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Course Descriptions

BIOL 39500BB Biophysics in Biology & Health

Session Offered:

Spring Credit 3


BIOL 23100 and BIOL 24100 and (PHYS 23400 or PHYS 24100 or PHYS 27200)


Biophysics is an exciting interdisciplinary area where basic biological processes and structures are studied, described or predicted using techniques and principles based on physics. The resulting information can be used to describe how drugs interact with proteins, how antibodies neutralize viruses, how we see light, and how diseases alter human anatomical structure. This introductory course will provide biology students with the necessary physics background that will permit them to understand the major biophysical techniques currently being used to understand life and tackle disease, including X-ray crystallography (e.g. drug design), electron microscopy (e.g. virus anatomy), nuclear magnetic resonance (e.g. MRIs) and fluorescence spectroscopy (biosensors and single molecule imaging). We will also provide physical descriptions of various biological phenomena, from the molecular to the cellular to the organ level.


This course is designed for juniors or seniors and is self-contained (no advanced physics courses are required). An aim is to increase the comfort level of future biologists, biochemists, and health professionals with powerful physical methods being used to study life. Interested students from non-biology majors are welcome.




Title: Physics in Biology & Medicine
Author: Paul Davidovits
ISBN: 9780128137161
Edition: 5th

Course Format:

Meets Tuesday/Thursday 10:30a - 11:45a in SMTH 118


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