Dr. Cheryl Hayashi is a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology, a professor in the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the Leon Hess Director of Comparative Biology Research, and the Director of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. Dr. Hayashi is one of the world’s leading experts on spider silks. Dr. Hayashi studies the characteristics of spider silks, as well as the relationship between spider genomes and their ability to make silks. Hayashi also investigates silks from other arthropods, non-fibrous proteins such as glues, and comparative analysis of spider silk biomechanics. Her findings, already advancing our understanding of the evolution of spiders and their silks, also have the potential to influence the development of biomimetic material for a variety of applications, from tissue scaffolds and medical devices to lightweight vehicle parts. Dr. Hayashi earned her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wyoming and was on the faculty at the University of California, Riverside prior to joining the American Museum of Natural History.
Photo Credit: © AMNH/R. Mickens.