Lina Merchan Alvarez

Lina Merchan Alvarez

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Engineering Technology
Discipline: Physics
Office: Hubert Technology
Phone: 912.358.3311
Fax: 912.650.8161


I am originally from Colombia. I came to the US to do a PhD in Physics at Georgia Tech. My PhD research was a supercomputer molecular dynamic simulation of lubricants compressed down to a nanometers wide gap. After finishing my PhD in January 2012, I did a postdoc in the Physics Department at Emory University on System Biology where we used Math and Physics to study biological Systems, in particular how information is stored in a network, and how cell receptor activation can be modeled as a Markov chain. From there I transfer to the Math/CS Department of Emory for a second postdoc to program GPU to improve the software used in Breast Cancer diagnostic Tomosynthesis. My third postdoc at Emory was with our collaborator in the Winship Cancer Institute where I learned how to use the Tomosynthesis and breast CT machines. I started in Savannah State University as Assistant Professor of Physics in the Department of Engineering technology on August 2015. I have four children, ages from 1 to 10 years old. I love teaching and interacting with my students. I have experience programming in multiple languages and love to see how physics can help us understand our world.

Research Interests

Breast cancer diagnostics, at the computational, theoretical and epidemiological level. Absorption and Emission of light by plants. Using X-Rays to study plant development.


PhD, Physics - Georgia Institute of Technology

Awards & Honors

Name: Best Presentation Award
Organization: European Conference on Radiology
Date: 3/8/2015
My advisor Dr Ioannis Sechoupolus presented our work in an international conference. Our work showed that if half of the images taken with digital tomosynthesis, for the purpose of detecting breast cancer, are taken with a low energy spectrum, then the patient receives a lower ionizing radiation.


Title: On the Sufficiency of Pairwise Interactions in Maximum Entropy Models of Networks
Publication Date: 1/1/2016
Volume: 162
Issue: 5
Page Number: 1294–1308
Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal
Authors: Lina P Merchan Alvarez, Ilya Nemenman,

Title: A large number of receptors may reduce cellular response time variation
Publication Date: 1/1/2013
Volume: 10
Issue: 3
Page Number: 035008
Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal
Authors: Xiang Cheng, Lina P Merchan Alvarez, Martin Tchernookov, Ilya Nemenman,

Title: NanoMechanics: Elasticity in Nano-Objects
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Page Number: 219–254
Type: Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
Authors: Lina P Merchan Alvarez, Robert Szoszkiewicz, Elisa Riedo,

Title: Confined Coulomb Systems with Adsorbing Boundaries: The Two-Dimensional Two-Component Plasma
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Volume: 114
Issue: 3
Page Number: 735–761
Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal
Authors: Lina P Merchan Alvarez, Gabriel Téllez,

Title: Solvable Model for Electrolytic Soap Films: The Two-Dimensional Two-Component Plasma
Publication Date: 1/1/2002
Volume: 108
Issue: 3
Page Number: 495–525
Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal
Authors: Gabriel Téllez, Lina P Merchan Alvarez,