Molecular Biophysics Ph.D. Program

The Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program offers a vibrant environment for students interested in studying biology from a quantitative, physical perspective. The program is highly interdisciplinary, comprising more than 30 faculty members with diverse backgrounds and interests, including mathematics, theoretical physics, neurobiology, and genetics.

After rigorous coursework and laboratory rotations during the first year, students pursue full-time research in a rich training environment that provides access to, and training on, a wide variety of state-of-the-art instrumentation: synchrotron radiation, NMR and fluorescence spectrometers, electron and light microscopes, high-performance computing, analytical ultracentrifugation, isothermal titration calorimetry, and more. Instrumentation is housed in individual faculty labs or as part of core facilities like the Structural Biology Core, Macromolecular Biophysics Resource, and Live Cell Imaging Core.

Our trainees hone their presentation skills through annual presentations to the entire program, and they have opportunities to meet with leading scientists from other institutions as part of numerous seminar series. The training environment here has a long history of success, and has been recognized for excellence by the NIH by a T32 training award that has been running for 25 years. Graduating students transition successfully to a wide variety of positions.

Message from the Program Chair

Dr. Rizo-Rey
José Rizo-Rey, Ph.D.

José Rizo-Rey, Ph.D.
Professor, Biochemistry
Graduate School: Ph.D., University of Barcelona, 1988
Postdoctoral Training: UT Southwestern Medical Center 

The Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program offers a vibrant environment for students interested in studying biology from a quantitative, physical perspective. The program is highly interdisciplinary, comprising more than 30 faculty members with diverse backgrounds and interests, including mathematics, theoretical physics, neurobiology, and genetics.

Using a wide range of biophysical techniques, including X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, light spectroscopy/microscopy, and computational modeling among others, these laboratories investigate in atomic detail how proteins and other macromolecules function individually, and as part of complex biological systems.

Neurotransmitter release, cytoskeletal dynamics, cellular signaling, nuclear transport, ion channels, transporters, photosensors, T cell receptors, and G-proteins are among the many areas of interest. A highly interactive atmosphere, catalyzed by Journal Clubs, an annual retreat, and the celebrated Molecular Biophysics Discussion Group seminar series, offers all members of the program the opportunity to learn from each other and to gain expertise in many varied subjects, well beyond their own areas of research.

The Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program gratefully acknowledges training grant support from the NIH (GM 5T32GM008297-21).

Attention Undergraduates

Undergraduates are encouraged to apply for the Frank and Sara McKnight Prize in Undergraduate Biophysics. Cash prizes will be awarded to senior undergraduate students for outstanding research in biophysics or quantitative biology.