Research Partners

Anna Balazs, Principal Investigator

Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the John A. Swanson Professor of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

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Anna C. Balazs is the John A. Swanson Chair of Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of engineering, and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry. She has also held visiting professor appointments at the Scripps Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin, and Oxford University. Her research interests focus on the statistical, mechanical, and computer modeling of complex chemical systems and developing theories for the properties of polymer blends and the behavior of polymers at surfaces and interfaces. Dr. Balazs is a member of the Advisory Board of the Materials Council for Materials Sciences and Engineering Division of the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Langmuir, Soft Matter, and Polymer Reviews. She received her MS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her postdoctoral research was completed at Brandeis University, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2010 Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2013 Mines Medal, South Dakota School of Mines
  • 2014 ACS Langmuir Lecture Award
  • 2014 Fellow, Materials Research Society
  • 2014 Greater Pittsburgh Women Chemists Committee Award for Excellence in the Chemical Sciences
  • 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry S F Boys-A Rahman Award
  • 2016 American Physical Society Polymer Physics Prize 

Todd Emrick, Co-investigator

Professor of Polymer Science & Engineering and Director of the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) on Polymers, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

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Todd Emrick is a Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is an Adjunct faculty member of Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His research focuses on new methodology in polymer synthesis and the preparation of novel polymers for aqueous polymer assembly, encapsulation and delivery, and nano/mesocale assembly processes. Dr. Emrick received his PhD from the University of Chicago (Chemistry Department) in the area of physical organic chemistry, then performed postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley in organic/polymer synthesis. He started his independent career at UMass Amherst in 2001 and from 2009-2017 directed the NSF-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) on Polymers at UMass Amherst.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2003 National Science Foundation CAREER award
  • 2005  Juniata College Young Alumni Achievement Award
  • 2006 Doolittle Award - ACS PMSE Division
  • 2013 Landmark Award for Technology Transfer at UMass Amherst
  • 2014  Selected as Fellow of the American Chemical Society
  • 2015 Recipient of the Carl S. Marvel Award for Creative Polymer Chemistry (ACS-POLY)
  • 2016  Outstanding Researcher Award, University of Massachusetts

Ayusman Sen, Co-investigator

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University

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Ayusman Sen is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago where he was first introduced to catalysis. Following a year of postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Chemistry Department of the Pennsylvania State University and served as the Head of the Chemistry Department from 2004 to 2009. Prof. Sen is also Adjunct Professor at the International Centre for Materials Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India. He was the Iberdrola Visiting Professor at the University of Valladolid, Spain, the Coochbehar Professor at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, India, and Distinguished Scientist, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan. Prof. Sen has served on the scientific advisory boards of the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany. His research interests encompass catalysis, polymer science, and nanotechnology.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 1967 - 74  National Science Talent Search Scholarship, Government of India
  • 1982 - 84  Young Investigator Award, Chevron Research Company
  • 1984 - 88  Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
  • 2003 Faculty Scholar Medal, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2005 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2011 Medal, Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI)
  • 2015 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2019 Langmuir Lectureship

Howard A. Stone, Co-investigator

Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University

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Howard A. Stone is the Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, and hold Associated Faculty appointments in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology, and Applied and Computational Mathematics. His research focuses on fluid dynamics and soft condensed matter systems, and, in particular, frequently highlights physicochemical hydrodynamics and microfluidics.  Dr. Stone received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis, his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Caltech, and then performed postdoctoral research at Cambridge University in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Dr. Stone was a Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University from 1989-2009 prior to relocating to Princeton. Currently he is on the editorial or advisory boards of Physical Review Fluids, Langmuir, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and is a Book Series Editor for the Soft Matter series published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 1989 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award
  • 2000-2005 Harvard College Professor (for undergraduate education)
  • 2008 G.K. Batchelor Prize in Fluid Mechanics (1st award; given every four years)
  • 2009 National Academy of Engineering
  • 2011 Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2014  National Academy of Sciences
  • 2016 Fluid Dynamics Prize, American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics
  • 2017 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Princeton University

Supported Researchers and Involved Participants

Emrick Group: Cristiam Santa Chalarca, UMass Polymer Science and Engineering