Who We Are

Section 1


The Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology serves physical and computer science students who are interested in applying their knowledge to biology, as well as students with a biological background interested in instrumentation, computation, and physical aspects of biology. The cooperation and cross-training of scientists with engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences backgrounds has infused biology with powerful technologies and exciting new paradigms. Close interactions between theory and experiments have led to fundamental advances in our understanding of the physical basis of life. Now biology is undergoing a transformation with application of modern computational methods and advanced experimental tools to solve problems of unprecedented complexity.

The Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology is interdisciplinary, consisting of over 40 faculty members who have their home departments in Biochemistry, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology, and the Medical School. The Center serves as the interface between faculty research programs in experimental biophysics and quantitative and computational biology, with common interests in elucidating the physical basis of biological phenomena. The graduate degree program of the Center offers training in all aspects of this rapidly growing area.

In experimental biophysics, faculty research includes:

  • single molecule spectroscopy
  • structural biology
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • neurophysiology
  • enzyme mechanisms
  • electron and proton transfer
  • magnetic resonance
  • protein and RNA folding
  • molecular dynamics
  • systems biology
  • and more

In quantitative, computational, and theoretical biology, current research by Center faculty utilizes a wide range of computer platforms to simulate diverse biological phenomena at many levels - from individual macromolecules and systems of interacting molecules, to membranes and single cells, to networks of neurons and higher order structures, and even populations of organisms. Center faculty members are also developing bioinformatics tools to create and search biological databases, to provide input for functional analysis and simulations.

Section 2