Biological Physics at UCI

Biological Physics Faculty

Jun Allard - Cellular organization
Phil Collins - Single-molecule electronics including biosensing
Michael Dennin - Protein and membrane dynamics, langmuir monolayers
Thorsten Ritz - Mangeto-reception
Albert Siryaporn - Cellular mechanics, signaling, and multiscale dynamics
Zuzanna Siwy - Biomimetics, interfaces, biosensing
Clare Yu - Cancer and cell development

Joint Faculty

Steve Gross - Molecular motors and single-molecule imaging
Enrico Gratton - Laboratory of fluorescence dynamics

Additional Collaborating Faculty

Elliot Botvinik (Department of Biomedical Engineering) - Advanced mechanical systems
Anna Grossberg (Department of Biomedical Engineering) - Cardiac mechanical functions
Medha Pathak (Department of Physiology & Biophysics) - Mechanical sensing
Francesco Tombola (Department of Physiology & Biophysics) - Mechanical-activated ion channels
Bruce Tromberg (Department of Biomedical Engineering and Beckman Laser Institute) - Diffuse Optics, Non-linear Optical Microscopy, Photodynamic therapy, Metabolic Imaging


Biophysics seeks to understand the structure, dynamics, interactions, and function of biological systems at a fundamental level using approaches and conceptual frameworks from physics and mathematics. Biophysicists create theoretical, mathematical, and computational models of biological phenomena that scientists harness to understand and predict biological outcomes. With the emergence of new technologies including force microscopy, computational analysis, and next generation sequencing, this field has experienced a rapid development in research topics. It impacts many fields within fundamental biology and health sciences, including developmental biology, molecular biology, systems biology, and human disease.

At UCI, the Biological Physics Group uses theoretical and experimental approaches to explore biophysical problems at the molecular and cellular scales. Experimental methods include nanopore fabrication, microfluidics, fluorescence microscopy, single molecule dynamics, optical tweezers, optical imaging development, and interactions of light. The use of these techniques advances basic scientific knowledge in physics and biology and contributes improvement of disease treatment. In addition, the Biological Physics Group collaborates with faculty at the UCI Beckman Laser Institute, the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, and the Medical Physics Group, among others.


All faculty in the Biological Physics Group accept graduate students from:

Physics Department Graduate Program


Some faculty accept students through:

Chemistry and Materials Physics Graduate Program (ChaMP)

Mathematical, Computation, and Systems Biology Graduate Program

Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program