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Division Of Natural Sciences & MathematicsMolecular and Cellular Biophysics Program

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

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MCB Doctoral Program

The Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Ph.D. (MCB) program provides opportunities for doctoral studies in the interdisciplinary field of biophysics. Participation of faculty from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Physics & Astronomy enhances the strength and breadth of our program by incorporating cross-disciplinary and collaborative approaches to research. The MCB Ph.D. program is centered on research activities that coincide with faculty experience and expertise. Areas of research in the MCB program include cellular physiology, developmental dynamics, protein folding, protein network analysis, signal transduction cascades, single molecule biophysics and the development of novel imaging techniques. Projects at the interface of traditional disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry as well as methods of mathematical analysis and computer modeling are particularly encouraged.

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The MCB Ph.D. program offers both a core foundation in biophysical theory and practice, yet provides flexibility and individualized attention such that students with diverse scientific backgrounds will have the opportunity to be trained in molecular and cellular biophysics. During their first year in the program, students conduct lab rotations, take a year-long course sequence that covers foundations of molecular and cellular biophysics and take additional graduate courses to supplement their undergraduate training. At the end of their first year, students will join the lab in which they will conduct their thesis research.

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Students with strong quantitative undergraduate backgrounds (e.g., undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics) who desire to apply these skills to various biological problems, as well as students with a background in cell or molecular biology with a solid foundation in mathematics and physics are particularly encouraged to apply. Financial aid is usually offered in the form of Graduate Teaching or Graduate Research Assistantships, which cover tuition costs and provide a stipend for living expenses.

Please contact Prof. David Patterson ( for further information or with questions about the details of the program.