Provides information about biophysics jobs including qualifications and places of employment.
What is biophysics?
Biophysics is a quantitative science that integrates mathematics, physics, and chemistry, and biology. Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that applies the theories and methods of physical sciences to questions of biology. The study of biophysics addresses how macromolecules and their complexes function. Its focus is mechanism, prediction and application relative to biological processes.
What do biophysicists do?
Biophysicists study life processes at the molecular level. By drawing knowledge and experimental techniques from a wide variety of disciplines biophysicists are able to indirectly observe or model the structures and interactions of individual molecules or complexes of molecules. A biophysicist may be involved in measuring the kinetics of single molecule interactions or solving a protein structure.
A biophysicist may develop and apply models and experimental techniques derived from physics (e.g. electromagnetism and quantum mechanics) to systems such as tissues or organs to benefit neuroscience or cardiology or muscle function.
What qualifications do biophysicists need?
Entry level positions for biophysicists require advanced graduate degrees. Personal qualities of being able to think creatively and work independently as part of a professional and interdisciplinary team will be helpful. A strong science background in mathematics and science is essential. Undergraduate preparation should include molecular and cellular biology, differential and integral calculus physical chemistry. physics, chemistry, mathematics and computational science and courses in differential equations and systems analysis.
What areas are included in biophysics courses?
Biophysics graduate programs are oriented towards various professional applications such as academic, government, industrial, research, or medical and originate within different departmental areas. It is important to investigate the academic orientation of the program as well. Some have a chemistry orientation; others are focused on physics or molecular biology. Some are physiological, biotechnological or computational in their emphasis. This will make a difference in the coursework offered and professional applications available to graduates. The information is readily available at the graduate schools, online and in professional journals.
Examples of some graduate courses include:animal locomotion, electrophysiology, bioenergetics, nucleic acids, photobiophysics, signaling, spectroscopy, systems neuroscience and more.
What areas of specialization may biophysicists choose?
For biophysics to be successful and useful in these varied scientific fields, it must be able to of develop detailed physical mechanisms to explain specific biological processes.
Current areas of specialization for biophysicists include, but are not limited to: Ion Channels, Molecular Structures, Biophysical Mechanisms Biophysical Techniques,
Neurotransmission, Structural Biology and Assembly of Macromolecular Complexes, Crystallography, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Rehabilitation Muscle Physiology, Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology, Tissue Engineering, Membrane Structure, Pharmacology and Physiology. Polyamines Neurophysiology, or Biophysics of the Delivery of Macromolecular Therapeutics.
Where do biophysicists work?
Professional level career opportunities in the field of biophysics are found in teaching and research at colleges, universities, medical centers, research institutes. Research biophysicists may be employed by government labs, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and other biologically-oriented high-tech companies. Other biophysicists may work with regulation or public policy at agencies of state and federal governments or private organizations. The field is interdisciplinary and growing as more research is conducted and more applications are found. The work environment is laboratory and computer oriented in professional settings.