Princeton to Launch New PhD Program in Biophysics

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 21, 2022

Princeton University

One of the world’s most prestigious universities, Princeton University, is launching a new Ph.D. program in biophysics that will be taught by some of its best lecturers, many of whom are members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, as well as Howard Hughes Investigators, and winners of major national research awards and prizes.

In a press release issued this week, Princeton University has revealed that the new Ph.D. program in biophysics will be for students that wish “to study at the interface between living systems and physics, at every scale from molecules to ecosystems, including both experimental and theoretical work.”

Commenting on the move, the director of graduate studies for the new biophysics Ph.D. program, Joshua Shaevitz, who is also a physics professor at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, said that the biophysics community at Princeton makes progress through collaborative efforts that merge different departments at the university and different ways of thinking, reports.

It’s dispersed across the campus, but collectively, Princeton has one of the top biophysics research programs in the world,” Shaevitz says.

The press release revealing the launch of the new program also points out that Princeton is home to an NSF Physics Frontier Center – the Center for the Physics of Biological Function – which is focused on experimental and theoretical research in the field of biophysics.

Further commenting on the new program, Shaevitz claims that Princeton has the strongest theoretical biophysics group anywhere, pointing out that several Nobel prize winners are or, at some point, have been part of the university.

We have people who just won the Breakthrough Prize for phase separation — liquid-liquid phase separation — which is the core of molecular biophysics. We have a very strong group in imaging and microscopy,” he points out, adding that a number of those working at Princeton are people who have designed or built new kinds of tools in experimental physics.

According to the press release issued by Princeton, the program will be taught by 35 professors, some of whom come from the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics, which directs the program.

Whereas others are already part of other Departments at Princeton, like that of Chemistry, Computer Science, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Neuroscience, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Physics.

The university has already opened the call for applications for the 2023-2024 school year, which should be submitted directly to the Biophysics Program until December 1 this year.

Students that are selected to become part of the program will be granted access to a wealth of resources, including here computation, microscopy, and fabrication.

The university has also launched a new part-academic fellowship, and part-startup accelerator called the START Entrepreneurs program to help foster greater diversity and broader participation in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship within the university.

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