Barry Trimmer, PhD


Henry Bromfield-Pearson Professor of Natural Sciences
Professor of Biology



BA, Natural Science & Zoology, University of Cambridge
PhD, Neurobiology, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Training, Harvard Medical School; University of California, Berkely; University of Oregon


Campus: Medford
Office: 200 Boston Avenue, Room 2631
Laboratory: 200 Boston Avenue

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-627-3924
Laboratory Phone: 617-627-0900
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Web Site Lab Research Page
Recent Publications Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs



Research Synopsis

I lead two integrated research labs; the Tufts Neuromechanics Laboratory explores the neural processes that organize sensory and motor information to control locomotion of a soft bodied insect (the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta). The Biomimetic Devices Laboratory focuses on applying biological principles in the design, fabrication and control of soft robots. Soft animals can deform in complex ways and one of our major research goals is to identify how they control their movements in a computationally efficient manner using the principles of embodiment and morphological computation. Findings from this research are then adapted to build and control soft crawling and climbing robots (SoftWorms) both as a research platform and for solving real-world problems. A related long-term goal is to grow robotic devices using a combination of biosynthetic materials, cellular modulation, and tissue engineering. These cell-based biosynthetic robots will exploit the advantages of insect stem cells to construct self-assembling, bio-fueled and biodegradable machines.

Lab Members

Jacqueline Clark, PhD Student in Biology  Send an e-mail 
Guy Levy, Postdoctoral Scholar  Send an e-mail 
Naya McCartney, PhD Student in Biology Send an e-mail 
Ritwika Mukherjee, PhD Student in Biology   Send an e-mail  Send an e-mail
Anthony Scibelli, PhD Student in Biology    Send an e-mail 

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research