My group studies a variety of biological systems from a soft matter perspective. A biological cell is a material with complex properties arising from composite and highly dynamic, non-equilibrium intracellular biopolymer networks — the cytoskeleton and the nucleoskeleton. The cell is the simplest entity that exhibits the characteristics of life, and many of these characteristics rely on the cell’s mechanical properties. The cell’s material is exposed to active driving by the cell’s machinery, and the materials themselves sometimes contain active, driving components that confer some surprising mechanical properties. We have only begun to understand the physics of these materials as an active form of matter.