E-mail: rmca [at] physics [dot] georgetown [dot] edu
Ryan received his PhD in Physics (Experimental Nonlinear Dynamics) at the University of Maryland. The scientific term chaos comes from the field of nonlinear dynamics. He worked with Rajarshi Roy studying chaotic laser dynamics, particularly focusing on understanding the variety of dynamics an electronically driven laser system could produce and ability of lasers to respond and synchronize to signals. He also worked with Daniel Lathrop and Benjamin Zeff, studying energy dissipation at microscopic scales in turbulent fluid flow.
One paper, written with Atsushi Uchida and Rajarshi Roy, received the Laser Society of Japan's "Year’s Most Promising Science Technology Research Paper."
After completing a PhD in 2003, Ryan moved to Georgetown University to collaborate with Jeff Urbach on creating a biological dynamics imaging laboratory in the Physics Department. He also helped develop collaborations with several laboratories in the biological sciences to provide interesting challenges for the dynamics imaging laboratory. This research has ranged across topics including malaria, Giardia, axon growth, biomaterials, imaging technique development, and cancer.
In 2007, Ryan received an NIH K25 award to study invadopodia and cancer cell dynamics during invasion.
Ryan is also interested in family health and relationships, and has co-founded two nonprofit organizations that support families in both relationship and health issues.
Novel experiments in cancer cell interactions with and invasion through the 3D extra-cellular matrix, including:
- Use of a confocal microscope-rheometer (developed in Daniel Blair's lab) to study the biomechanical response of tumor cells to nonlinear stiffness of the 3D extracellular matrix
- Pathways involved in motility and matrix degradation (Cortactin, Syk, Src, PKD1)
- Force generation in motility
- Extracellular matrix proteolysis by MT1-MMP
Public Health and Medical Ethics
- Determining the attachment mechanism of Giardia lamblia parasites
- A novel 3D fibril force assay implicates src in tumor cell force generation in collagen networks, Polackwich, RJ, Koch D., Arevalo R., AM Miermont, J Lazar, Jee KJ, Urbach J. S., Mueller S. C., and McAllister R. G. PLoS One, Volume 8, p.e58138, (2013)
- Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention: Insufficient Evidence and Neglected External Validity, Green, L. W., Travis J. W., McAllister R. G., Peterson K. W., Vardanyan A. N., and Craig A. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 39, Number 5, p.479-482, (2010)
- Design and optimization of a high-speed, high-sensitivity, spinning disk confocal microscopy system, McAllister, R. G., Sisan D. R., and Urbach J. S. Journal of Biomedical Optics, Sep-Oct, Volume 13, Issue 5, (2008)
Ryan has joint appointments in the Oncology Department, Lombardi Cancer Center, and the Physics Department, Main Campus.