Some of the most exciting discoveries to come out of the sciences, at UC Berkeley or anywhere else, are made at the interfaces between multiple fields. Physics and biology are two such fields. It takes an adventurous scientist to seek training in these two fields at the same time. But the impact, when they are brought together, is extraordinary. The Biophysics Graduate Group at Berkeley exists to train aspiring trans-disciplinary researchers to build bridges from biology to physics and back, so that they can transform biology by bringing to it the quantitative rigor and power of physics.
We are cognizant that there are many ways to apply quantitative, physics-based approaches to biology, and the program is designed to be flexible to accommodate these. The program is independent from traditional single-discipline departments and draws on a membership of approximately 60 faculty based in many different departments. As part of the flexibility built into the program, students can also choose to work with faculty who are not members of the Biophysics Graduate Group. If independence, flexibility, and the power of the rigorous cross-disciplinary approach of biophysics appeal to you, we invite you to apply!
Why Biophysics @ Berkeley?
Biophysics at Berkeley is special. UC Berkeley is a big place, and with our neighbor Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory across the street and up the hill, the physics and biology resources are immense. Almost any scientific instrument or resource you might ever need is right here, from the Advanced Light Source on down. At Berkeley, we have a uniquely collaborative culture. When you are trying to bridge two disciplines as different as physics and biology, access to collaborations is critical. Finding expertise in the most specialized techniques takes just a stroll down the hall or across campus.
These resources and our collaborative culture have contributed to multiple breakthroughs coming from the laboratories of Berkeley Biophysics faculty members and the work of past Biophysics graduate students. These include the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome editing that is transforming biology, and the launch of the cryo-electron microscopy revolution that is reshaping structural biology.
(Cryo-EM Bootcamp 2021! Photo by P. Grob)
Finally, we are different from our top-ranked peers in that Berkeley is a public institution. As such, we are committed to maximizing access to training at the highest level of excellence to those who will most benefit from it, coming from all kinds of backgrounds.
The Biophysics Graduate Group is a member of the QB3-Berkeley Program in Quantitative Biosciences, and is also part of the Division of Biological Sciences. Click here and here (pdf/brochure) for more information on biology programs at Berkeley.
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