Merkel selected as finalist for GSNP speaker award

Congratulations to postdoctoral associate Matthias Merkel, who was selected as a finalist for the APS Group for Nonlinear and Statistical Physics (GSNP) postdoctoral speaker award.  He is one of five finalists who will be giving a talk in the special award session at the APS March meeting in New Orleans.

Manning group welcomes Daniel Sussman

Dr. Daniel Sussman, an expert on polymers, kiragami, and other aspects of soft matter physics has arrived at Syracuse University as a joint postdoc between the Marchetti, Schwarz, and Manning groups. He will be studying the mechanical properties of biological tissues, among other things. Welcome Daniel!

Manning group featured in Quanta article on physics of cancer

“We made what I would consider a ridiculously strict prediction: When that number is equal to 3.81 or below, the tissue is a solid, and when that number is above 3.81, that tissue is a fluid,” Manning said. “I asked Jeff Fredberg to go look at this, and he did, and it worked perfectly.”

Fredberg saw that lung cells with a shape index above 3.81 started to mobilize and squeeze past each other. Manning’s prediction “came out of pure theory, pure thought,” he said. “It’s really an astounding validation of a physical theory.”

Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

Manning named a Simons Investigator in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems

Manning is one of 4 scientists from the US, Canada, and the UK selected as a 2016 Simons Investigator in MMLS. “The intent of the Investigator in MMLS program is to help launch the research careers of outstanding junior scientists. Nominees to the program will normally be in the first few years of their first faculty appointment. Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of nominees’ potential for scientific accomplishment. A Simons Investigator in MMLS is appointed for a period of five years. An Investigator in MMLS will receive research support of $100,000 per year.”

The citation reads, “Lisa Manning started her research career in the physics of glasses, i.e., how a disordered group of molecules or particles freezes into a rigid solid at a well-defined temperature. She then turned her attention to morphogenesis, the process by which embryos transform from a spherical egg to a shape we recognize as an insect, plant or mammal, showing that aspects of this process could be modeled by surface tension in analogy with the description of immiscible liquids. Her most recent work uses ideas from the physics of glasses to describe the mobility of cells organized in sheets and applies to a broad class of biological tissues, including embryos and cells from asthma patients.”

Simons Investigators Awardees


Simons Foundation awards $10M grant to “Cracking the Glass” collaboration

The Manning group is a member of the “Cracking the Glass” collaboration that just received a grant from the Simons Foundation Mathematics and the Physical Sciences (MPS) division to study the glassy state of matter.

The collaboration website is here:

A news story about the collaboration: