Professor Shelly Peyton, the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and an adjunct professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department, has been named a Fellow in the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). In 2019, Peyton was also elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows.
The BMES Grade of Fellow is a professional distinction granted by the society’s board of directors upon a society member. To qualify, a Fellow must have demonstrated impactful achievements and made significant contributions within the biomedical engineering community. Fellows must also have demonstrated considerable leadership within their fields of interest and served within the BMES.
In her research lab, the Peyton Research Group, Peyton leads an interdisciplinary group of engineers and molecular cell biologists seeking to create and apply novel biomaterials platforms toward “new solutions to grand challenges in human health,” as she says.
Peyton explains that, in her research group, “We are several women and men, engineers and biologists, 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 concludes that “We use this approach to find new ways to stop cancer metastasis, discover more effective cancer drugs, prevent heart disease, and build scaffolds for regenerative medicine.”
Peyton has already earned a host of honors, awards, and other accomplishments during her career. From 2012 until 2017, Peyton served as the Barry and Afsaneh Siadat Career Development Fellow in the ChE department. During that time, she received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2015-2020), the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator Award (2015), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) New Innovator Award (2013-2018).
UMass granted Peyton the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity in 2014, and that same year the College of Engineering gave her the Barbara and Joseph Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.
Peyton was a Pew Biomedical Scholar from 2013 to 2017 and won the Society for Physical Regulation of Cell Biology Rising Star Award in 2012.
Peyton received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2002 and went on to obtain her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. She was then an NIH Kirschstein post-doctoral fellow in the Biological Engineering Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before starting her academic appointment at UMass in 2011. (October 2021)