News and Announcements

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


US-India Advanced Studies Institute on Thermalization: From Glasses to Black Holes put together intensive series of pedagogical lectures. Read more at


Friday, November 22, 2013


On Friday, November 22, 2013, 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 poster session/social hour.

Please RSVP if attending to and include the following: 


MRSEC Retreat Schedule

11:15am - 12:15pm,  Abelson 131 - Welcome from Dean Birren and Seth Fraden; Jane Kondev, "Materials science that we can learn from yeast"

12:15pm - 1:00pm, Pizza Lunch, Shapiro Science Center Lobby

1:15pm - 2:45pm, Abelson 131 - MRSEC talks: Steve DeCamp, Gabe Redner, Charlotte Kelley

2:45pm - 3:00pm, Poster set-up, Shapiro Science Center Lobby

3:00pm - 5:00pm, Poster Session, Shapiro Science Center Lobby, Beer Hour


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Microfluidics Mini-Symposium over Dinner (Chinese) served at 6:15pm. 

Harvard University Geological Lecture Hall, 10024 Oxford Street, Cambridge 

Register (free)

6:30pm: “Paper-Based Microfluidics”
Dr. Ramses Martinez, Harvard University
7:15pm: “Microfabrication and Microfluidics Technologies for Tissue Engineering”
Dr. Mehmet Dokmeci, Harvard Medical School
8:00pm: “Droplet Microfluidics Technology Enabling Single-Molecule Interrogation for Cancer Research”
Dr. Brian Hutchinson, RainDance Technologies
8:45pm: “Less is Better than More in Microfluidics”
Prof. Seth Fraden, Brandeis University


Prof. Dogic's Lab won the Andor Insight Award for their video of Oscillating Microtubule Bundles. See the Brandeis Science Blog page for their winning video, the competition homepage and the Dogic Lab YouTube page.


Asst. Prof. Thomas was the recipient of the 2013 Brandeis Strage Award in March. Thomas’ group attended the AAAS Family Science Days in February 2013 and presented some activities related to acid/base chemistry and thin films. Her undergraduate John Shen '13 who was working on a MRSEC-funded project completed a senior honors thesis on the project, and was awarded high honors in the chemistry department for his work. 


Prof. Haber has attended and spoken at several meetings in the past year: Keystone Replication and Recombination (March 2013); BMC Epigenetics conference (Boston, March 2013); FASEB Summer Conference on Yeast Chromosomes (July 2012); EMBO Workshop on Recombination (May 2012); Gordon Research Conference on Chromatin (May 2012).

Haber organized the Brandeis Café Science that presents Brandeis scientists including MRSEC scientists to the community, once a month, meeting at a local restaurant (Elephant Walk). He also spoke to parents of Brandeis students at Fall Fest 2012.

Baris Avsaroglu, Prof. Haber’s Lab, attended the ASCB 2012 annual meeting last December. You can find his abstract here.


An Active Matter Workshop was held on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013.
It was held in Shapiro Science Center from 9:00am - 7:30pm.
Prof. A. Samadani  hosted the workshop.


Ye Zhang, yzangpostdoctoral fellow from Prof. Bing Xu's research group at Brandeis wins Materials Research Society Poster Award on Nov. 29, 2012. See more......


Collaboration between Brandeis MRSEC and Robot Research Initiative (RRI) announced Aug. 10, 2012.collab
See article on the Science Blog  or view here via pdf


2008: The Brandeis Materials Research Laboratory was established by the award of a highly competitive $7.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to the University. Learn more.


Upcoming Seminar(s)
click here

Upcoming Workshop(s)
click here

Upcoming Events

 See Calendar 


Announcement date: Nov. 15, 2011
Summer Courses 2012 announced
Summer School
(Dogic Lab photo)
Application deadline: March 30, 2012

These professional development
courses are sponsored by the Brandeis
MRSEC program. They do not count
towards university credit in any way.


July 13, 2011
All day workshop took place July 13, 2011

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Advances in materials science and biology have become increasingly intertwined, with progress in one field influencing the other. The central theme of the Brandeis Materials Research Laboratory is the development of this relationship between biology and materials science using two complementary approaches.

In a “bottom-up” approach, we build on our expertise in the understanding of relatively simple material and chemical systems (liquid crystals, colloids, polymers, oscillating chemical reactions). We are exploring how the addition of constraints typically found in biology – confinement, crowding and local forces that compete with and sometimes frustrate long range order – leads to emergent properties, in the realms of structure and dynamics.

In a complementary “top-down” approach, we are studying functional cellular components, which are complex combinations of materials with specific constraints. We make qualitative and quantitative analyses of their structure and properties, and then deconstruct these “devices” by modifying or removing constraints, to understand just how the combination of materials and constraints leads to biological function.




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