Biophysical Chemistry seeks to explain biological mechanisms using a combination of chemical and physical concepts and techniques. Cells have a highly dynamic and complex environment composed of varying biomolecules with specific functions that we seek to understand. At UVA, we develop and apply:
(i) new measurement technologies,
(ii) various formalisms from the physical sciences, as well as
(iii) data analytics and computational modeling tools.
These various approaches enable one to develop an integrated understanding of the structural properties, dynamics, and functions of biological molecules through techniques like super-resolution imaging, statistical mechanics, and molecular simulations. Biophysical Chemistry necessitates collaboration and enables students to develop expertise in a breadth of techniques and fields.
More specifically, 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. For more information on current research that is underway in the various labs visit their faculty websites below.
- Huiwang Ai
- John Bushweller
- David Cafiso
- Linda Columbus
- Kateri DuBay
- Andreas Gahlmann
- Charles Grisham
- Rebecca Pompano
- Cliff Stains