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)
- 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.
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. Shengfeng Cheng, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science
Center Steering Committee:
- Dr. Justin Barone, Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Science and College of Engineering
- Dr. Jonathan Boreyko, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
- Dr. Daniel Capelluto, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science
- Dr. Uwe C. Tauber, Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science