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:

Undergraduate Kassidy Lundy wins statewide poster competition!

Kassidy Lundy, who is an undergraduate biophysics major and Manning group researcher, won 1st place for her poster presentation titled, “Exploring Kupffer’s Vesicle Through Self Propelled Particle Simulations.” The poster competition was part of the 24th Annual CSTEP Statewide Student Conference, held on April 9th at the Sagamore Resort at Lake George, and her poster won in the engineering, material science and physical science category. There were over 500 participants and over 200 presenters at the state-wide conference. Congratulations, Kassidy!!!!

A description of the conference is here: Lundy with her poster, Exploring Kupffer's Vesicle Through Self Propelled Particle Simulations

Physics of Development and Disease

Manning is co-organizing the Aspen Center for Physics Workshop, Physics of Development and Disease, March 27-April 1 2016 in Aspen, CO.

The website for the conference is here.

Manning is giving a public lecture, and Merkel is presenting a talk entitled, “Glassy dynamics in a model for confluent three-dimensional tissues”.

Manning wins IUPAP Young Investigator Prize

It was announced this week that Lisa Manning has won the 2016 IUPAP Young Investigator Award given by the C3 (Statistical Physics) commission, along with Martin Lenz. The award is given “in recognition of her outstanding statistical physics contributions to the fields of granular materials, jamming, and biological cell dynamics.”  The award is given to one or two scientists from around the world every three years. Manning is the first American and the first woman to win the award.  More information about the award can be found here: