Chris is based in The University of Sheffield in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and is head of the Natural Materials Group where he currently holds an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship. His research uses tools developed for the physical sciences to better understand Nature’s materials, from latex to collagen, but with a focus on silk. By studying how silk is spun he has been able to gain unique insights into silks’ biodiversity, structure and evolution. Additionally, this work has made important links between natural and industrial fibre processing which has led to a fundamentally new way of designing, testing and fabricating bio-inspired materials. Today he combines multiple instruments with rheology, from microscopes and spectrometers to synchrotrons in order to understand exactly how silk proteins self-assemble into one of our most impressive materials. Outside of the lab he is also chairperson of the Recent Appointees in Polymer Science and sits on the scientific advisory board of Oxford Biomaterials which commercialises high-tech silk-based devices for a range of medical and non-medical applications.
Institutional page: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/materials/staff/cholland