Perry Research Group
Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry (she/her)

Associate Professor

Office: (413) 545-6252

Office Address:

N563 Life Sciences Laboratory
240 Thatcher Road
Amherst, MA 01003

Mailing Address:

159 Goessmann Laboratory
686 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003


2002 Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Arizona
2003 Bachelors of Science in Chemistry, University of Arizona
2005 Masters of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Arizona
2010 Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Biographical Statement

Sarah L. Perry received BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Arizona, as well as a MS in Chemical Engineering working on gas phase methods for chemically passivating silicon surfaces for semiconductor manufacturing. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working on microfluidic platforms for the crystallization and study of membrane protein crystallization with Prof. Paul J.A. Kenis. She began working as a postdoc for Prof. Matthew Tirrell in the Bioengineering Department at the University of California at Berkeley and moved with the lab to the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. Her initial research in the Tirrell Group focused on the use of self-assembling DNA-lipid films for use in transfection. She then expanded her research to investigate the self-assembly, structure, and physics of biomimetic polyelectrolyte systems known as complex coacervates for use as artificial organelles or nanoreactors.

Prof. Perry loves to teach and mentor students. She teaches ENGIN 110 - Introduction to Chemical Engineering in the Fall semester because of the opportunities that it presents to build excitement about the field of chemical engineering and to help students build skills to help ensure future success. In the Spring semester, Prof. Perry teaches an elective class on Microfluidics and Microscale Analysis in Materials and Biology. This class is open to both undergraduate and graduate students from across the Five College System, and is designed to give students basic knowledge and skills related to microfluidic technology, and then give them the opportunity to use these skills to develop a microfluidic platform that addresses a current need in the real world. Students are encouraged to bring a project to the class related to their own research, or can work on a project sponsored by a lab or company.

In her spare time, Prof. Perry enjoys snuggling with her cats, trying to do jigsaw puzzles around the cats, working in her yard, training in Taekwondo, and doing arts and crafts.

Honors and Awards

2024 ACS Macro Letters/Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Award
2023 Young Alumni Achievement Award, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2023-2027 Editorial Advisory Board for ChemSystemsChem
2021 Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigator
2020 Faculty Early Career Development Program Award, National Science Foundation
2019-2021 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award
2019-2023 Editorial Advisory Board for ACS Macro Letters
2019-2022 Editorial Advisory Board for Soft Matter
2018 Soft Matter Emerging Investigator
2017 College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award
2017 College of Engineering Diversity Student Ally Award
2016 Lab on a Chip Emerging Investigator
2015 Residential First-Year Experience (RFYE) Student Choice Award