News and Announcements


Check out the NSF announcement about the Brandeis and Hampton PREM partnership.

Congratulations to Charlotte Kelley and Abebu Kassie, the elected 2015-2016 Biology and Chemistry representatives of the MRSEC Student Committee!

2015-2016 MRSEC Student Committee 
1. Charlotte Kelley (Rodal Lab)
2. Abebu Kassie (Wade Lab)
3. Joia Miller (Dogic Lab)
4. Gabe Redner (Hagan Lab) 
5. Lishibanaya Mohapatra (Kondev Lab) 


Read about SciFest 2015 on BrandeisNOW.
Check out the Brandeis Blog feature on the MRSEC Science Policy event.


The MRSEC Student Committee and Education Director recently organized a full-day career symposium for students engaged in summer undergraduate research.


Prof. Jané Kondev is awarded Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer '69 Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring.


Check out this new story on the Brandeis Blog featuring MRSEC scientist Bulbul Chakraborty Lab research


Congratulations to the 2015 MRSEC REU class

Tarik Phillips from the University of Florida will join the Dogic Lab
Molly Srour from Saint Olaf College will join the Goode Lab
Chunlong Huang from Bunker Hill Community College will join the Dogic Lab
Ariel Morley from Bay Path University will join the Rodal Lab
Anna Kolstad from Princeton University will join the Fraden Lab
Andrea Demos from Saint Michael's College will join the Haber Lab
Devon Powell from the New College of Florida will join the Xu Lab 
Rebecca Sternberg from Brandeis University will join the Wade Lab


Congratulations to the 2015 SURF class:

Xiaotong Geng from the Fraden Lab
Leonard Grazian from the Hagan Lab
Richard Haburcak from the Xu Lab
Julia Schiantarelli from the Goode Lab
Ruoxi (Wendy) Wang from the Haber Lab


Check out this new story on the Brandeis Blog featuring MRSEC scientist Zvonimir Dogic's research!


Congratulations to the Brandeis University MRSEC! It was one of twelve Centers to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation funding. Click here  and here to read more.

Feb 23, 2015

2015 Summer Courses

The annual one-week course offered during the summer of 2015 is “Introduction to Microfluidics Technology” (June 22 ‐ 26). It will be held at Brandeis University and sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Bioinspired Soft Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Brandeis. It is intended for graduate students, post docs, faculty and industrial scientists and engineers interested in utilizing microfluidic technology in their work, in both physical sciences and life sciences, and does not assume any specific prerequisites.




Feb 6, 2015

The Division of Science wishes to announce that, in 2015, we will offer five MRSEC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for Brandeis students doing undergraduate research, sponsored by the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

The due date for applications  is February 24, 2015, at 6:00 PM EST.

MRSEC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships will provide $5000 in stipend support to allow students to do summer research in MRSEC labs (housing support is not included). Students who will be rising Brandeis sophomores, juniors, or seniors in Summer 2015 (classes of ’16, ’17, and ’18). No prior lab experience is required. A commitment from a Brandeis MRSEC member to serve as your mentor in Summer 2015 is required.

The Division of Science Summer Program will run from May 26 – July 31, 2015. Recipients are expected to be available to do full time laboratory research during that period, and must commit to presenting a poster at the final poster session on July 30, 2015. Five positions are available.

The application form is online (Brandeis login required). Questions that are not answered in the online FAQ may be addressed to Steven Karel <divsci at>.


Feb 2, 2015

Anique Olivier-Mason hired as the new Director of Education, Outreach and Diversity.


MRSEC Retreat, November 21, 2014

On Friday, November 21, 2014, the MRSEC will hold an on-campus retreat. The research goal of the MRSEC is to learn how materials are incorporated in biological systems and likewise how biological structures act as materials with highly desirable properties that can be exploited in engineering. The first part of the retreat will be a joint event with the Biochem/Biophys Friday seminar that takes place at 11:15am – 12:15pm. A lunch will be provided and in the afternoon there will be 3 talks by MRSEC students and postdocs. Wrapping up the day is a BREW session / social hour.

MRSEC Retreat Schedule
Friday, November 21, 2014

11:15-12:15 pm Gerstenzang 121 (Talks: Avi Rodal & Zvonimir Dogic) "Membrane Based Materials"

12:30-1:30 pm Shapiro Campus Center 236, 2nd Floor (Lunch)

1:30-2:30 pm Shapiro Campus Center Theater, 1st Floor (Talks: Fiodar Hilitski, Adam Johnston, Ye Zhang)

2:30-4:30 pm Shapiro Campus Center Art Gallery 317, 3rd Floor (BREW: Denise LeBlanc, Steve DeCamp)

BREW: Brainstorming Research Education Workshop. We will identify the most exciting research conducted by the MRSEC and design a hands-on activity to be presented at the Acton Discovery Museum that is suitable for 4 - 8 year old children and their parents.


MRSEC Education Director Job 

Click here to find the job description for Education Director. Position starts November 1, 2014.


Friday September 19, 2014 at 9:30 am
Carl J. Shapiro Theater, Shapiro Campus Center
60th New England Complex Fluids Workshop
Complex Fluids Workshop
Invited Speakers: Eric Brown (Yale), Jorn Dunkel (MIT), Alexandra Zidovska (NYU);Erkan Tuzel (WPI)
Intended for Soft Matter academic and industrial scientists in New England to share research results, network and promote collaborations.
Registration required. Deadline: Wednesday, September 17
Hosted by Seth Fraden


Prof. Fraden and Prof. Epstein spoke in March on Radio Boston about Alan Turing's Morphogenesis Theory. They confirmed that Turing's mathematical model of cell differentiation works. Read more at


Prof. Schmidt-Rohr joined the Chemistry department in July. He is a highly regarded spectroscopist, with a background in both physics and chemistry. Read more at


Overview of the Bioinspired Soft Materials Center

The Brandeis MRSEC seeks to create new materials that are constructed from only a few simplified components, yet capture the remarkable functionalities found in living organisms. In addition to opening new directions in materials  science  research,  these  efforts  will elucidate the minimal requirements for the emergence of biological function. This challenging endeavor draws upon our expertise in diverse and complementary experimental and theoretical techniques that span the physical and life sciences. Brandeis offers an ideal environment for such an interdisciplinary undertaking. Its small size engenders a highly collaborative environment. Its innovative graduate program trains students who work and thrive at the interface of physical and life sciences. Its life science faculty have pioneered biochemical studies of molecular motors and cytoskeletal machinery, its chemists have synthesized biocompatible self-assembling filaments, and its physicists have made important contributions toward understanding soft materials such as liquid  crystals,  gels  and  colloids. Researchers in the BioInspired Soft Materials Center combine elemental building blocks, such as motor proteins, DNA origami and filamentous virus, to understand the emergence of biomimetic functionalities that are highly sought-after in materials science and to synergistically engineer life-like materials.

The goal of IRG1 (Membrane based Materials) is to uncover the  design principles that cells  use  to  shape and reconfigure membranes,  and  to apply  these principles in order to engineer heterogeneous and reconfigurable membrane materials. To accomplish this we will exploit the analogy  between  nanometer-sized  lipid  bilayers  and micron-sized  colloidal monolayers assembled from filamentous viruses or DNA origami rods.

The goal of IRG2 (Biological Active Materials) is to create active analogs of quintessential soft matter systems including gels, liquids crystals, emulsions and vesicles using elemental force generators, such as motor proteins and monomer treadmilling. We will experimentally and theoretically characterize the emergent properties of such materials, including their ability to convert chemical energy into mechanical work, perform locomotion, and undergo dynamical reconfiguration. 



nsf logo
A National Science Foundation sponsored Material Research Science and Engineering Center.