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Welcome!

Welcome to the Brangwynne lab at Princeton University. We are an interdisciplinary team of engineers, biologists, and physicists using principles of soft matter physics to understand the structure and self-assembly of living biological materials, including the cytoskeleton, organelles, cells, and tissues. 

Positions Available

We are currently accepting applications for talented postdoctoral fellows to work on several projects (see attached advertisement). Please send CV and statement of research interests to: softlivingmatter@gmail.com.

We are also excited to recruit enthusiastic Princeton Ph.D. students to join our growing team. Please contact Prof. Brangwynne directly.


Lab News

6/16/14 - Four members of the Brangwynne lab are spending 7 weeks at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA. Lian will be a student in the famous Physiology course, which involves intensive hands-on research training in cutting edge quantitative techniques. Sara, Nilesh and Cliff (see "action photo" of an experiment with yeast!) are doing research as part of an HHMI-funded Summer Institute focused dissecting the biophysical rules governing RNA/Protein assembly.

5/27/14 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at UCSF - thanks to Dyche Mullins for being a great host.

5/2/14 - Cliff part of a team awarded funding through the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund. The team includes Prof. Rick Register (CBE), Prof. Rod Priestley (CBE) and Prof. Craig Arnold (MAE). The team will develop a novel 3D Nanorheometer technology for studying material properties at the nanoscale, including the properties of liquid-phase RNA/Protein organelles.

4/30/14 - Shani and Cliff back from another great outreach visit to Kilmer Elementary School in Trenton. The students were excited to hear about some of the advantages of careers in STEM, and learn about our lab's work on phase transitions in cells.

4/22/14 - Cliff awarded the Wentz Junior Faculty Award!

4/9/14 - Cliff back from his second Searle Scholars meeting in Chicago. Great to see old and new friends, and play with some of the exhibits especially the impact crater simulation, during the reception at the Adler Planetarium.

4/4/14 - Congrats to Steph for giving an awesome talk at the BioE colloquium!

3/19/14 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at Penn CBE. Thanks especially to Dennis Discher, John Crocker, and Daeyeon Lee for being great hosts!

3/5/14 - Cliff back from the APS March meeting in Denver. Some great sessions on biological phase transitions!

2/18/14 - Cliff wins Sloan Award!

2/10/14 - Congrats to undergrad William Gilpin for being accepted into many fantastic Ph.D. programs including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.

1/6/13 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes 1st year CBE Ph.D. students Sara Chuang, Nicole Taylor, and Lian Zhu!

12/19/13 - Brangwynne lab members back from a fantastic 2013 ASCB meeting in New Orleans. Highlights include a great talk by Marina in Cliff's Physics of the Nucleus Session, Posters by Steph, Sravanti and Marina, and the first ever ASCB Brangwynne lab dinner. Looking forward to next year in Philadelphia!

12/5/13 - Thanks to everyone for coming to the second annual Brangwynne Lab Holiday Party - yummy food, desserts, drinks, and Secret Santa (Cliff scores "Cube Robot").

11/3/13 - Congratulations to Nilesh for winning a highly prestigious Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship!! Must've been the Shoes!!

10/25/13 - Congrats to Marina for giving a great talk at the CBE Graduate Student Symposium!

10/24/13 - UPDATE: An nice article about Marina's paper was posted on the Princeton University homepage!  A story also appeared in The Atlantic, Chemical & Eng. News, and The Scientist.

10/21/13 - Shani, Nilesh, and Cliff are back from a fantastic meeting of HFSP Team Helicase, UIUC 2013! Thanks to Sua Myong and Younghoon Kim for organizing another great gathering!

10/12/13 - Brangwynne lab Retreat 2013 was awesome!

10/2/13 - Cliff back from a nice meeting in Goettingen Germany on "Physics of the Embryo"

10/1/13 - Marina's Gravity paper finally published in Oct. 1 issue of Nature Cell Biology

9/25/13 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at Dartmouth. Thanks especially to Jamie Moseley, Erik Griffin, and Amy Gladfelter for being great hosts!

9/11/13 - Welcome undergrads Bruna Favetta, William Gilpin, Amogha Tadimety, and Adrienne Fung!

9/6/13 - Cliff wins NSF CAREER Award!!

9/6/13 - The first monthly BioEngineering Colloquium in Hoyt was great!

9/4/13 - Annual end of summer lab party at Cliff's house was a success (highlight was Sravanti's compliment of Cliff's homebrew: "Not disgusting, even tastes kind of like beer!")

8/22/13 - Soft Matter Gordon Conference was fantastic. We're looking forward to the next one two years from now!

7/5/13 - Marina's paper accepted at Nature Cell Biology!

7/2/13 - Congrats to Cliff on "recruiting" the newest lab member (out of the womb!)

6/10/13 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes rising senior (Princeton CBE) Adrienne Fung!

6/4/13 - Congratulations to Brangwynne lab alumni Max Jacobson, Nikhil Chervu, Jeff Wang, and the other members of the Class of 2013!

5/16/13 - Art of Science Update: Jamie's "Medusa" image wins 3rd place in People's Choice award! Medusa and the other beautiful images are getting lots of press coverage: The Scientist, Huffington Post, CNN, New Scientist, National Geographic

5/10/13 - Congrats to rotation student Jamie Barr and undergrad William Gilpin, whose pictures were selected for inclusion in the 2013 Princeton Art of Science Exhibition!!

4/27/13 - Congrats to athletes including Shani, Marina, Cliff, Victor, and the winner Steph, who participated in another Princeton Athletic Club 6k run through the IAS woods! (group photo).

4/23/13 - Cliff back from Searle Scholars meeting in Chicago (received a very nice commemorative plaque). Science, Picassos, great food, and a fantastic group of very interesting people!

4/12/13 - Graduate student Marina Feric gave a great talk at the Developmental Colloquium on her work with Xenopus oocyte nuclei. Congrats on a job well done!

4/12/13 - Cliff back from giving a talk at UConn's Center for Cell Analysis and Modelling.

3/25/13 - Cliff back from giving an invited talk at the APS March Meeting in a session on "Active, Nonequilibrium dynamics in complex cellular networks"  (Session Z47.... the very last one on Friday!).

3/11/12 - Welcome to our new MolBio rotation student Kinnari Matheson !

2/27/13 - The Brangwynne lab has just completed a quick and surprisingly (nearly) painless move to its new and improved location in the Hoyt Laboratory! Come by and visit us!

2/6/13 - Cliff gave a lecture for ELE547C entitled "The Biophysics of Cell Growth: Building Organisms of Just the Right Size". Thanks to Prof. Sigurd Wagner for organizing a great Graduate Seminar Course.

2/6/13 - The Brangwynne lab back from the Biophysical Society Meeting in Philadelphia - congrats to Steph, Sravanti, and Marina for presenting posters. Thanks to the organizers of the symposium on "Mechanics in the Nucleus" (Lab members report that Cliff gave a good talk even though the infamous "Hoff" slide was not included).

2/4/13 - Cliff begins teaching CBE 505, Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer.

1/22/13 - Congrats to Chris Sosa for passing his First Proposition (General Exam)!

1/2/13 - Welcome to our new Staff Scientist/Lab Manager Carlos Chen!

12/20/12 - Cliff back from a great ASCB meeting in San Francisco. Thanks to RNA minisymposium co-chair Tracy Johnson and the other speakers for a terrific session!

12/7/12 - Thanks to everyone for the great food and company at the Brangwynne lab Holiday party ("official pic" + bonus angelic mini Shani)

12/1/12 - Congrats to the hearty Brangwynne lab athletes who successfully ran the 6k Winter Wonder Run through the IAS Woods this Saturday!

11/30/12 - Cliff and Sravanti spent the morning with 8th grade students at Kilmer Elementary School in Trenton, sharing the excitement of science, microfluidics, and worm biology. Thanks to Mrs. Millner and her great class!

11/26/12 - Our HFSP Team is now back from a wonderful meeting in Germany:  Dresden Helicase 2012! Thanks to our collaborator Christian Eckmann for a great job organizing the meeting, including an awesome hike with beautiful views and even Thanksgiving dinner!

11/5/12 - Welcome to our new postdoc Nilesh Vaidya!

11/3/12 - The Brangwynne lab has survived superstorm Sandy! Cliff's house power is back after 4 candlelit and chilly nights; hopefully everybody else is soon back too. Thanks to Shani for opening up her home to the bedraggled!

10/5/12 - Congratulations to Wanliang, whose paper has been accepted at Soft Matter!

9/25/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes a crop of newbies including Senior Thesis Students Max Jacobson and Nikhil Chervu and rotation students Jack Lu and Jamie Barr. Also welcome back to undergraduates Jeff Wang and William Gilpin.

9/14/12 - Cliff wins NIH New Innovator Award!

9/1/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes postdoc Shani Elbaum!

8/23/12 - The first annual Brangwynne lab (end-of)Summer Pizza Party was a success!

6/23/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes postdoctoral fellow Sravanti Uppaluri!

6/18/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes high school student Prianca Tawde!

6/15/12 - Cliff back from giving a talk at a conference on Molecular Crowding at Monte Verita in Switzerland. Thanks to Guiseppe Foffi for organizing a great meeting! 

6/11/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes REU Student Brittany Henderson!

6/4/12 - Congrats to Axel Shum for winning the Ticona Award for Outstanding Senior Thesis for his work on nucleoli in the Brangwynne lab!

5/18/12 - Steph and Cliff's review article accepted at Cell !

5/17/12 - Postdoc Steph Weber is awarded a highly prestigious fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation! Congratulations Steph!

5/10/12 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at Queens College (CUNY) - what a fun and highly interactive audience. 

5/8/12 - Thanks to Christian Eckmann and Sua Myong for a great kickoff meeting for our HFSP grant - Princeton 2012!

5/7/12 - Thanks to speakers and participants at the stimulating Princeton RNA/granule mini meeting!

4/30/12 - Congratulations to PhD student Chris Sosa for being awarded a very competitive DOE fellowship!

4/20/12 - Congrats to Brangwynne lab postdoc Steph Weber, whose PhD work in the Theriot lab on non-thermal fluctuations in bacteria has just been published in PNAS

4/18/12 - Cliff back after giving a talk at AbSciCon in Georgia - the only thing the audience will remember is "The Hoff" Slide!

4/13/12 - Cliff is named a Searle Scholar for 2012 (let them eat cake!)

3/26/12 - The Brangwynne lab leads an international team awarded a 3-year HFSP Program Grant to study RNA helicases in RNP bodies (see HFSP press release)

3/15/12 - Cliff becomes core faculty member of the Quantitative & Computational Biology (QCB) Program

3/12/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes Mol Bio rotation student Wen Yih Aw!

2/22/12 - Cliff officially becomes Associated Faculty member of the Molecular Biology Department

2/13/12 - Congratulations to Jeff Wang for being awarded a Stoll Fellowship!

1/25/12 - Congratulations to Marina Feric for passing her General Examination with flying colors!

1/17/12 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at McGill. Thanks to Gary Brouhard and colleagues for being fantastic hosts!

1/9/12 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes PhD student Chris Sosa!

11/21/11 - Cliff back from giving Physics of Living Cells seminar at UIUC. Thanks to Sua Myong and TJ Ha for hosting!

11/9/11 - Cliff back from giving a seminar at Johns Hopkins and hanging out with the Seydoux lab (thanks for the Oysters!)

11/2/11 - Cliff back after giving a seminar at UChicago. Thanks to Margaret Gardel and her fun and interesting colleagues for hosting!

10/29/11 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes undergradute Physics major William Gilpin!

10/28/11 - Farewell to visiting theorist Zi Chen who is off to do a postdoc with Larry Taber. Best of luck Zi!

10/26/11 - Cliff back from a productive and interesting Xenopus Resource Meeting at the MBL

10/21/11 - Thanks to honorary Branwynne lab member and DNA cloning Jedi Andrey Pozniakovskiy for spending the week with us (photo). Have fun during the rest of your visit to the US!

10/11/11 - Cliff back from an amazing Soft Matter Weitzfest weekend at Harvard (http://weitzfest.seas.harvard.edu/). Congrats to Dave Weitz for turning 60! (see infamous historical photo of "unknown authenticity")

10/10/11 - Confocal is installed and functional! (the best things come to those who wait)

10/1/11 - Welcome to undergraduate research assistant Jeff Wang!

9/20/11 - Welcome Senior Thesis Students Axel Shum and Jason Pan!

9/16/11 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes postdoctoral fellow Steph Weber!

6/29/11 - The Brangwynne lab welcomes high school student Ethan Li and undergraduate Ankita Gumaste

6/10/11 - Brangwynne lab went to the Mid Atlantic Soft Matter Meeting at Penn. Congrats to Daniel and Marina for their nice soundbite talks!

4/7/11 - Marina off to the CSHL Xenopus course, have fun!

4/6/11 - We received our Certificate of Occupancy and can move into the new lab!  (see pics)

2/1/11 - Start of Professor Brangwynne's class CBE 433/533, Mechanics and Dynamics of Soft Living Matter

1/28/11 - Paper on nucleolus size and shape accepted at PNAS!

1/8/11 - PhD students Daniel Salas & Marina Feric join the lab!

1/1/11 - Official start of Brangwynne lab at Princeton

Research Highlights


A nuclear F-actin scaffold stabilizes RNP droplets against gravity in large cells (Nature Cell Biology, 2013)


RNA/protein phase transitions are heating up! (see our review in Cell)


Our "discovery of a new state of biological matter" highlighted in Science magazine


Our article in Soft Matter on the emerging field of intracellular protein bodies selected as "Hot Article"


Nucleolus size and shape governed by liquid properties PNAS 2011