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Shelly Peyton Receives Conti Fellowship Award

Shelly Peyton

Shelly Peyton

Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department has received one of the UMass Amherst 2022-2023 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards.

In addition to serving as the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the ChE department, Peyton is also an adjunct of the Biomedical Engineering Department. Peyton is on sabbatical for the Spring Semester of 2022 as a Visiting Scholar in Bioengineering at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington.

The Conti Fellowship provides tenured professors with a unique opportunity to focus on their research or creative activities. Fellowships are managed by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement and provide a one-year release from teaching and service duties in addition to a $3,500 cash award.

As the News Office story explains, “Peyton’s research areas include biomaterial platforms, human cell-material interactions, cardiovascular disease, test beds to study personalized chemotherapeutics, and regenerative medicine.”

Peyton is the principal investigator for the Peyton Research Group on campus that creates biomaterial systems as “tissue mimics” to study disease progression and drug response.

“We are several engineers and biologists,” explains Peyton about her research team, “and our mission is to learn how cells process information from their chemical and physical tissue environment. We design polymeric biomaterials to create models of human tissue and use them to study how cells move, grow, and respond to drugs in different tissue environments.”

Peyton adds that “We use this approach to find new ways to stop cancer metastasis, discover more effective cancer drugs, understand how traumatic brain injury starts and stops, and build scaffolds for regenerative medicine.”

As one of Peyton’s references explains, “Dr. Peyton is an internationally recognized leader in the field of bioengineering, tissue engineering, and cancer biology who has published seminal papers in prestigious journals and whose innovative research has been funded by highly competitive extramural grants.”

The Conti Fellowship will allow Peyton to elevate her research and extend her approaches toward breast cancer in the developing world, advanced studies in breast cancer metastasis, and new functional biomaterials.

The Conti Fellowship acknowledges the high quality and importance of faculty members’ accomplishments in research and creative activities at UMass Amherst and their potential for continuing excellence, particularly with respect to the projects they propose to undertake during the term of the fellowship.