By enumerating complete gene repertoires, genomes provide an unprecedented unbiased view of biology. Efforts at Berkeley range from work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint Genomics Institute to sequence, catalog, and analyze the genomes of new and model organisms, to theoretical and experimental work to understand genetic circuits. Computational methods are used to discover previously undetected molecular and cellular biological activities, to design computational screens for genetic control elements, and to provide a detailed physical analysis of the biochemical and genetic networks that govern cellular development with the goal of engineering cell and tissue systems.
Computational approaches at Berkeley are also being used to determine the rules of protein folding, in protein design (with an emphasis on enzymes), to understand the dynamics of signaling networks responsible for cell differentiation and motility, to model the energetics of force generation and structural rearrangement in motor proteins, ion channels and pumps, to model population/disease dynamics, and to model information processing by neural networks in vision, audition and learning, and to design systems for computer vision.
Several faculty in the program are members of the Designated Emphasis in Computational and Genomic Biology. This Designated Emphasis (DE) program functions essentially like a “minor,” and provides specialized multi-disciplinary training and research opportunities in the different facets of computational biology and genomics. Biophysics students who wish to follow research careers in genomics or computational biology are encouraged to apply to the DE.
Other research areas:
Structural Biophysics and Protein Dynamics
Molecular Microscopy and Optical Probes
Cell Signaling and Cellular Physiology
Brain Imaging and Bioelectronics