Biological Physics

Cells are dynamical systems that evolve far from the equilibrium, but they are also reliable machines able to perform sophisticated computations: they can sense and interpret signals associated with external environmental cues. Our biophysics research is interested in characterizing the organizing principles of biological networks that govern essential cellular processes such as the ability to sense, transmit and generate signals. For example, some dynamic composite polymer networks display the properties of a mechanical machine. Throughout the study of these complex networks we hope to identify some general physical aspects of biological organization. This research offers interdisciplinary training opportunities for individuals with either a biological or physical sciences background. Techniques involved in biophysics depend on the expertise of non-linear dynamics, computational biology, lasers, time-resolved fluorescence, confocal microscopy, protein-engineering, signal transduction, gene expression, mathematical modeling, large-scale simulations, stochastic and self-assembly processes, optical and holographic traps, single-molecule biophysics.

Margaret Gardel

Professor; Director, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. For more information about Professor Gardel, please visit her webpage.


Arvind Murugan

Assistant Professor. For more information about Professor Murugan, please visit his webpage.


Stephanie Palmer

Assistant Professor. For more information about Professor Palmer, please visit her webpage.


Michael Rust

Associate Professor. For more information about Professor Rust, please visit his webpage.


For more information about biophysics at the University of Chicago, including information about other biophysics researchers, please see:
► The Institute for Biophysical Dynamics
► The Biophysical Sciences Program