Kerstin M. Perez
Kerstin Perez is originally from West Philadelphia and earned her B.A. in physics from Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. from Caltech, for research using the ATLAS detector at the LHC. She then returned to Columbia University as an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow. She was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Physics at Haverford College, before joining MIT as an Assistant Professor of Physics in 2016 and an Associate Professor of Physics in 2021. She returned once again to Columbia University as faculty in 2022. She has won numerous awards, including a Sloan Research Fellowship, Cottrell Scholar Award, APS DPF Early Career Instrumentation Award, and MIT School of Science Teaching Prize for Undergraduate Education. She is the daughter of Louis Antonio Perez, who earned his J.D. at Columbia University in 1970, and Diann Carlson Perez, who worked as a juvenile public defender for the city of Philadelphia.
Prof. Perez is interested in using cosmic particles to look beyond the Standard Model physics, in particular evidence of dark matter interactions. Her work focuses on opening sensitivity to unexplored cosmic signatures, with impact at the intersection of particle physics, astrophysics, and advanced instrumental techniques.
I originally planned to study fine arts, before finding physics my junior year of high school.