Computational and Molecular Biophysics
Graduate Student Coordinator: Melissa Torres
Computational & Molecular Biophysics Faculty Director: Daved Fremont, Ph.D.
Computational & Molecular Biophysics brings together elements of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to describe and understand biological processes. It is a fusion of two scientific cultures: The systems and processes of biochemistry and Computational & molecular biology are joined with the principles and quantitative laws of physical chemistry. The goal is to develop a quantitative and predictive understanding of biology at a detailed molecular level.
An important feature of the Program in Computational & Molecular Biophysics is its emphasis on multidisciplinary, interactive approaches to the study of biological systems. Communication and collaboration among investigators with diverse interests is fundamental to defining the interesting questions and developing the systems which make biophysics a unique synthesis of disciplines. At Washington University, the Program brings together scientists who share the biophysicist's goal of understanding biological processes, yet who work on systems which range from single molecules to whole cells.
The Program in Computational & Molecular Biophysics, established in 1990, seeks to train students who understand biological processes and who can take advantage of the sophisticated physical techniques necessary to probe those processes at a detailed molecular level.
Research projects include: Macromolecular Crystallography, Single Molecule Imaging and Dynamics, NMR of Biological Systems, Protein Structure and Folding, Nucleic Acid:Protein Interactions, Cellular Dynamics, Protein Design and Thermodynamics of Macromolecules.
Physical facilities are equipped for X-ray crystallography, with an area detector facility; molecular modeling facilities, with Silicon Graphics computers; femtosecond laser spectroscopy; fluorescence microscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance (magnetic resonance imaging, high resolution NMR, solid state magnetic resonance); microcalorimetry; analytical ultracentrifugation; and stopped-flow instrumentation.