Biophysical Chemistry

Biophysical Chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary branch of science that seeks to elucidate biomolecular mechanisms in terms of the underlying physicochemical driving forces. This field sits at the junction of many other areas—including structural and computational biology, molecular biophysics, imaging and microscopy methods, and biomolecular spectroscopy. Biophysical chemists develop and apply (i) new measurement technologies (such as super-resolution imaging in live cells), (ii) various formalisms from the physical sciences (such as statistical mechanics), as well as (iii) data analytics and computational modeling tools (such as molecular simulations). Together, these various approaches enable one to develop an integrated understanding of the structural properties, dynamics, and functions of biological molecules in the contexts of their native environments (living cells, tissues, etc.). By its very nature, research in biophysical chemistry is often highly collaborative; this, in turn, enables students to develop expertise in working across boundaries that span conventional disciplines.