Michael R. Falvo is a Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He received his BS in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991, and his PhD in physics from UNC-CH in 1997. He is a former winner of the UNC Student Undergraduate Teaching Award presented annually to three professors by the undergraduate student body, and is a member of the UNC Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars. His current research focuses is on the physics of proteins and cells. He stretches, pokes and prods nanometer scale biological systems such as viruses, biopolymer strands, and individual protein molecules to test their mechanical properties. Falvo has a long-standing interest in science outreach and frequently presents workshops for the public and k-12 teachers. He has also co-authored two books on nanoscience for middle school science teachers.