University of Massachusetts Amherst

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College Welcomes Shelly Peyton

The College of Engineering welcomes Dr. Shelly Peyton as a new faculty member to the Chemical Engineering Department. She comes to UMass Amherst after serving as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning in 2007. Her research emphasis at MIT was “Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration in 3-D Synthetic ECM Analogs.” Dr. Peyton has received a National Institutes of Health/Ruth L. Kirchstein Postdoctoral Fellowship while at MIT, a Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need Fellowship, a National Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Inc. Fellowship, and a Biomedical Engineering Society Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award.

“The mission of the Peyton lab,” she writes about the laboratory she is currently setting up at UMass Amherst, “is to learn how a variety of different cell types are able to process information from biochemical and biophysical cues from the extracellular matrix (ECM) and make decisions about migration and phenotype. To do this, our lab uses both 2-D and 3-D biomaterial model systems, which can be engineered from the ground up to instruct cells via both biochemical and biophysical signaling pathways. We focus on applications toward: cardiovascular disease, where tissue homeostasis is normally maintained in a mechanically dynamic ECM; stem-cell therapeutics, where rational scaffold design may be the key to directing appropriate progenitor cell migration and differentiation for tissue regeneration; and cancer, where disruptions in the local ECM microenvironment may cause drastic changes in individual cell motility and phenotype.”

Dr, Peyton earned her B.S. at Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering in 2002, her M.S. from the University of California, Irvine, in Chemical Engineering in 2004, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, in Chemical Engineering in 2007. (January 2011)