University of Massachusetts Amherst

Polymer Science and Engineering

Murugappan Muthukumar


Degree Information:
B.S. Chemistry, University of Madras, 1972
Ph.D. Chemical Physics, The University of Chicago, 1979

Mailing Address:
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room A212, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Phone: 413-577-1212


Fax: 413-545-0082


Research Interests:

My research group is engaged in understanding how macromolecules, both biological and synthetic, assume their sizes and shapes, organize into assemblies, and move around in crowded environments. We employ a combination of theoretical, computational, and experimental techniques to uncover the underlying mechanisms of macromolecular phenomena in Physical Biology and Polymer Physics. The major issues that are under active investigation are the following:


Current Research:

  1. Polymer Translocation
  2. Virus Assembly
  3. Endocytosis/Exocystosis
  4. Vision Physics
  5. Polyelectrolyte Gel Physics
  6. Polyelectrolyte Solutions and Ionic Liquids
  7. Biomineralization
  8. Polymer Crystallization



Honors and Distinctions:

  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1983-85)
  • Dillon Medal, American Physical Society (1986)
  • Fellow of American Physical Society (1987)
  • Maurice L. Huggins Memorial Award, Gordon Research Conferences (1988)
  • Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Chancellor's Medal, UMass (1997)
  • Ford High Polymer Physics Prize, American Physical Society (1998)
  • Miller Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley (1999)
  • Twenty times Best Teacher Award, Polymer Science and Engineering, UMass (1984-2009)
  • Humboldt Prize, Germany (2006)
  • Gutenberg Award, University of Mainz, Germany (2007)
  • Adjunct Associate Editor for Physical Review Letters (1999-2007)
  • Wilmer D. Barrett Professor of Polymer Science & Engineering, UMass (2000-present)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics (2007-present)