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Molecular Biophysics Ph.D. Program

Prospective students interested in joining the program should apply to the Basic Biomedical Sciences Program in the Division of Basic Science.

Basic Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program; First-year students complete a core curriculum with: Core Course, 2+ Laboratory Rotations; Responsible Conduct of Research Training in Integrity, Ethics, and Excellence. Second-year students take a qualifying exam to enter the Ph.D. program: Collaborative and Cross-Disciplinary

About the Molecular Biophysics Program

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The Molecular Biophysics (MB) Graduate Program offers a vibrant environment for students interested in solving biological problems using interdisciplinary, quantitative approaches. The MB Graduate Program has approximately 40 faculty members who bring diverse backgrounds and interests ranging from mathematics to genetics, physics to neuroscience, chemistry to evolution, and beyond.

Biological areas of study include trans-membrane transport and signaling, cytoskeleton and intracellular organization, gene expression and regulation, protein folding and mis-folding, and more. Computational and systems-level approaches coexist and synergize with structure, biochemistry, and imaging.

A History of Grant Support

Molecular Biophysics trainees successfully compete for national predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. The Molecular Biophysics program has a long history as a strong training environment and has been recognized for excellence by the NIH in the form of 25-plus years of T32 training grant support from the NIH.

Jesus Vega-Lugo

“The Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program is very collaborative and interdisciplinary. Students on the program work in a range of research areas from structural biology and microscopy to machine and deep learning.”

Jesus Vega-Lugo

Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program

Dagimhiwat Legesse

“I think the biophysics program at UT Southwestern has a rigorous and challenging curriculum while consistently providing exceptional support for graduate students.”

Dagimhiwat Legesse

Molecular Biophysics Graduate program


Going Beyond Lab Research

Our Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program offers a supportive and collaborative environment to help trainees become accomplished scientists. Our curriculum includes:

A woman explains a point on a poster to another woman
  • Advanced Coursework

    Students benefit from rigorous coursework that is updated regularly with feedback from participants. The coursework focuses on the application of principles and techniques of the physical sciences to biomedical research problems.

  • Research Presentations and Seminar Series

    Students build strong presentation skills through annual research presentations to the entire program and regularly have opportunities to host and/or meet with leading scientists from other institutions as part of numerous seminar series.

  • Annual Symposium

    All members of the Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program, their mentors, and fellow lab members are invited to our annual symposium. The symposium gives students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty an opportunity to present results of grant-supported research to a broader community, with time allowed for discussion. Through feedback from the larger biophysics community, the presenter and their mentor gain new ideas for future directions. The day is specifically designed to encourage scientific exchange and promote academic development.

State-of-the-Art Instrumentation

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, such as:

  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Nmr and fluorescence spectrometers
  • Cryo-electron and advanced fluorescence microscopes
  • High-performance computing
  • Analytical ultracentrifugation
  • Isothermal titration calorimetry

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.

Meet the Director

Luke Rice, Ph.D.

Professor, Biochemistry
Graduate School: Ph.D., Yale University, 2000
Postdoctoral Training: University of California, San Francisco

“The mission of the Molecular Biophysics graduate program is to help trainees become accomplished scientists, serious thinkers, and effective communicators.” Read Dr. Rice’s full message.

Luke Rice, Ph.D.

Contact the Graduate School

Lisa Gardner, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean

Phone: 214-648-0718

Lisa Gardner, Ph.D.

Stuart Ravnik, Ph.D.

Associate Dean

Phone: 214-648-0733

Stuart Ravnik, Ph.D.

Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Ph.D.

Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Ph.D.

Phone: 214-648-2527

Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Ph.D.

Deborah Evalds

Administrative Coordinator

Phone: 214-648-0007

Deborah Evalds