Biological Physics

Biophysics// Maryam Kohram

Living systems are remarkably complex and span an enormous range of scales, from molecules to cells to organisms to populations. Biological physics, like all branches of physics, seeks the simple principles that explain this complexity and unite these scales. Biological physics has exploded in recent decades, and the Biological Physics group at Pitt is part of this exciting growth.

Faculty in the group have diverse research programs. Hanna Salman uses experiments to uncover the scaling laws that govern bacterial gene expression, epigenetic memory, and growth. Andrew Mugler uses theory to explain these scaling laws, and to investigate cell sensing and collective behavior. Xiao-lun Wu uses experiments to study bacterial swimming, as well as turbulence in two-dimensional films. Jianhua Xing uses statistical physics, dynamical systems and machine learning to investigate collective inter- and intracellular dynamics governing cell fate transitions. Keisuke Ishihara uses experiments with organoids to investigate how cells self-organize and form tissues. John Barton uses statistical physics to study how pathogens evolve and how they interact with the immune system.