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Biophysics

Field Description

Graduate study in biophysics is interdisciplinary and highly individualized. Students majoring in biophysics are expected to obtain a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge of fundamental principles in both the biological and physical sciences. But because biophysics covers a wide range of areas, it would be unrealistic to expect to master each facet in detail. A student working in computational modeling of protein motions will develop a strong background in statistical physics, computational science and chemistry, while a student involved in laser studies of proteins in biological membranes will develop a strong background in quantum physics, instrumentation, chemistry and biomembranes.

At the point of passing the "A" exam -- usually after two years of study -- each student is expected to demonstrate competence in specific subject areas that serve as a foundation for further work. Areas of required competence are: advanced mathematics, physical chemistry (i.e., statistical mechanics and/or quantum mechanics), biochemistry and molecular cell biology, computer literacy and/or laboratory electronics and instrumentation, and advanced studies in molecular biophysics and associated areas of biological and physical sciences.

The field's members are drawn from fourteen departments in seven campus units, and include three members of the National Academy of Sciences. International and national honors won by members of the Cornell biophysics faculty include the Biological Physics prize of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Eli Lilly Award in Biochemistry, the Pfizer Award, and Guggenheim and Fogarty Foundation fellowships.

Research facilities for X-ray crystallography, optical, laser, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and computation include the Cornell Theory Center (supercomputing); the Center for High Energy Synchrotron Studies; MacCHESS (Macromolecular Crystallography at the Center for High Energy Synchrotron Studies), the Developmental Resource for Biophysical Imaging Optoelectronics, the Center for Advanced Technology in Biotechnology; the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility; the Keck 3D Stereo Viewing Theater; the Biomolecular NMR Center; and the Chemistry NMR Facility.

Contact Information

Website: http://www.biophysics.cornell.edu
Email: biophysics@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-2313

107 Biotechnology Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Subject and Degrees

Concentrations by Subject

Biophysics

  • biophysics

Faculty

Yimon Aye

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Method development in chemical biology; redox physiology in living systems; biophysical and biochemical regulation of redox-dependent enzymes

Barbara Ann Baird

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: structure and molecular mechanisms of cell surface immunoreceptors; protein chemistry

John Woodbury Brady

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: molecular biophysics; molecular dynamics simulations (MD); neutron diffraction experiments; aqueous solutions; biopolymer interactions; carbohydrates

Richard A Cerione

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: signal transduction; protein structure; drug design

Joshua Chappie

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Structural biology, biophysics, protein biochemistry, bacterial pathogenesis and defense systems, infection/agent, intracellular trafficking, nucleotide-driven molecular machines, molecular membrane remodeling, protein-nucleic acid interactions

Peng Chen

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: single-molecule spectroscopy; metallochaperone protein interaction; metalloregulator-DNA interaction; nanoparticle catalysis

Itai Cohen

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Origami, origami mechanics, origami metamaterials, origami robotics, complex fluids, colloids, rheology, colloid rheology, shear thickening, tunable shear thickening, shear thinning, confocal rheoscope, SALSA, suspension stresses, cartilage mechanics, cartilage biology, biolocomotion, insect flight, insect flight control, insect neuroscience, plant root growth, most pits, physics of crowds

Brian Crane

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: bioinorganic catalysis; protein structure; electron transfer; light and redox sensing

Iwijn De Vlaminck

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: biophysics, genomics, single cell genomics, molecular diagnostics

Gerald W Feigenson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: biological membranes and membrane proteins; NMR, ESR, fluorescence spectroscopy

Jack H Freed

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: electron spin resonance; dynamic structure of membranes; protein structure and dynamics

Joseph Chris Fromme

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: biological membrane transport; GTPase regulation or protein trafficking; X-ray crystallography

Sol Michael Gruner

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: structure and properties of soft matter; biomaterials; x-ray instrumentation and methods

David Allan Holowka

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: IgE and T-cell antigen receptors; fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy

Toshimitsu Kawate

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of extracellular signaling; membrane receptors; ion channels; X-ray crystallography; electrophysiology; cell biology

Ailong Ke

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: structure and function studies of RNA and RNA-protein complexes

Michael I Kotlikoff

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: muscle biology, mouse genetics, molecular imaging, ion channels

Lena F. Kourkoutis

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Structure and function of subcellular components; cryo-electron microscopy instrumentation and methods; processes at hard/soft interfaces

Guillaume Lambert

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: synthetic biology, antibiotic resistance, systems biology, microbiology

Roger F Loring

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: nonequilibrium statistical mechanics; semiclassical approximations to quantum dynamics; nonlinear infrared spectroscopy of biomolecules

Yuxin Mao

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: X-ray protein crystallography; membrane trafficking; phosphoinositide signaling pathway

Linda K Nicholson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: multidimensional NMR studies of the biophysical basis of protein regulation

Robert Edward Oswald

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: ion channel receptor/ligand interactions; NMR and molecular dynamics

Matthew J. Paszek

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Mechano-transduction, membrane biophysics, super-resolution imaging, cancer biophysics

Poul B. Petersen

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: The Petersen group is focused on developing and applying novel transient IR spectroscopies to probe dynamics in the bulk and at surfaces.

Lois Pollack

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests:

Harold A Scheraga

  • Campus: Ithaca - (Graduate School Professor)
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: protein folding; physicochemical methods and molecular dynamics

James Patarasp Sethna

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: statistical mechanics; condensed-matter physics; biophysics; systems biology; materials science

David I Shalloway

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: computational protein folding and dynamics; algorithms for structure-based drug design

Holger Sondermann

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: regulation in cellular transduction; structural biology; enzyme kinetics; biochemistry

Robert Edward Thorne

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: materials physics problems in structural genomics, including phase behavior and interactions in protein solutions; protein purification; disorder and disordering mechanisms in protein crystals; radiation damage and its mitigation; cryopreservation techniques; development of new hardware; synchrotron-based imaging and diffraction; atomic force microscopy; light scattering; nanofabrication.

Michelle D Wang

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: molecular motors; mechanics of gene expression; RNA polymerase; biopolymers

Mingming Wu

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: Directed cell migration mediated by ligand-receptor binding, cancer biology, microfluidics, and optical microscopy

Chunhui (Chris) Xu

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: biomedical imaging; fiber optics; optical instrumentation

Warren R. Zipfel

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Biophysics: biophysics
  • Research Interests: optical microscopy; multiphoton imaging; fluorescence spectroscopy and bioanalytical methods; cancer biology