Lisa Tran is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. She received her B.A. from New York University, with a double major in physics and philosophy, where she worked with David Pine. She then obtained her Ph.D. in physics from University of Pennsylvania, where she worked with Randall Kamien and Kathleen Stebe. She studies phenomena observed in soft materials. During her doctoral studies, she investigated topological defects within confined liquid crystal systems, in addition to the self-assembly of nanomaterials within these systems. Her work has been recognized by her department with the 2017 Arnold M. Denenstein Prize and the 2018 Elias Burstein Prize. She is a recipient of a Dissertation Completion Award at the University of Pennsylvania and an American Association of University Women American Dissertation Fellowship. At Columbia, she continues to examine complex fluid systems but now focuses on driven self-assembly and on designing materials with potential applications in nanomedicine, energy harvesting and optical devices.