Valeria Milam
Associate Professor
MoSE 3100L

Valeria Tohver Milam joined the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in July 2004. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with Honors from the University of Florida in 1993. After completing her M.S. degree (1997) in MSE at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she interned at Sandia National Laboratories. She then completed her doctoral work at UIUC studying the phase behavior, structure and properties of nanoparticle-microsphere suspensions. Experimental results suggested a novel colloidal stabilization mechanism known as nanoparticle “haloing” in which otherwise negligibly charged microspheres become effectively charge-stabilized by their surrounding shell of highly charged nanoparticles.

After finishing her Ph.D. in 2001, her postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania focused on DNA-mediated colloidal assembly. The degree of specific attraction between DNA-grafted microspheres was found to vary with sequence length, sequence concentration and ionic strength. A variety of structures such as colloidal chains, rings and micelles were formed by varying the particle size ratio and suspension composition.

Selected publications: 
  1. S.T. Parpart, C.K. Tison, V.T. Milam, “Effects of mismatches on DNA as an isothermal assembly and disassembly tool,” Soft Matter 2010 6 3832-3840
  2. C.K. Tison, V.T. Milam, “Reversing DNA-mediated adhesion at a fixed temperature,” Langmuir 2007 23 (19) 9728-9736
  3. V.T. Milam, A.L. Hiddessen, J.C. Crocker, D.J. Graves, D.A. Hammer, “DNA-driven assembly of bidisperse, micron-sized colloids” Langmuir 2003 19 (24) 10317-10323
  4. V. Tohver, J.E. Smay, A. Braem, P.V. Braun, J.A. Lewis, “Nanoparticle halos: A new colloidal stabilization mechanism,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2001 98 (16) 8950-8954