Welcome to the Center for Biological Physics at UCLA. Let me tell you about who we are and where we see the role of physics in the pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the structure, evolution, and dynamics of the living world. A good place to start is here. If you are interested in learning more sign our electronic guest book, and we will add you to our mailing list in order to keep you informed about special lectures, evenings in the labs, and other public events.

By making a tax-deductible contribution, you will be helping to enhance the activities of the Center for Biological Physics and to promote our university’s presence in one of the rapidly growing areas of physics in the twenty-first century. You will help us to support our biological physics lecture series, including our annual Plenary public lecture that provides a forum for top physicists from around the world to present on the frontiers of the field to the entire UCLA community and the public. You will help to contribute to the education of the next generation of physicists, as your funds will support the research activities of UCLA students and postdoctoral researchers. Lastly, your help will enable the growth of the center’s educational outreach to local universities and community colleges, giving our broader community access to UCLA’s expertise.

If you have contributed to the center in the past, allow me to express my appreciation for your support on behalf of myself, my colleagues, and the students and postdoctoral researchers who have benefited from your generosity.

Physics provides a theoretical foundation for explaining nature, providing simple and elegant mathematical descriptions of often complex phenomena around us. Can this approach inform our understanding of living systems? The UCLA Center for the Physics of Biological Systems applies and adapts the methods of fundamental physics and mathematics to study basic questions of biology.

Traditional biology exhaustively dissects the individual components of complex, living systems. Understanding the basic laws through which these components interact to form complex emergent phenomena requires insights from theoretical physics. An example is the contribution of physicists to HIV treatment through an analysis viral microevolution that lead to the current multidrug cocktails.

  • What are the minimum molecular components that are required for the assembly of a functioning cell?
  • Under what conditions will self-replicating and error-correcting molecular machines evolve from simpler molecular components?
  • What is the physics behind the spontaneous assembly of viruses in cells from its molecular components and how can it be controlled?
  • How does the physical and chemical environment of a cell affect the signaling system that regulates cell division and cell death?
  • How does the cellular replication control fail in the context of cancer?
  • What are the physical mechanisms of sensory detection and what are the fundamental limitations on detecting sound or light?
  • Please have a look at our continually updated research highlights and events calendar.

Please join us. We welcome your input and participation. If you have any comments, questions, or would like to schedule a visit, please feel free to contact me at I look forward to meeting you.

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