Michael Murrell Wins the Greer Memorial Prize


Michael Murrell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has received the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research.

The award was founded to honor outstanding scholarship by Yale junior faculty members in the social sciences, sciences, and engineering. 

Murrell’s lab at the Systems Biology Institute on West Campus investigates how the physical properties of cells influence fundamental life processes, with a focus on how cells sense, produce, and transmit mechanical forces.

In his nomination of Murrell, Jay Humphrey, the John C. Malone Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chair, cited numerous publications, awards and other achievements. He praised Murrell for inventing “both clever experimental methods and novel theoretical ideas” to better understanding long-standing questions in the field. Among other publications, he highlighted Murrell’s 2018 Nature Communications paper, “Entropy Production Rate is Maximized in Non-Contractile Actomyosin.” That study shed light on how living cells and other active matter maintain their equilibrium, a question that has long confounded scientists. Murrell, who recently won the Young Investigator Award from the Human Frontiers Science Program, has been with Yale since 2015.

“Indeed, he is widely recognized as an emerging leader in many areas, including biophysics, active matter, soft matter physics, and cell biology,” Humphrey wrote. “There are few internationally with this breadth of expertise at any rank.