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Biophysics

Biological systems present exciting challenges for physicists that range from fundamental physics to highly applied physics. The new physics disciplines of complexity and self-organization reach their zenith in biological systems.

Faculty

The Biophysics group consists of three faculty members, two in theoretical and computational biophysics, and one in experimental biophysics, and a number of graduate and undergraduate students.

Groups

Theoretical and Computational Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

We use theoretical and computational techniques to investigate several topics of fundamental and applied interest. These include the non-linear dynamics of protein folding, protein-protein interactions, protein aggregation, protein-chromophore interactions, infectious disease propagation, and laser effects on biological tissue including the retina. Our work also involves techniques of condensed matter and amorphous physics, mathematical techniques of non-linear dynamics and complexity theory, and computer modeling to understand these crucially important biological and complex physical processes. 

We also mathematically model the spread of infectious diseases. This provides critical information on which stage in the process is most likely to be amenable to interventions that may prevent an epidemic or limit its extent. This provides guidance on how best to invest public health resources. A separate topic of investigation of the group has been on the effects of laser radiation on biological tissues such as the retina. An understanding of the biophysics of the laser induced damage affords new techniques for protection and setting safety standards.

Experimental Biophysics

We’re interested in the physics of the eye and visual system and has programs investigating the possible relationship between macular pigment and age-related macular degeneration.

The Nano-Bio Research Lab carries out research in nanobiotechnology, single molecule cellular biophysics and Nano/molecular electronics.