Biophysics Graduate Program
The Biophysics Graduate Program has two tracks each leading to the PhD degree: Magnetic Resonance Biophysics and Molecular Biophysics.
In the Magnetic Resonance Biophysics track, particular emphasis is placed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human brain is an active research area (neuroscience, contrast mechanisms, technical development).
The Molecular Biophysics track encompasses the investigation, detection, and use of free radicals and paramagnetic metal ions in biological systems. Free radicals are involved in many disease processes and yet are also an integral part of cellular communication. Free radicals can also be used to label proteins and to map out protein structure, providing information on protein dynamics and conformational changes that cannot be obtained from crystal structure data. In addition, free-radical labels can be used to probe the dynamics of biological membranes. Paramagnetic metal ions are central to most biological processes and electron transfer systems. A major technique used in the above studies is electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The Department of Biophysics houses one of the few national centers for EPR-related research (the National Biomedical EPR Center). Students with a more physical background may specialize in EPR instrumentation. Additionally, the Department of Biophysics is home to the Free Radical Research Center.
Other opportunities exist in both tracks, as is evident from the research interests of the faculty.
For more information, contact the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. See also the Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs.