Research Interests

My research focuses around two central tenets: the characterization and design of novel soft materials via advanced rheological and neutron scattering techniques, and the development of new scattering sample environments, techniques and analysis methods for use within the broader scientific community. The design of soft materials with optimal structure and flow properties is critical in applications ranging from polymer processing to drug delivery, where materials undergo nonlinear deformations during processing, transport and use. Rheology and neutron scattering provide a platform to develop ‘structure-property’ relationships in flowing materials, where our specific research interests include applications in medicine, energy, and consumer products. After assessing factors affecting flow stability and material performance, we then use this insight to design and develop more robust, stable soft materials. In conjunction, frequent work at both national and international scattering facilities including NIST (Gaithersburg, MD) and ILL (Grenoble, France) allows for the development new techniques and flow-small angle scattering sample environments to reproduce realistic flows for these applications.


  • NSF CAREER Award (2021)
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2021)
  • NIH Early Career R21 (2021)
  • Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) Visiting Scientist Grant (2016, 2017)
  • Robert L. Pigford Teaching Assistant Award (2015)
  • American Physical Society Award for Excellence in Graduate Research (2015)

Selected Publications

  • K.T. Lauser, A.L. Rueter, M.A. Calabrese. "Small-volume extensional rheology of concentrated protein and protein-excipient solutions," Soft Matter (2021). https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SM01253C
  • P.J. McCauley, S. Kumar, M.A. Calabrese. "Criteria governing rod formation and growth in nonionic polymer micelles," Langmuir (2021), 37, 11676-11687. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c01570
  • M.A. Calabrese, W.Y. Chan, S.H.M. Av-Ron, B.D. Olsen. "Development of a Rubber Recycling Process Based on a Single-Component Interfacial Adhesive," ACS Appl. Polym. Mater., (2021). https://doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.0c01343
  • B.A.G. de Melo, Y.A. Yodat, S. Mehrotra, M.A. Calabrese, et al., "3D printed cartilage with spatially controlled mechanical properties to mimic cartilage matrix organization," Advanced Functional Materials, (2019). https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201906330
  • M.A. Calabrese and N.J. Wagner. "Detecting branching in wormlike micelles via dynamic scattering methods," ACS Macro Letters, 2018, 7(6), 614-618. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.8b00188
  • M.A. Calabrese and N.J. Wagner. “New Insights from Rheo-SANS,” chapter in: Wormlike Micelles: Systems, Characterisation, Applications, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017.
  • M.A. Calabrese, S.A. Rogers, L. Porcar & N.J. Wagner. “Understanding steady and dynamic shear banding in a model wormlike micellar solution,” Journal of Rheology, 2016, 60(5), 1001-1016. doi: 10.1122/1.4961035
  • M.A. Calabrese, N.J. Wagner and S.A. Rogers. “An optimized protocol for the analysis of time-resolved elastic scattering experiments,” Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 2301-2308. doi: 10.1039/c5sm03039k
Michelle Calabrese in Lab

Email: mcalab@umn.edu

Phone: 612/625-2551

Office: 306

Research Group

Support Michelle Calabrese's Research

  • B.S., Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2012
  • Ph.D., Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, 2017
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017-2019