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Credit: Gary Lin

The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science are partnering to open a new center specializing in soft and living matter research.

On Monday, Dean of SAS Steven J. Fluharty and Dean of the Engineering School Vijay Kumar announced the opening of the Center for Soft and Living Matter. The center will bring together more than 60 faculty members across more than 10 departments in SAS, the Engineering School, and the Perelman School of Medicine to conduct soft and living matter research.

Soft matter research explores where quantum mechanics are absent in many-body systems, microscopic systems made of multiple interacting particles. Living matter research focuses on the interactions between many-body systems and the biological functions of living systems. The center will conduct interdisciplinary research between the fields of soft and living matter, according to its website.

Director and Hepburn Professor of Physics Andrea J. Liu and Associate Director and physics professor Douglas J. Durian will lead the center. The center will also allow prospective graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to work with faculty.

Kumar told SAS the establishment of the center will put Penn at the forefront of soft and living matter research.

“The center will foster a strong, cohesive highly collaborative community in soft and living matter across Arts & Sciences and Engineering and will help make Penn the most exciting, visible university in the world in the field,” Kumar told SAS.

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