William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics
Lisa Manning is the William R. Kenan Professor and directs BioInspired Syracuse: Institute for Material and Living Systems.
Her research describes cells’ behavior in terms of the mechanical forces they exert on one another. Her approach has led to a new understanding of a whole host of biological processes that involve cells on the move, including embryonic development, wound healing and even asthma and cancer.
Bioinspired Syracuse brings together scholars who have related research interests. It supports multidisciplinary research into complex biological systems, developing and designing programmable smart materials to address global challenges in health, medicine and materials innovation. It is an institute for material and living systems, focusing on three key areas: drug discovery, smart materials and development and disease.
The Kenan Professor was created thanks to American chemist, engineer, manufacturer, and philanthropist William Rand Kenan, Jr.
Kenan felt so keenly about the importance of education that he stated in his will, “I have always believed firmly that a good education is the most cherished gift an individual can receive.” Directing $95 million of his estate in support of education, Kenan established the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and has endowed more than 85 professorships at colleges and universities on the East Coast, including Syracuse University, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University and the University of Rochester—all in New York state where Kenan resided most of his life in Lockport, New York.