Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology

Biophysics News

Molecular transporters in brain cells captured in action: Glutamate transporters conducting water and ions.

Newly discovered glutamate transporter’s elevator-like structure and dual-function mechanism open up a field of possibilities

To maintain normal brain function, the extracellular levels of necessary neurotransmitters, such as glutamate—a major chemical signal responsible for communication between brain cells– have to be kept low to avoid excessive stimulation of receptors and nerve cell damage, a pathological process otherwise referred to as excitotoxicity.
Defne Gorgun

New research uncovering details of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with human cells featured by Biophysical Society

In order to infect cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, needs to insert itself into the membrane of human cells. New molecular models show what parts of SARS-CoV-2 are critical for that interaction, revealing new potential drug targets.
Chaoyi Jin

Alumnus Spotlight: Chaoyi Jin

Chaoyi Jin graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a doctoral degree in biophysics and quantitative biology in August 2019. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Nanjing University, China.
Erik Procko

Engineered ACE2 variant blocks SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding sites, prevents infection

At the time that COVID-19 continues to pose a global health emergency, researchers around the world are working diligently for solutions that would prevent or limit the infection. University of Illinois researchers led the scientific community at more than one front in the development of innovative approaches to fight the pandemic.
Christiaan Sybesma

Christiaan Sybesma: An extraordinary biophysicist of our time

The life and outstanding contributions of Christiaan Sybesma, one of the greatest biophysicists of all times and a former faculty member of Biophysics and Botany (now Plant Biology) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, were recently highlighted in an article published in Photosynthesis Research.
Weak Chemical Interactions That Drive Protein Evolution

Weak Chemical Interactions Drive Protein Evolution

Weak interactions between proteins in the cell play a critical role in biological processes. Weak interactions are very common and can add up in the cell, leading to signaling, chaperoning and other important activities. They also generate a spatio-temporal heterogeneous cytoplasm.
Eugene Rabinowitch

Govindjee Pays Tribute to His Mentor Eugene I. Rabinowitch

Govindjee paid tribute to his mentor Eugene I. Rabinowitch in an article recently published by Photosynthesis Research. "He was, first and foremost, a great human being, a friend to all, a top leader in science, and a person who constantly thought and strived for peace in this world," said Govindjee in describing Rabinowitch.
Alexander Moffett

Graduate Spotlight: Alexander Moffett

Alex Moffett graduated with a PhD in Biophysics and Quantitative Biology in August 2019. For the past five years, he had been researching how plants use the growth hormone brassinosteroids to control the growth of their cells.
Defne Gorgun

Defne Gorgun receives Outstanding Short-Form Student Oral Presentation Award

Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology PhD candidate Defne Gorgun has been selected to receive the Outstanding Short-Form Student Oral Presentation (Blitz Talk) Award at the 1st MCB Retreat. Defne was specifically recognized for her ability to concisely and coherently summarize her research in a 3-minute presentation. She will receive $200 in prize money.
Govindjee smiles in his office, surrounded by books, instruments, plaques, and photos related to the history of photosynthesis

Govindjee's photosynthesis museum

Not only has plant biology professor emeritus Govindjee made key contributions to the scientific understanding of photosynthesis, but he has also maintained his own photosynthesis museum where he collected a significant amount of artifacts, papers, books, and photographs related to photosynthesis research.