A physicist in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences has been selected to receive the prestigious Young Scientist Award by the Commission on Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).
M. Lisa Manning, associate professor of physics, will accept the award at the IUPAP International Conference on Statistical Physics on Tuesday, July 26, in Lyon, France. She is the first woman and first American to receive the award.
In recognition of her “outstanding statistical physics contributions to the fields of granular materials, jamming, and biological cell dynamics”, Manning will receive an honorary medal, a certificate, and a cash prize of 1000 Euros. She also will present a seminar about her current research at the conference.
Conferred every three years, the Young Scientist Award recognizes international scholars who are no more than eight years past their terminal degree, and display significant achievement and exceptional promise in experimental or theoretical statistical physics.
“I really wouldn't have been able to do this without having great childcare, great peer mentors, a supportive department, and the support of my partner,” says Manning, whose research centers on the emergent behavior of large groups of strongly interacting objects, including biological cells, atoms, and droplets, at high densities. “The scientists on the Statistical Physics Commission of the IUPAP made a choice to look at the quality of my publications, not just the quantity, which allowed someone like me with a young family to compete with other people in my field.”
Martin Lenz, a theoretical biophysicist at the University of Paris-Sud, is a co-recipient of the award. Manning remarks that the recognition of two scientists working at the interface of statistical physics and biology confirms that this type of interdisciplinary work is being taken seriously in the physics community.
“I'm excited for the future because an award like this highlights the work being done by the world-class soft matter physics group here at Syracuse,” Manning says. “It also will help attract the best students and researchers and give me the opportunity to continue with high-risk, high-reward projects related to diseases like cancer and congenital disease.”
Manning earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton, she joined the Syracuse faculty in 2011.