Shelly Peyton

Assistant Professor
Barry and Afsaneh Siadat Career Development Faculty Fellow

Life Sciences Laboratory Building, Room N531
Mailing Address:
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts Amherst
686 N. Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9303
413-545-1133 (Office)


B.S., Northwestern University, Chemical Engineering, 2002
M.S., University of California, Irvine, Chemical Engineering 2004
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, Chemical Engineering 2007

Post-Doc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biological Engineering

Peyton Research Group Page:

Research Overview

The mission of the Peyton lab 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 2D and 3D 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.

Selected publications:

Herrick WG, Nguyen TV, Sleiman M, McRae Page S, Emrick T, Peyton SR. (2013) PEG-phosphorylcholine hydrogels as tunable and versatile platforms for mechanobiology. Biomacromolecules. Jul 8;14(7):2294-304.

H-D. Kim and S.R. Peyton (2012) “Bio-inspired materials for parsing matrix physicochemical control of cell migration: A Review. ” Integrative Biology. Jan;4(1):37-52.

S.R. Peyton, Z.I. Kalcioglu, J.D. Cohen, A.P. Runkle, K.J. VanVliet, D.A. Lauffenburger, and L.G. Griffith (2011) “Marrow-Derived stem cell motility in 3D synthetic scaffold is governed by geometry along with adhesivity and stiffness.” Biotechnol Bioeng. May;108(5):1181-93.

S.R. Peyton, P.D. Kim, C.M. Ghajar, D. Seliktar, and A.J. Putnam (2008) “The effects of matrix stiffness and RhoA on the phenotypic plasticity of smooth muscle cells in a 3-D biosynthetic hydrogel system.” Biomaterials. Jun:29(17):2597-607

S.R. Peyton, C.B. Raub, V.P. Keschrumrus, and A.J. Putnam. (2006) “The use of poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels to investigate the impact of ECM chemistry and mechanics on smooth muscle cells.” Biomaterials. Oct;27(28):4881-93.

S.R. Peyton and A.J. Putnam. (2005) “Extracellular matrix rigidity governs smooth muscle cell motility in a biphasic fashion.” Journal of Cellular Physiology. 204(1):198-209.