Specialisation Physical Biology

Many molecules form higher-structure complexes in biological systems. The specialisation Physical Biology provides students with detailed knowledge on the biogenesis, properties and function of these supramolecular structures in plants, animals and microorganisms, and an understanding of the physical basis of cellular organization and dynamics in relation to function. Furthermore, it includes methods for studying the structure and dynamics of molecules and molecular assemblies, cells and organisms, using advanced (bio)physical techniques like (micro)spectroscopy and magnetic resonance. Thus, students are prepared to contribute to areas such as structure and function of biological membranes, cell-cell communication, transformation of light into chemical energy, and
protein interactions.

What's Physical Biology about?

Graduates from this specialisation are qualified to carry out experimental research in physical biology and biophysics at universities and institutes. They are also eligible for R&D positions in industries involved in food and pharmaceutics, as well as the development of analytical tools for biophysical research.

Detailed information on the courses you can take in this specialisation is available in the study handbook of Wageningen University.

Thesis Research Groups

The groups below offer thesis projects in the Physical Biology specialisation.

Examples of thesis topics

Below you can find examples of thesis topics that you could work on with the Physical Biology specialisation.

  • Electron transfer in microbial fuel cells
  • Simulations of Arabidopsis interphase nuclear organisation
  • Changes in membrane fluidity in seeds studied using ESR spin probes
  • The role of the cytoskeleton in plant cell growth
  • Roles of microtubule dynamics and molecular motors in spindle assembly
  • Characterisation of the structure and dynamics of the unfolded state of apoflavodoxin by NMR and optical spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and time resolved anisotropy studies
  • Force generation by actin networks
  • DNA interactions with small proteins
  • Physical processes that occur at the molecular level in photosynthetic systems
  • Photothermal science
  • Structure and (ultra) fast dynamics of biological macromolecules and complexes thereof

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