Megan T. Valentine received her B.S from Lehigh University ('97), M.S. from UPenn ('99) and Ph.D. from Harvard ('03), all in Physics. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford in the Department of Biological Sciences, where she was the recipient of a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface. In 2008, she joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she now serves as the Co-Director of the California NanoSystems Institute, and a co-leader of an IRG on Resilient Multiphase Soft Materials within the UC Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory, an NSF MRSEC. In 2013, she was awarded an NSF CAREER Award for her work on neuron mechanics, and in 2015 was awarded a Fulbright to study adhesion mechanics in Paris, France. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Megan's interdisciplinary research group investigates many aspects of biological and bioinspired materials, with an emphasis on understanding how forces are generated and transmitted in living materials, how these forces control cellular outcomes, and how the extraordinary features of living systems can be captured in manmade materials. This highly interdisciplinary experimental work lies at the intersection of engineering, physics, biology and chemistry, and advances diverse application areas, ranging from marine-inspired materials to mechanobiology to soft robotics.