Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Biophysics
The Department of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has a rich history of innovative research focused on protein structure and function, biomedical imaging, membrane biology, and redox biology. Our unique expertise in technology development spans the range of magnetic resonance technology, computational methods for biophysics and image analysis, and chemical biology.
Innovation, cutting-edge techniques
Considering a Career in Biophysics?
Why Work for Biophysics?
The Department of Biophysics has been on the forefront of innovation since its inception, and is brimming with creativity. We have strong research programs in structural biology and biomedical imaging, including electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). State-of-the-art research resources geared toward these programs—including laboratories for EPR, NMR, MRI, X-ray crystallography, cryo electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, biomolecular analysis, and high-performance computing—are available.
Why Work at MCW?
The Medical College of Wisconsin brings together the most inquisitive minds in science, medicine, education, and community engagement to advance biomedical knowledge and solve human health challenges. Our goal is to harness the power of academic medicine, where scientists, clinicians, and students actively collaborate with each other and the community, to find novel solutions to the challenges in health and society today. We will ask the questions no one else is asking to fuel the continuous cycle of knowledge that’s shaping the future of translational research.
Why Work in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee is one of the Midwest’s best-kept secrets and a prime location for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s main campus. Milwaukee has a rich cultural heritage and is recognized for its museums, art and music scenes, championship-winning sports teams, festivals, breweries, and historical architecture. The city has access to a multitude of beautiful parks, rivers, and lakes. Milwaukee's charming neighborhoods are known for their character, variety, and architecture, and offer a superb quality of life. Milwaukee is a city that’s growing and changing, and there’s energy in the air.
Biophysics NewsAll Department News
Enhanced Antiproliferative Effects of Mitochondria-Targeted N-acetylcysteine
May 15, 2023
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, Gang Cheng, PhD, and international collaborating researchers published an article in Scientific Reports that discusses mitochondria-targeted NAC.
MCW and French Researchers are Inventors of US Patent Mito-MGN Compounds to Treat Cancer
April 10, 2023
Collaborators from the Department of Biophysics and Aix-Marseille Université, France, are inventors on MCW’s recently awarded US Patent for Mito-Magnolol Compounds and Methods of Synthesis and Use Thereof.
Biophysics Researchers Publish Study on Modified Polyphenols for Use in Cancer and Immune Therapies
February 15, 2023
Gang Cheng, PhD, Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, and international collaborating authors, published an article in Cancers, which discusses the selective modification of several plant-based compounds that inhibit tumor growth in order to increase their potency.
Biophysics Graduate Student Patrick Brennan Receives F31 Grant
January 19, 2023
Patrick Brennan, a Biophysics graduate student in the Lerch Lab, was awarded a two-year, $93,504 F31 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Sam Bobholz, Fifth-Year PhD Student in Biophysics, Wins Paper of the Season Award
September 27, 2022
Sam Bobholz, a fifth-year PhD student in the Department of Biophysics, won the fall Paper of the Season Award from the Graduate School for his paper, Radio-Pathomic Maps of Cell Density Identify Brain Tumor Invasion beyond Traditional MRI-Defined Margins.
MCW Mourns the Passing of Dr. James S. Hyde
August 18, 2022
James S. Hyde, PhD, professor emeritus of biophysics, a pioneer in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and one of the world’s leading authorities on brain connectivity and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) instrumentation, died on Saturday, Aug. 13, following a brief illness.
Christine Zeller Named Department Administrator for Biophysics
August 8, 2022
Christine Zeller has been named Department Administrator for Biophysics effective Aug. 15.
MCW Researchers Awarded US Patent for fMRI Surface Coil that Produces Faster, Higher-quality Images
July 18, 2022
Biophysics faculty are inventors of MCW’s recently issued US Patent for Strongly Coupled Fourth-Order Resonance Coil Systems for Enhanced Signal Detection, which pertains to a novel receive-only surface coil for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a significantly higher sensitivity...
Biophysics Researcher Coauthors Consensus Statement on Measurement of Reactive Oxygen Species
July 12, 2022
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, chair and professor of biophysics and the Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research, coauthored a consensus statement from an international group of researchers, which was published in Nature Metabolism.
Targeting Tumor and Tumor Microenvironment Vulnerabilities
June 30, 2022
Drs. Balaraman Kalyanaraman and Gang Cheng from MCW and Dr. Micael Hardy in France have published a review article that posits that mitochondria-targeted drugs combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy are likely to have potentiating effects in cancer...
Dr. Francesca Marassi Named Chair of Biophysics
June 15, 2022
MCW is pleased to announce the appointment of Francesca Marassi, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), effective October 1, 2022.
MCW Researcher Awarded US Patent for Mito-Lonidamine Compositions and Methods to Treat Cancer
June 8, 2022
Dr. Balaraman Kalyanaraman and collaborators at Aix-Marseille Université, France are inventors on MCW’s recently awarded US Patent for Mito-Lonidamine, Compositions and Methods of Use, which pertains to mitochondria-targeting cationic drugs and methods of using them to inhibit lung cancer...
Combinatorial Mitochondria-Targeted Drug Therapy as a Novel Option for Lung Cancer Prevention
June 3, 2022
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, chair and professor of biophysics and the Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research, collaborates with researchers from the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Aix-Marseille Université.
Melissa Prah Receives Outstanding Presentation Award
June 2, 2022
Melissa Prah, engineer II in the Schmainda lab in the Department of Biophysics, receives the American Society of Neuroradiology’s 2022 (ASNR22) Outstanding Presentation Award.
Microhelix Paves Way for Low-Cost Benchtop X-band Pulse EPR Spectrometers
May 17, 2022
Dr. Jason Sidabras and collaborators have published a paper that explores the use of a self-resonant microhelix to obtain DEER data using three orders of magnitude less power than commercially available resonators.
Innovative Therapy that "Tricks" and Destroys Cancer Cells Advances to Clinical Trial
April 8, 2022
Results from pre-clinical research show iron-like compound holds promise for treating patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer
PEGylated Mitochondria-Targeted Drugs Have Potential in Cancer Treatment
March 29, 2022
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, and Gang Cheng, PhD, collaborate with researchers from Aix-Marseille Université and Houston Methodist Research Institute.
MCW Researchers Awarded US Patent for Mito-Metformin Compounds and Methods to Treat Cancer
March 21, 2022
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, and Jacek Zielonka, PhD, DSc, are two of the inventors on MCW’s recently awarded US Patent for Modified Mito-Metformin Compounds and Methods of Synthesis and Use Thereof.
Study Looks at Use of Mitochondria-Targeted Malaria Drug to Prevent Tumor Growth and Dissemination
March 14, 2022
Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, chair and professor of biophysics and the Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research, collaborates with researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Aix-Marseille Université.
Dr. Kathleen Schmainda Receives Perfect Score on NCI MPI R01 to Establish a Consensus DSC-MRI Protocol
March 14, 2022
Kathleen M. Schmainda, PhD, professor of biophysics, collaborates with researchers from MCW, Brown University, Barrow Neurological Institute, and Mayo Clinic.
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