Mission Statement of the Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics

The mission of the Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics is to advance the rapidly growing research areas of soft matter and biological physics, in alignment with the long-range plans of the Department of Physics, the College of Science, and Virginia Tech. Special attention will be extended to how these developments can address many of the most significant problems currently facing society, including effective drug design and delivery, next generation materials, programmable biology, and models for human disease.

Center members will enjoy the benefits of a formal unifying organizational structure that will focus their research projects, and both nucleate new and strengthen already existing cooperative interdisciplinary efforts in soft matter and biological physics across campus. The Center structure will enhance its members’ opportunities to attract external research funding, and to propose large collaborative center grants. In addition, the Center will considerably increase its members’ visibility both within Virginia Tech and externally, and facilitate the establishment of a vibrant Center scientific seminar series.

The objectives of the Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics are to

-       serve as a formal unifying and trans-disciplinary organizational structure that supports
      the science program in soft matter and biological physics at Virginia Tech;
-       increase the number of joint external grants from member investigators of the Center;
-     develop collaborative Center proposals that focus on research and education in the
      areas of soft matter and biological physics and seek expanded external funding from
      government and foundational sources;
-     establish a vibrant scientific seminar series on soft matter and biological physics, and
      support the weekly Physics Department Condensed Matter Seminar with (mostly)
      external speakers;
-     establish an annual symposium and/or summer school within the Center to promote
      both research and education in the areas of soft matter and biological physics;
-     participate in the organization of local, national, and international conferences and
      workshops that include the Virginia Soft Matter Workshop series (an annual workshop
      that rotates among major Virginia institutions); and to attract national and international 
      conferences to Virginia Tech;
-    develop an educational module in collaboration with other Virginia Tech Institutes such
      as the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute (MII) to provide instruction and
      training to Virginia Tech students who are interested in or need an exposure to soft
      matter and biological physics.

Organization

The Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics is a department center administered by the Department of Physics in the College of Science.

Department Chair and Center Administrator:     

Dr. Mark Pitt, Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science

Center Director and Contact Person:                  

Dr. Uwe C. Tӓuber, Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science

Center Steering Committee:      

-   Dr. Daniel Capelluto, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science

-   Dr. Shengfeng Cheng, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science

-   Dr. William Ducker, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

-   Dr. Vinh Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science