Graduate Program in Biophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago (T32 EB009412)

Program DirectorTobin Sosnick

Administrator: Michele Wittels
Phone: 4-7456
Fax: 4-1917

Openings: 6 Predoctoral, 0 Postdoctoral

The Training Grant supports the Graduate Program in Biophysical Sciences which is designed to provide interdisciplinary training at the interface between the physical and biological sciences and to promote the University’s interdisciplinary research culture. The program admits students with expertise in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, or engineering who need training in the biological sciences in order to pursue interdisciplinary research. In the first year of the program, trainees take a 3 quarter 16hour/week practical laboratory course: “Synthesis, Measurement and Analysis” which includes training segments in faculty research laboratories and extensive reading of primary literature in molecular and cell biology. Trainees are also required to take didactic courses in graduate programs in both the physical and biological sciences. Thesis research is conducted under the supervision of two mentors. Each graduate student chooses a pair of mentors from across our diverse faculty trainers and fully participates in both of these research groups.

Training Faculty:

  • Sosnick, Tobin R.: Protein & RNA folding, design & function, simulations & predictions
  • Adams, Erin: Immunology, t-cell receptor, molecular recognition, signaling, membrane channels
  • An, Gary: Translational computational research, system-level simulations of trauma and sepsis
  • Bensmaia, Sliman: Neural coding and the neural basis of perception
  • Bezanilla, Francisco: Structure-function relation in voltage dependent membrane proteins
  • Biron, David: Elucidating the molecular and neural bases of sleep behavior conserved across phyla
  • Birukov, Konstantin: Regulation of lung vascular permeability
  • Bishop, Douglas: Characterization of drugs that alter the efficiency of homologous recombination
  • Chang, Eugene: Host-microbial interactions of the intestine, signals/pathways involved in intestinal homeostasis
  • Coleman, Maureen: Microbial evolution and ecology, biogeochemistry
  • Crosson, Sean: Modeling biological complexity
  • DePablo, Juan: Thermophysical properties of fluids and solids at a molecular level
  • Dinner, Aaron: Modeling gene regulation and repair
  • Drummond, D. Allan: Error-induced protein misfolding influence on the progression of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Engel, Gregory: Photochemical dynamics, energy transfer in biology
  • Freed, Karl: Theories of protein dynamics, folding, and aggregation; beta-amyloid aggregation
  • Gardel, Margaret: Cytoskeleton, cellular mechanotransduction, biopolymer networks, cell adhesion and migration
  • Gilbert, Jack: Stability of robust and well-defined microbial communities in fluid ecosystems
  • Glick, Benjamin: Dynamics of membrane domains; directed evolution of fluorescent proteins
  • Glotzer, Michael: Mechanism of cytokinesis using genetics, biochemistry, and live cell imaging
  • Green, William: Ionotropic neurotransmitter membrane receptors in ion channels
  • Greene, Geoffrey: Steroid hormones and their receptors in hormone sensitive tissues and cancers
  • He, Chuan: DNA repair, metalloregulation, suppression of virulence in pathogens
  • Horne-Badovinac, Sally: Dynamic regulation of cell shape, polarity and adhesion across cell populations
  • Jabri, Bana: Triggers of celiac disease and immune disorders
  • Keenan, Robert: Structural biology, directed evolution, fluorescent proteins, N-acetyltransferases
  • Kent, Stephen B.H.: Chemical protein synthesis, advanced physical methods, protein biological function
  • Kossiakoff, Anthony: Hormone-receptor interactions, enzyme-inhibitor interfaces, synthetic proteins
  • Kovar, David: Actin assembly; recapitulated cytoskeleton structures by single filament microscopy
  • Kron, Stephen: Cell cycle, checkpoint and signaling pathways in yeast; novel methods for functional biochips
  • Lee, Ka Yee: Membrane, lipid-protein interactions, lung surfactant, Alzheimer's amyloid-beta peptide, antimicrobial peptides
  • MacLean, Jason: Observational and theoretical approaches to how the brain encodes and stores information
  • Moffat, Keith: Time-resolved crystallography; signal transduction; photoreceptors; synchrotron radiation; protein design
  • Munro, Edwin: Dynamics of embryonic cell and tissue behavior, cytoskeletal dynamics and cytomechanic
  • Nealey, Paul F.: Effects of biomimetic nanostructured surfaces on cell behavior; directed polymer self-assembly
  • Palmer, Stephanie: Neurons ability to encode info present in their inputs and to perform computations on these signals
  • Pan, Tao: RNA genomics, RNA folding
  • Perozo, Eduardo: Ion channels, membrane transport and protein dynamics, energy transduction, over-expression of membrane protiens
  • Piccirilli, Joseph: Chemistry and RNA splicing and catalysis
  • Rice, Phoebe: Structural biochemistry of DNA recombination
  • Rock, Ronald: Myosin molecular motors, single-molecule enzymology, actin cytoskeletal dynamics
  • Rosner, Marsha: MAPK signaling in cell differentiation, novel chemical probes of cell signaling
  • Roux, Benoit: Ion channels, lipid membranes, crystallography, solvation, Poisson-Boltzmann theory, free energy perturbation, ligand binding
  • Rust, Michael: Developing understanding of the function of bimolecular circuits
  • Ruthenburg, Alex: Mechanisms underlying genome management, chemical and structural biology
  • Scherer, Norbert: Macromolecular formation, single molecule dynamics, pointillist and super-resolution nonlinear optical microscopies
  • Scott, Ridgway: Protein-ligand interactions, distributed computing, bioinformatics
  • Sibener, Steven: Molecular structure and dynamics using scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy
  • Stephens, Matthew: Bayesian and computational statistics, particularly when applied to problems in population genetics
  • Tang, Wei-Jen: Structural basis of cell signal transduction and its application to human health
  • Thinakaran, Gopal: Cellular and molecular biology of Alzheimer's disease
  • Tian, Bozhi: Molecular-nano interface between biological and semiconductor systems, novel material synthesis and device concept
  • Tirrell, Matthew: Surface properties of polymers, surface phenomena, self-assembly of synthetic and bio-inspired materials
  • Tokmakoff, Andrei: Ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy, molecular dynamics of chemical reactions in solution and biological processes
  • Voth, Gregory:  Behavior of complex systems, biomolecular & liquid state phenomena
  • White, Kevin: Genome-wide mapping of transcriptional networks involved in development, disease and evolution
  • Witten, Thomas: Self-organization of soft matter mediated by mechanical stress, mechanical stress in info transfer in a cell
  • Zhang, Wendy: Nonlinear dynamics, fluid dynamics, condense-matter physics, biologically inspired physics
  • Zhao, Yingming: Mass spectrometry-based proteomics technologies to dissect PTM pathways
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