• Students are required to take four courses. Given the focus and the name of the program (Molecular Biophysics), we believe that the students should demonstrate competence in two areas: Molecular Biology and Physics. To understand quantitatively the behavior (structure, dynamics, and function) of biological macromolecules statistical mechanics or statistical physics is an essential tool. It provides the appropriate framework to design experiments, calculations, and theory for particular biophysical phenomena. Therefore one of the courses must be statistical mechanics. For students with biological background, an undergraduate course is possible with the approval of the committee (e.g. Chemical Engineering 379, “Molecular Driving Forces”, or Chemistry 354 “Physical Chemistry II”), for others a graduate course in “Statistical Mechanics” is required or Chemistry 382 “Advanced Physical Chemistry: Statistical Mechanics”, or Physics 385 “Statistical Mechanics”).  A second course is a graduate level course in Cellular or Molecular Biology (Biology 395H – “Cell Biology”, or Biology or Biochemistry 395J – “Molecular Biology”). Students with insufficient preparation in Molecular Biology may be required to take the pre-requisite of the above courses. A third course is the seminar series in molecular biophysics. The seminar series will run continuously throughout the academic year. External and local speakers will give lectures in the Molecular Biophysics Seminar. The students will be required to attend the seminar for credit over 3 semesters. The last requirement is the selection of one course from the list below (BCH387D “Physical Methods in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology”, BCH391L “Macromolecular Structure”, Chemistry CH393 “Modeling Proteins with Bioinformatics”, BCH394 “Structure and Function of Proteins and Nucleic Acids”, Chemical Engineering, CHE 379 “Quantitative Molecular and Cellular Biology”, Physics, PHY 392T “Single Molecule Biophysics”, Biomedical Engineering, BME 383J “Computational Structural Biology”, Computer Science CS 395 “Bio-Modeling and Visualization,” BIO 366C/NEU 385L “Ion Channels and the Molecular Physiology of Neuronal Signaling”)
  • The students will present one research seminar towards the completion of their PhD thesis. The seminar can be either in the weekly Molecular Biophysics Seminar series or during an annual meeting of Biophysics at UT. Seminars for the annual meeting will be chosen competitively.
  • Annual mini-symposium in biophysics. There will be an annual meeting with a few external speakers, lectures and posters by students of the portfolio, and active recruiting of new graduate students. Participation of the students is expected. Selection of students’ lectures to be presented in the mini-symposium will be competitive.
  • Program administration and certification of program requirement. Responsible faculty: Ron Elber, ron@ices.utexas.edu Administrative support: Ruth Hengst ruth@ices.utexas.edu. An executive committee representing the biological and physical aspects of the field will approve admission and certification of completion.