Assistant Professor David K. Lubensky, of the University of Michigan Department of Physics, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant for his project “Nonequilibrium Organization in Epithelial Sheets."

CAREER grants are the most prestigious awards given by the NSF and are awarded to junior faculty who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the mission of their organizations.”

Physicists have developed a number of powerful theoretical techniques to understand the origins of regular, periodic order in inert, physical systems such as solids or liquids. Similar-seeming order is seen in biological systems, but it is unclear to what extent the same mechanisms drive the organization of living cells which constantly consume energy. Prof. Lubensky's research will seek to answer this question for a particular class of biological systems, epithelial sheets. Topics to be studied include the mechanisms that array cells in the sheets in intricate, reproducible patterns and the ways that cells interact to induce large-scale tissue movements.

To learn more about David Lubensky’s Theoretical and Computational Biophysics and Statistical Physics research, please click here.

NSF career award descriptions can be found here.