Taviare Hawkins profile photo

Taviare Hawkins

Specialty area(s)

Computational Methods and Experimental Biophysics

Brief biography

I am a native of Chicago and I spent the first half of my life in the Midwest. I attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, where I received my BS in Physics and a minor in African American Studies. I left the world of academia for 3 year, moved out east to the island of Manhattan. Where I became a Real Estate Asset Manager for the Resolution Trust Corporation. (It really is true that with a physics degree, you can do just about anything!). I then entered graduate school at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. There I completed two MS degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Physics, as well as, a PhD in Physics. My graduate work was in nonlinear systems analysis and human computer interfacing. It was also at Syracuse that I became interested in teaching. I went onto postdoc at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Dr. Jennifer Ross’ biophysics lab.

I have taught physics at Syracuse University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Mount Holyoke College, and now at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I have more than 8 years of teaching experience. I have taught introductory physics, algebra and calculus based, in the traditional lecture style, as well as, in the more interactive workshop style. I have taught housewives to physics majors, premeds and pre-pharmacy students, as well as graduate students in the Molecular and Cellular Biology department. I have also taught advanced topics like, optics, modern, and advanced laboratory experiment.

Current courses at UWL

Fall 2018

PHY 125L - Physics for the Life Sciences Laboratory
PHY 103L - General Physics Laboratory
PHY 203 - General Physics I
PHY 498 - Physics and Astronomy Research: Experimental Biophysics


Biophysics, University of Massachusetts -Amherst, Amherst Massachusetts (Postdoc)
Physics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (MS & PhD)
Computer Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York ( MS )
Physics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa ( BS )

Teaching history

PHY 103 Laboratory - Fundamental Physics I (Algebra-based)
PHY 125 - Physics for the Life Sciences (Algebra-based Lecture and Laboratory)
PHY 203 - General Physics I (Calculus-based Active Learning)
PHY 204 - General Physics II (Calculus-based Active Learning)
PHY 311 - Experimental Physics Laboratory (Writing Emphasis Intermediate Laboratory)
PHY 314 - Introduction to Biophysics: Biomechanics and Special Topics in Biophysics
PHY 453 - Introduction to Biophysics: Physical Studies of Cellular Processes
PHY 453 - Introduction to Scientific Writing in Experimental Biophysics
PHY 491 - Physics Capstone
PHY 498 - Physics and Astronomy Research
CHM 499 - Chemistry Research

Professional history

2016 – Present  Associate Professor of Physics (tenured 2018)
Department of Physics University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
2012 – 2016  Assistant Professor of Physics
Department of Physics University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
2009 – 2012  Postdoctoral Research Associate
Physics Department, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA
2008 – 2010   Mount Holyoke Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Research and publishing

My research involves working on problems that lie at the intersections of physics, mathematics, engineering, biology and chemistry. I am a biophysicist that uses the quantitative skills and methods I learned in physics to gain a better understand how living cells do what they do. Since this problem is very complicated and quite broad, I have focused my attention on the cytoskeletal filaments called microtubules. Understanding the mechanics and dynamics properties of microtubules in addition to how microtubule associated proteins work to fine tune these properties within cells, is the area where my research interests lie.

(selected publications:  italics denotes published with UWL student)

D.R. Mitchell, T.L. Hawkins, and K.W. Foster, "Chapter 23: Microtubule based motility" in Cell Physiology Source Book (Graduate Level Text)(5th ed.). Elsevier. (under review 2018)

B.J. Harris, J. L. Ross, and T.L. Hawkins, "Microtubule seams are not mechanically weak defects," Physical Review E, 97, 062408 (2018). doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.97.062408

N. Isozaki, H. Shintaku, H. Kotera, T.L. Hawkins, J.L. Ross, and R. Yokokawa, "Control of molecular shuttles by designing electrical and mechanical properties of microtubules,Science Robotics (2017). doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/107458

N. Isozaki, H. Shintaku, H. Kotera, T.L. Hawkins, J.L. Ross, and R. Yokokawa, "Sorting of molecular shuttles by designing electical and mechanical properties ofmicrotubules," BioRxiv (2017) doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/107458

M. Bailey, L. Conway, M.W. Gramlich, T.L. Hawkins, J.L. Ross, “Modern Methods to Interrogate Microtubule Dynamics,” Integrative Biology, 5, 1324-1333 (2013). web Bailey-IBio-2013.pdf Chosen as an iBiology HOT Article! doi: 10.1039/C3IB40124C
T.L. Hawkins, D. Sept, B. Moogessie, A. Straube, J.L. Ross, “Mechanics of Doubly Stabilized Microtubules,” Biophysical Journal, 104, 1517-1528 (2013). web Hawkins-BPJ-2013.pdf (Cover Art) *Chosen for Biophysical Journal Collection on Molecular Motors and the Cytoskeleton! doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.02.026)

T.L. Hawkins, M. Mirigian, J. Li, M.S. Yasar, D.L. Sackett, D. Sept, J.L. Ross, “Perturbations in Microtubule Mechanics from Tubulin Preparation,” Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 5, 227-238 (2012). web Hawkins-CAMB-2012.pdf

T. Hawkins, M. Mirigian, M. Selcuk Yasar, J.L. Ross, “Mechanics of Microtubules,” Journal of Biomechanics, 43, 23-30 (2010) web Hawkins-JBiomech-2010.pdf doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.09.005