Biological Physics @ Princeton
What is Biological Physics?
Almost every area of modern biology, from molecular genetics to neuroscience, is being revolutionized by large scale, quantitative experiments and sophisticated theoretical analyses. From observing the dynamics of single biological molecules to building theories of neural networks, there are myriad challenges for physicists and biologists willing to explore the boundary between their disciplines.
Our work is animated by the belief that, as in other areas of physics, the striking qualitative phenomena of life should have correspondingly deep theoretical explanations, and that this understanding ultimately will be tested only by a new generation of quantitative experiments.
Why Biological Physics at Princeton?
- Robert H. Austin: What physics can do for biology, what biology can do for physics. Dynamics of proteins, DNA and cells; the physics of cancer.
- William Bialek: Coding, computation and learning in the nervous system; noise and the physical limits to biological functions; statistical mechanics and information theory.
- Curtis G. Callan: Study of theoretically motivated biological questions, ranging from the thermodynamics of gene regulation in bacteria to the statistical physics of the adaptive immune system in humans.
- Thomas Gregor: Physical principles governing embryogenesis and cell communication from a systems perspective; measurement and analysis of molecular signaling dynamics in living multicellular organisms.
- Andrew Leifer: How neural circuits encode complex behavior using the the model organism C. elegans, a microscopic worm with a simple nervous system capable of rich behaviors.
- Joshua Shaevitz: Experimental measurements of biological systems from molecules to animals. Fundamental questions of cell shape, collective motility, and animal behavior.
- John Hopfield Statistical dynamics in biology: Algorithms, biophysics, and 'hardware' in neurobiological computation
- David Tank: measurement and analysis of electrochemical signaling in the nervous system; neural integrators and short term memory; role of feedback in neural circuit dynamics.
- Ned Wingreen Modeling intracellular networks in bacteria: chemotaxis, quorum sensing, cell division, metabolism, circadian rhythms.