Francesca Serra

Associate Professor at Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy
Telephone: +45 6550 8779
Email: serra[at]

Short CV


  • 2010 PhD in Physics, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • 2006 MS in Biological Physics, University of Parma (Italy)
  • 2003 BS in Physics, University of Parma (Italy)


  • 2021 Associate Professor (Lektor) in physics, University of Southern Denmark
  • 2016 Assistant Professor in physics, Johns Hopkins University (USA)
  • 2013-2016 Postdoctoral researcher, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
  • 2010-2013 Postdoctoral researcher, University of Milan (Italy)

Research Interests

We are an experimental group interested in liquid crystals. Our research develops in two main directions. We study how topological defects form in liquid crystals, how they can be controlled and manipulated, and how they can be useful for optics, for example creating “soft” micro-lenses or waveguides. We are also interested in exploring the analogy between liquid crystals and layers of living cells and the role of topological defects in the self-organization of tissues.
Examples of research topics: formation and analysis of topological defects in layers of cells; behavior of various cell types near topological defects; formation of liquid crystal topological defects in micro-confinement; liquid crystal defects as micro-lenses; patterns of topological defects as diffraction gratings.

For more information please visit Francesca’s personal website here.