Steve Presse

Associate Professor
TEMPE Campus


Steve Presse was born in Montreal and went to McGill University as an undergrad where he studied chemistry. He later pursued his doctorate in chemical physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the direction of Professor Robert J. Silbey. As a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Ken A. Dill's lab, his research focus shifted to biophysics and dynamical processes in particular. His lab now uses both theory and experiments to address fundamental questions relevant to molecular science. 

On the theory side, his group develops, adapts and uses the tools of inference, statistical physics and stochastic processes, broadly defined, to understand living systems from single molecules to whole cells. A special emphasis is placed on interpreting spectroscopy and imaging data. On the experimental side, Presse's group investigates the role of hydrodynamics on bacterial interactions.

The Presse lab is seeking motivated postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students for theoretical or experimental work. If interested, please see the recruiting tab at and contact


Ph.D. Chemical Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2008


  • C. Weistuch, S. Press´e*, “Spatiotemporal organization of catalysts driven by enhanced diffusion” J. Phys. Chem. B, accepted (2017)
  • H. Jashnsaz, G. Anderson, S. Press´e*, “Statistical signatures of a targeted search by bacteria” Phys. Bio., in press (2017)
  • I. Sgouralis, S. Press´e*, “ICON: an adaptation of infinite HMMs for time traces with drift”, Biophys. J., 112, 2117 (2017)
  • I. Sgouralis, S. Press´e*, “An introduction to infinite HMMs for single molecule data analysis”, Biophys. J., 112, 2021 (2017
  • ) M. Tavakoli, J.N. Taylor, C.-B. Li, T. Komatsuzaki, S. Press´e*, “Single molecule data analysis: An introduction”, Adv. Chem. Phys., accepted (2017)
  • H. Jashnsaz, M. Al Jaboori, C. Weistuch, N. Miller, T. Nguyen, V. Meyerhoff, B. McCoy, S. Perkins, R. Wallgren, B. Ray, K. Tsekouras, G. Anderson*, S. Press´e*, “Hydrodynamic Hunters”, Biophys. J., 112, 1282 (2017).  Featured on: Biophys. J. Research Highlight, EurakeAlert!,,,,,,, SciShow (260k+ views) and 37+ additional sites.
  • A. Lee, K. Tsekouras, C. Calderon, C. Bustamante, S. Press´e*, “Unraveling the thousand word picture: An Introduction to super-resolution data analysis”, Chem. Rev., DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00729 (2017)
  • K. Tsekouras, T.C. Custer, N.G. Walter, S. Press´e*, “A novel method to accurately locate and count large numbers of steps by photobleaching”, MBoC, 2, 3601 (2016)
  • G. Rollins, J.Y. Shin, C. Bustamante, S. Press´e*, “A stochastic approach to the molecular counting problem in super-resolution microscopy”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sc. (Direct Submission), 112, E110 (2015). Featured on: EurakeAlert!, PNAS Research Highlight, IUPUI SoS Website. 
  • C. Riedel, R. Gabizon, C.A.M. Wilson, K. Hamadani, K. Tsekouras, S. Marqusee, S. Press´e*, C. Bustamante*, “The heat released during catalytic turnover enhances the enzymes diffusion”, Nature, 517, 227 (2015). Featured on: Nature News and Views, C&EN Highlights,, IUPUI SoS Website.
  • H. Jashnsaz, T. Nguyen, H. Petrache, S. Press´e*, “Inferring models of bacterial dynamics toward point sources”, PLoS ONE, 10, e0140428 (2015)
  • S. Press´e*, “A data-driven alternative to the fractional Fokker-Planck equation”, J. Stat. Mech.: Th. and Expmt., P07009 (2015)
  • K. Tsekouras, A. Siegel, R. Day, S. Press´e*, “Inferring diffusion dynamics from FCS in heterogeneous nuclear environments”, Biophys. J., 109, 7 (2015)
  • S. Press´e*, K. Ghosh, J. Lee, K. Dill, “Reply to C. Tsallis ‘Conceptual inadequacy of the Shore and Johnson axioms for wide classes of complex systems’ ”, entropy, 17, 5043 (2015)
  • S. Press´e*, “Nonadditive entropy maximization is incompatible with Bayesian updating”, Phys. Rev. E., 90, 052149 (2014)
  • S. Press´e*, J. Peterson, J. Lee, P. Elms, J.L. MacCallum, S. Marqusee, C. Bustamante, K. Dill, “Single molecule conformational memory extraction: P5ab RNA hairpin”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 118, 6597 (2014)
  • S. Press´e*, K. Ghosh, J. Lee, K. Dill, “Nonadditive entropies yield probability distributions with biases not warranted by the data”, Phys. Rev. Lett., 111, 180604 (2013). Featured on: Science Daily, IUPUI SoS Website.
  • S. Press´e*, K. Ghosh, J. Lee, K. Dill, “Principles of maximum entropy and maximum caliber in statistical physics”, Rev. Mod. Phys., 85, 1115 (2013)
  • M. Sen, R.A. Maillard, K. Nyquist, P. Rodriguez-Aliaga, S. Press´e, A. Martin*, C. Bustamante*, “The ClpXP protease functions as a motor with constant ‘rpm’ but different ‘gears’ ”, Cell, 115, 636 (2013). Featured on: IUPUI SoS Website.
  • S. Press´e*, J. Lee, K. Dill, “Extracting conformational memory from single-molecule kinetic data”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 117, 495 (2013)
  • J. Lee*, S. Press´e*, “Microcanonical origin of the maximum entropy principle for open systems”, Phys. Rev. E, 86, 041126 (2012)
  • J. Lee*, S. Press´e*, “A derivation of the master equation from path entropy maximization”, J. Chem. Phys., 137, 074103 (2012)
  • G.J. Peterson*, S. Press´e, K. Peterson, K.A. Dill, “Simulated evolution of protein-protein interaction networks with realistic topology”, PLoS ONE, 7, e39052 (2012)
  • H. Ge*, S. Press´e, K. Ghosh, K.A. Dill, “Markov processes follow from the principle of maximum caliber”, J. Chem. Phys., 136, 064108 (2012) Selected by the Editors as a Research Highlight.
  • S. Press´e*, K. Ghosh, K.A. Dill, “Modeling stochastic dynamics in biochemical systems with feedback using maximum caliber”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 115, 6202 (2011)
  • S. Press´e, K. Ghosh, R. Phillips*, K.A. Dill*, “Dynamical fluctuations in biochemical reactions and cycles”, Phys. Rev. E, 82, 031905 (2010)
  • G. J. Peterson, S. Press´e, K.A. Dill*, “Nonuniversal power law scaling in the probability distribution of scientific citations”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sc., 107, 16023 (2010)
  • S. Press´e, R.J. Silbey*, “Radiating dipoles near curved interfaces”, Phys. Rev. A, 77, 043402 (2008)
  • S. Press´e, R.J. Silbey*, “Memory effects on the convergence properties of the Jarzynski equality”, Phys. Rev. E, 74, 061105 (2006)
  • J.M. Hodgkiss, N.H. Damrauer, S. Press´e, J. Rosenthal, D.G. Nocera*, “Electron transfer driven by proton fluctuations in a hydrogen-bonded donor-acceptor assembly”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 110, 18853 (2006)
  • S. Press´e, R.J. Silbey*, “Anomalous temperature-isotope dependence in proton-coupled electron transfer”, J. Chem. Phys.,124, 164504 (2006)
  • S. Press´e, R.J. Silbey*, “Ordering of limits in the Jarzynski equality”, J. Chem. Phys., 124, 054117 (2006) 


Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
PHY 441 Statistical/Thermal Physics
PHY 495 Project Research
PHY 792 Research
Summer 2018
Course Number Course Title
PHY 792 Research
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
CHM 494 Special Topics
PHY 495 Project Research
CHM 598 Special Topics
PHY 598 Special Topics
PHY 792 Research
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
PHY 441 Statistical/Thermal Physics
PHY 495 Project Research
PHY 792 Research
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
PHY 792 Research
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
PHY 792 Research