News & Announcements

The 2016 Vivian T. Stannett Fellow was announced during the Schoenboren Symposium at NCSU. Research Trianle MRSEC student, Yiliang Lin, co-advised by Dr. Jan Genzer and Dr. Michael Dickey, was selected as the 2016 Vivian T. Stannett Fellow. The Vivian T. Stannett graduate award recognizes research excellence, initiative, focus and tenacity during the early career of Ph.D. candidates in the Department. The Award is named in memory of Professor Vivian T.

We are excited to announce that the Research Triangle MRSEC has won the Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education!

RT- MRSEC Investigator Bob Behringer's work was recently featured in an article in The News & Observer.

Titled "Duke physicist bullies beads to study avalanches", its a great feature of Bob's group and their work on granular materials and their response to stress forces!

Congratulations Behringer Lab!

Check out the article here:

Researchers have created a computer program that will open a challenging field in synthetic biology to the entire world.

Computational Results for the Optimization of a Variety of Repetitive Proteins

In the past decade, billions of dollars have been spent on technology that can quickly and inexpensively read and write DNA to synthesize and manipulate polypeptides and proteins.

The Triangle Soft Matter Discussion Group (TSMDG) continues this year with our next meeting on January 27, 2016. The dinner discussion will feature Professor Jeremiah Johnson from the Chemistry Department at MIT ( and (our own! J) Professor Michael Rubinstein from the Chemistry Department at UNC Chapel Hill ( The event will be held again at Mediterranean Deli, 410 W Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, on January 27, 2016 starting at 6:00 PM.

Research Triangle MRSEC faculty member, Orlin Velev (NCSU), presented a talk on Hydrogel-Based Bimimetic Devices and Soft Robotic Components Operating on Ionic and Microfluidic Principles at the Fall 2015 MRSEC Meeting in Boston, MA. This talk was also highlighted on the MRS Website

Soft robots can bend, walk and grip, but unlike their rigid counterparts, they can deform and bounce back into shape. In their recent publication in the journal ACS: Applied Materials & Interfaces, graduate student Gregory Gossweiler and MRSEC investigator Stephen Craig report a new way to make an elastic material for soft robots that changes color when it stretches.

Newly discovered genetic sequences will allow unprecedented control over assembly of protein structures. In their recent publication in Nature Materials, Research Triangle MRSEC professor Ashutosh Chilkoti and graduate fellow Felipe Garcia Quiroz created test motifs to identify the amino acid sequences that determine phase behavior in proteins. They demonstrate that proteins can be designed to exhibit tunable phase transitions, allowing significant control over assembly and disassembly processes.

Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) and Duke University held a Joint Workshop in Neutron Science & Scattering on Friday, September 18, 2015 on Duke's main campus. George Truskey, Interim Dean of Engineering (Duke), and Alan Tennant, Chief Scientist, NScD (ORNL) welcomed approximately 55 faculty, students and staff from ORNL and the Triangle Universities. Larry Carin, Vice Provost for Research (Duke), also provided a lunchtime message. Discussions were valuable and will certainly foster new user proposals and collaborations between institutions. 

Congratulations to MRSEC faculty, Orlin Velev and Michael Rubenstein, as well as Post-Doc, Bhuvnesh Bharti, for having their publication highlighed on the homepage! READ MORE