The Biophysics Program

Biophysics is a very broad field of study. It includes any type of research that uses the quantitative tools and concepts of the physical sciences to investigate biological processes. The objects studied by biophysicists include individual molecules, whole organisms and just about everything in between.

The Biophysics Faculty at Stony Brook consists of members from several University departments (Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Behavior, Microbiology, Physiology and Biophysics, Pharmacological Sciences, Anesthesiology, Medicine, Surgery and Orthopaedics) as well as staff scientists associated with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. We are united by our interest and excitement in understanding the molecular structure and function of biological molecules.

Research in biophysics at Stony Brook has strengths in a variety of areas, but there is particular emphasis on structural biophysics and membrane biophysics. In structural biophysics, we seek to relate the molecular structure of biomolecules (especially proteins) to the function of the molecule. In membrane biophysics, we study the lipids and proteins of cell membranes using electrical and chemical techniques. Much of the research we do is “basic science”, but some projects have applications to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and Lyme Disease and to medical diagnostic procedures.