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Morris Research Group

Morris Research Group

Assistant Professor
Phone: 545-8869

Meet the Morris Group!

Degree Information:

B.S. Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2013
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 2019

Mailing Address:

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room: A417, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Research Interests

Proteins as polymers, sustainable polymers, sequence-defined polymers, polymer biodegradation, high-throughput and automated system development, polymer physics, self-assembled systems, polymer chemistry and biosynthesis, biomaterials, block copolymers.

Current Research

The Morris group will engineer sustainable macromolecular materials to enable next-generation biomaterials, nanoreactors, and membranes, via automated and high-throughput tool development combined with multiscale physical characterization.  The longevity and stability of most synthetic polymers has proven to be a major bottleneck in creating a sustainable materials world. The incredible range of properties and functions that have caused widespread adoption of polymers into the built world also cause tremendous difficulty in synthesizing, processing, and managing the end life of these materials. Via the Materials Genome Project, there has been a push toward the establishment of materials optimization cycles in polymer-based materials to optimize multiple properties at once, but translating these design-build-test-learn cycles to protein and cell-containing materials is nontrivial because of bottlenecks in cloning, protein expression, and property testing. In my lab, we will develop low-cost, automated strategies to identify heterologous hybrid protein and cell-containing materials to improve the sustainability, assembly, and physical properties of the resultant materials.

As the newest lab in PSE, students will have the opportunity to help to directly shape our research program’s directions and projects, enabling immense growth opportunities.  We are looking for individuals who are excited to approach macromolecular engineering with an openness to learning new areas of physics, chemistry, biology, and/or automation.  Please reach out to Melody to discuss your specific interests.