Hello, there!

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Deputy Director of the Galactic Center Group at UCLA. My research interest is in understanding the physics and astrophysics of supermassive black holes, and fundamental physics with astrophysical probes. I also study machine learning applications in cosmology as part of the UCLA Astrophysics Data Lab.


Tuan Do
430 Portola Plaza, Box 951547
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1547

Email : tdo [at] astro.ucla.edu
Email : tuando [at] g.ucla.edu
Office Phone: 310-206-0208

Twitter: @quantumpenguin

Research Interests

My research interest is in understanding the formation of the nuclei of galaxies and fundamental physics with astrophysical probes. I'm currently studying the composition and star formation history of the Milky Way nuclear star cluster and how these stars interact with the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center. I also use the orbits of these stars to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity around our supermassive black hole. I'm also interested in the dynamics of nearby Milky Way dwarf galaxies and how we can use them to study cosmology. I am primarily an observer, using both space-based telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and adaptive optics on ground-based telescopes like the Keck Telescopes and Gemini to obtain precise photometry and kinematics. I have also been working on a data simulator and science cases for the Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) for the future Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). I also lead the UCLA Astrophysics Data Lab studying machine learning in astrophysics.

For more information about my research:

Galactic Center » Nearby Galaxies » TMT » Machine Learning »


Fall 2023 - Astro 180 - Observational Astrophysics Lab

Winter 2024 - Physics C170M/C270M - Machine Learning for Physical Sciences Lab

Spring 2024 - Astro 180 - Observational Astrophysics Lab

Short Bio

I got my undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astrophysics at UC Berkeley in 2004 and my PhD at UCLA in 2010. I was a TMT postdoctoral fellow at UC Irvine until 2012, when I joined the Dunlap Institute as a Dunlap Fellow until 2014. I returned to UCLA in 2015 as a research scientist and joined the Physics and Astronomy Department faculty in 2020.

For more information, please see my CV.

CV / Publications

View CV » Publications List » Download Thesis »

Advising and Mentoring


  • Matt Hosek
  • Devin Chu

    Graduate Students
  • Evan Jones
  • Rory Bentley
  • Rebecca Lewis-Merrill
  • Inbal Mizarhi
  • Hadrien Paugnat
  • Jonathan Soriano

    Undergraduate Students
  • Christy (Chris) Ma
  • Hang Min
  • Kevin Alfaro
  • William Chang
  • Yunqi (Billy) Li

    Previous Group Members
  • Bernie Boscoe - postdoc
  • Zhuo Chen - graduate student
  • Kelly Kosmo O'Neil - graduate student
  • Grant Weldon - graduate student
  • Devin Chu - graduate student
  • Abhimat Gautam - graduate student
  • Nissia Indradjaja - undergraduate student
  • Yujie Wan - undergraduate student
  • Zooey Nguyen - undergraduate student
  • Ethan Cochran - undergraduate student
  • Shizhe (Alex) Chen - undergraduate student
  • Joseph Marcinik - undergraduate student
  • Daniel Katz - undergraduate student
  • Ryan Boyden - undergraduate student
  • Nathan Winsor - undergraduate student
  • Morten Stostad - undergraduate student
  • Interested in Research?

    UCLA Graduate students - please contact Prof. Do for details.

    UCLA Undergraduates - our lab takes on new research students through the Physics and Astronomy Department Summer Undergraduate Research Program or the UC Leads program. Applications for these programs are due in Winter or Spring each year.

    Students not from UCLA - unfortuntately, I do not have the capacity to mentor students not from UCLA.