Biophysics offers the broadest foundation for students hoping to understand modern biology, medicine, and related disciplines.
— Dr. Juan Rodriguez
What is Biophysics?
Biophysics can be generally defined as the study of biological systems from the perspective of the physical sciences. This is the field of science that explains how physical phenomena like mechanics electricity, magnetism, light, heat, and nuclear radiation related to the structure and the function of biological systems. As such, biophysics encompasses many areas of interest, including:
- Biophysical Theory and Modeling
- Cell Biophysics
- Channels, Receptors, and Transporters
- Muscle and Contractility
- Nucleic Acids
- Spectroscopy, Imaging, and Other Techniques
- Supramolecular Assemblies
You can get a feel for biophysics by taking a look at the course page for Biophysics & Bio-imaging.
Centenary's Department of Physics offers a B.S. in Biophysics
Biophysics as Preparation
The study of biophysics is about more than just commanding facts — instead, biophysics trains you to work through problems like a physical scientist. That is, you'll learn to devise theoretical constructs to piece together seemingly disconnected facts. You'll develop the discipline to ask yourself routinely "Does this hypothesis make sense given from what is known about the dynamics of this biological system? Can I make a theoretical prediction based on exact physical principles?" This rigorous attitude is becoming increasingly important in the biological sciences as the field attempts to deal with the overwhelming amount of microscopic information derived from advanced scientific instrumentation.
More generally, being able to problem-solve like a biophysicist is a way for you to prepare yourself to contribute in any endeavor. Just look at the wide range of opportunities enjoyed by our biophysics graduates.
Biophysics as Pre-Med Curriculum
The medical field has long recognized that a broad strength in science is a necessary foundation for a successful medical career. This recognition is reflected in the widely used entrance test for medical schools (the MCAT) where students are tested not only on biological concepts, but also equally on chemistry (including organic chemistry) and physics (including modern physics). All of these subjects are covered in a biophysics major. In fact, some medical schools are now changing their medical programs by emphasizing the same discovery and think-through approach taught in our biophysics program.
Find out more about Centenary's pre-med program.
Our Faculty is Exceptionally Well Trained in Biophysics
- Troy Messina. PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin (2003). Postdoctoral training in Biophysics from Rutgers University (2003 to 2007).
- Juan Rodriguez, PhD in Physics from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Postdoctoral training in Biophysics from Washington University in St. Louis (1986 to 1990).