topological quantum material, quantum chaos, and the interplay of quantum information and condensed matter physics. He is now a postdoc at the University of California at San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 2020, and his thesis was about electromagnetic properties of topological quantum materials.

Fun Facts: In his spare time, he likes listening to podcasts, watching movies, and playing board games!

Arpit_photoArpit Dua (Caltech) is a postdoc at Caltech who is interested in condensed matter and quantum information. He obtained his PhD in Physics in 2020 from Yale University under the guidance of Professors Meng Cheng and Liang Jiang. His current research is focused on stabilizer and subsystem codes, quantum dynamics and fracton topological order.

Fun Facts: On the weekends, he loves to visit a national or state park, hike and run, cook something delicious and watch comedies.


Daniel Gonzalez imageDaniel González (Innsbruck) is a postdoc at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the University of Innsbruck, working with Prof. Peter Zoller. He received his MSc from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, before moving to the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, where he obtained his PhD in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Maciej Lewenstein. His research lies at the intersection between condensed matter, quantum information and high-energy physics. He is particularly interested in topological quantum matter, lattice gauge theories, tensor networks and quantum simulators based on atomic systems.

Fun Facts: He enjoys reading, cooking, climbing and travelling.


Etienne_photoEtienne Granet (Chicago) is a mathematical physicist interested in exactly solvable integrable models, out-of-equilibrium dynamics of many-body quantum systems, conformal field theories, quantum simulators. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, and obtained his PhD at Institut de Physique Théorique under the supervision of Hubert Saleur and Jesper Jacobsen. He is currently a postdoc with Fabian Essler at University of Oxford.

Fun facts: He likes classical music and board games.


Luca_photoLuca Iliesiu (Stanford) is a high-energy theorist interested in quantum field theory, quantum gravity, and their relation to condensed matter physics. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. His current primary focus is on low-dimensional models of gravity and their relation to SYK and matrix models as well as to higher-dimensional black holes.

Fun facts: Avid skier, loves to cook and proud Husky owner.


Yunxiang LiaoYunxiang Liao (JQI) is a postdoc at Joint Quantum Institute and Condensed Matter Theory Center of University of Maryland, College Park, working with Prof. Victor Galitski. She received a B.S. in physics from Fudan University in China, before moving to Rice University where she obtained her Ph.D. in physics under Prof. Matthew Foster. Her current research involves employing analytical techniques such as field theory and renormalization group to study disordered system, nonequilibrium physics, strongly-correlated system, quantum chaos and hydrodynamics.

Fun Facts: In her spare time, she enjoys reading detective novels and watching movies.


 Zhu-Xi LuoZhuxi Luo (Kavli Institute) is interested the interplay between topology and physics, especially in the context of strongly-correlated quantum matter and low-dimensional gravitational theory. She received her PhD from University of Utah in 2019 and her dissertation was about entanglement properties in nonchiral topological phases.

Fun Facts: She loves jigsaw puzzles in all dimensions!


Mukhametzhanov_photoBaur Mukhametzhanov (IAS) received his PhD at Harvard University and is currently a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His research interests are in quantum gravity and quantum field theory. Recently, he has been working on SYK and matrix models and their holographic gravity duals.

Fun Facts: In his free time, he enjoys doing yoga, running, listening to economics podcasts and reading fantasy books.



Shirley_photoWilbur Shirley (IAS/Harvard) graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. He completed his doctoral studies with Xie Chen at the California Institute of Technology in 2021, where he made contributions to the theory of fracton phases of matter. He is broadly interested in highly entangled states of matter including topological and critical states.

Fun Facts: Wilbur is an avid hiker and tennis, basketball, baseball, and softball player. He has a passion for marine wildlife.



Spodyneiko_photoLev Spodyneiko (MIT) is interested in the application of quantum field theory methods to condensed matter systems. He received his B.S. and M.S. at MIPT in Moscow, before moving to Caltech, where he obtained his Ph.D. in physics under the supervision of Hirosi Ooguri. His current research is focused on the transport properties of strongly correlated materials, with a particular focus on topologically protected properties.

Fun Facts: He always carries a bag of nuts to feed some squirrels.


Stephen_photoDavid Stephen (Boulder, Caltech) received his Master's degree from the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Prof. Robert Raussendorf, and his PhD from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics under Prof. Norbert Schuch. He is interested in the many relationships between quantum information theory and condensed matter physics, including the use of quantum phases of matter for quantum computation. Recently, this interest has led him to study exotic phases of matter with subdimensional properties, including fracton topological phases and subsystem symmetry-protected topological phases.

Fun Fact: He enjoys playing and designing video games, and playing a variety of musical instruments.


Wen photoXueda Wen (Harvard/Boulder) got his PhD from UIUC in 2017, and worked as a Moore postdoc fellow at MIT during 2017~2020. He is recently interested in two directions: one is the field theory approach to non-equilibrium dynamics in quantum critical systems, and the other is invertible and non-invertible topological phases in various dimensions.

Fun Facts: He likes to play frisbee, basketball, and chess


Torsten_photoTorsten Zache (Innsbruck, IQOQI) is interested in applying ideas from quantum information theory to condensed matter and high energy physics. His research is centered around the use of quantum simulators to study complex many-body systems — in particular lattice gauge theories in and out of equilibrium — with the aim to probe entanglement, topological order and confinement. Torsten works as a postdoc at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the University of Innsbruck. He received his PhD in 2020 from Heidelberg University where he studied physics and mathematics.

Fun Facts: Torsten loves listening to music, from Beethoven over Jethro Tull to Rammstein. He likes to hike, plays the piano and enjoys a good board game.


UQM Postdoc Alumni

Matthew LapaMatthew Lapa (Chicago) is a condensed matter theorist with broad interests in the areas of topological phases of matter, quantum field theory, and fluid dynamics. He obtained his PhD in physics in 2018 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of Professor Taylor Hughes, and is now a postdoc at the Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Chicago. His current research is focused on interacting topological phases of matter, including fractional quantum Hall states, symmetry-protected topological phases, and number-conserving models of topological superconductivity.

Fun facts: In his spare time he likes to read, play guitar, and go running along the lake in Chicago.


Shu-Heng ShaoShu-Heng Shao (Princeton, IAS) has a broad range of interests in quantum field theory and applications to condensed matter systems and quantum gravity. He is interested in global symmetry, 't Hooft anomaly, and defects in continuum field theory in diverse dimensions. Recently, he has been working on the implications of 't Hooft anomaly for gapless phases using the method of conformal bootstrap. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2016, and is now a long-term member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. 

Fun Facts: He is an avid runner and a sushi lover.


Hassan ShapoHassan Shapourianurian (Harvard) received his PhD from the University of Chicago and holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering  from Princeton University. His research interests span a wide range of topics in condensed matter physics and quantum information from practical applications of topological insulators to basic questions about entanglement. Recently, he combined ideas from topological quantum field theory and quantum information theory to devise new tools for measuring entanglement and characterizing topological properties of quantum many-body systems.

Fun Facts: He is an avid cyclist and enjoys long climbs on a road bike.