M. Cristina Marchetti

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Maria Cristina Marchetti (born 1955) is an Italian-born American theoretical physicist specializing in statistical physics and condensed matter physics. In 2019, she received the Leo P. Kadanoff Prize of the American Physical Society[1]. She held the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professorship of Physics at Syracuse University, where she was the director of the Soft and Living Matter program. She is currently Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

M. Cristina Marchetti
Born(1955-12-11)December 11, 1955
ResidenceSanta Barbara, California
Alma materUniversity of Pavia,
University of Florida
Known forCollective behavior of active matter systems
AwardsLeo P. Kadanoff Prize (2019)
Scientific career
FieldsStatistical physics, Condensed matter theory
InstitutionsSyracuse University,
University of California, Santa Barbara
ThesisFluctuations in systems far from equilibrium (1982)
Doctoral advisorJames W. Dufty

Early life and education[edit]

M. Cristina Marchetti was trained as a physicist in the University of Pavia. She studied out-of-equilibrium physics for her graduate degree and received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Florida in 1982.[2] The title of her PhD thesis is "Fluctuations in systems far from equilibrium."[3]

Professional career[edit]

Marchetti was an assistant professor at Syracuse University from 1987 to 1997. She then became a professor at Syracuse University from 1997 to 2018. She is now professor at University of California, Santa Barbara. Marchetti was appointed co lead-editor of the journal Physical Review X (PRX), a journal run by the American Physical Society (APS) in 2016[4]. She leads the journal with Jean-Michel Raimond, a professor of physics at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.


Marchetti has made a contribution to the development of the field of active matter, which is matter composed of self-propelled energy-consuming particles[5]. Her research focuses on understanding the structure, phase transitions and rheology of suspensions and gels made of active matter systems like self-propelled particles[6], biological filaments[7] and biological cells[8]. Marchetti is particularly interested in understanding the behavior of cell colonies that grow in confined geometries such as those found in animal and human tissues[9][10][11][12]. The bulk mechanical properties of these colonies can reveal how the cells in the tissues interact, a problem Marchetti studies theoretically.

Award and prizes[edit]

Marchetti was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2000 for "contributions to the theory of the dynamics of vortex matter and charge-density waves"[13]. She was made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013[14][15] and a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.[16]


  • Marchetti, M. C.; et al. (2013). "Hydrodynamics of soft active matter". Reviews of Modern Physics. 85 (3): 1143. Bibcode:2013RvMP...85.1143M. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.85.1143.


  1. ^ "Prize Recipient". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  2. ^ "M. Cristina Marchetti". thecollege.syr.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  3. ^ "Fluctuations in systems far from equilibrium". ufdc.ufl.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  4. ^ "Physicist Named Editor of Top Scientific Journal". SU News. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  5. ^ Popkin, Gabriel (2016-01-07). "The physics of life". Nature News. 529 (7584): 16. doi:10.1038/529016a.
  6. ^ Fily, Yaouen; Henkes, Silke; Marchetti, M. Cristina (2014). "Freezing and phase separation of self-propelled disks". Soft Matter. 10 (13): 2132–2140. doi:10.1039/C3SM52469H. ISSN 1744-683X.
  7. ^ Liverpool, T. B.; Marchetti, M. C. (2006-12-29). "Rheology of Active Filament Solutions". Physical Review Letters. 97 (26). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.268101. ISSN 0031-9007.
  8. ^ Moshe, Michael; Bowick, Mark J.; Marchetti, M. Cristina (2018-06-29). "Geometric Frustration and Solid-Solid Transitions in Model 2D Tissue". Physical Review Letters. 120 (26). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.268105. ISSN 0031-9007.
  9. ^ Sussman, Daniel M.; Schwarz, J. M.; Marchetti, M. Cristina; Manning, M. Lisa (2018-01-29). "Soft yet Sharp Interfaces in a Vertex Model of Confluent Tissue". Physical Review Letters. 120 (5). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.058001. ISSN 0031-9007.
  10. ^ Bi, Dapeng; Yang, Xingbo; Marchetti, M. Cristina; Manning, M. Lisa (2016-04-21). "Motility-Driven Glass and Jamming Transitions in Biological Tissues". Physical Review X. 6 (2). doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.021011. ISSN 2160-3308. PMC 5619672. PMID 28966874.
  11. ^ Banerjee, Shiladitya; Utuje, Kazage J. C.; Marchetti, M. Cristina (2015-06-02). "Propagating Stress Waves During Epithelial Expansion". Physical Review Letters. 114 (22). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.228101. ISSN 0031-9007.
  12. ^ "Synopsis: Soft Tissues with Sharp Boundaries". Physics. 2018-01-29. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.120.058001.
  13. ^ "APS Fellow Archive". www.aps.org. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  14. ^ "Two Syracuse University Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences". thecollege.syr.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  15. ^ "Elected Fellows". American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  16. ^ "2019 NAS Election". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 30 April 2019.