Research

Biophysics research within the Department spans many scales, from the structural organization of polymers to the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of populations. Prof. Benedek (emeritus) is one of the pioneers in the biophysics of “soft” materials, and currently works on various forms of protein condensations and phase transitions. Prof. Cisse uses physical techniques to visualize weak and transient biological interactions, to study emergent phenomena in live cells with single molecule sensitivity. Prof. Fakhri combines concepts from biology, soft matter and statistical physics to decode non-equilibrium mechanisms in active living matter. Prof. Gore uses experimentally tractable laboratory populations to test fundamental ideas in theoretical ecology and evolutionary dynamics.

On the theoretical front, Prof. Kardar is a statistical physicist with interests in pattern formation, protein knots, and the immune response. Prof. England and his group focus on structure, function, and evolution in the molecular biophysical realm. Prof. Tegmark studies the physics of cognitive systems. Finally, two theorists have joint appointments in the Department. Prof. Mirny is a computational systems biologist with major efforts devoted to characterizing the spatial organization of the genome and the evolutionary dynamics in cancer. Prof. Chakraborty works to develop and apply statistical physics methods that can complement biological experiments and clinical data to understand how the adaptive immune system works.