The Biophysical Society, in conjunction with the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill offered a Biophysics Summer Research Program from 2008 until 2017.  Funding for the grant, provided by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, ended with the 2017 program. However, the program was very successful and BPS would like to share information about the program and the available materials from the program.

The purpose of the program was to introduce students to basic concepts and methods in selected areas of biophysics, build professional confidence and competence, expose participants to the excitement of biophysical research, illustrate the importance of physics, chemistry, and other quantitative sciences in advancing medical science, prepare students for the rigors of graduate or professional training, and establish a network of underrepresented biophysicists who will serve as “biophysics ambassadors” within minority and underrepresented universities and communities and serve as an alumni support system for each other. 

At its core, the Summer Research Program consisted of three major components; 

  • Graduate level class work on biophysical topics;
  • Lab work; and
  • Network building.  

The program has hosted an annual reunion to bring current and past participants together to create a strong network that, for many, continues to serve as an important support system as past program participants navigate their careers.

Of the over 100 students that participated in the summer program, many have gone on to graduate school and receive recognition for their work, including prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and a Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral fellowship from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of NIH.   An alumna from the class of 2008 recently became the first former student to start a faculty position. In addition to assisting individual students, the program was also intended to serve as a resource for individuals that are developing undergraduate classes or summer programs in biophysics.  The syllabus has been refined over the past ten years based on feedback from student and faculty participants.

Please use this syllabus to create and design your own mini-courses that exposes students to the field of Biophysics. 

Selected Course Readings

Effects of Water Soluble Phosphotidylserine on Bovine Factor Xa

Encoding and Decoding Cellular Information through Signaling Dynamics

Quantitative Analysis of Cytokinesis In Situ during C. elegans Postembryonic Development

Functions and mechanics of dynein motor proteins

Lecture Materials

Lecture 1 Lentz

Lecture 2 Lentz

Lecture 3 Lentz

Lecture 6 Slep

Lecture 7 Ramsden

Lecture 8 Jarstfer

Lecture 9 Strahl

Lecture 10 Slep

Lecture 11 Kuhlman

Lecture 12 Lee

Lecture 13 Popov

Lecture 14 Reader

Lecture 15 Carter

Lecture 17 Neher

Lecture 18 Neher

Lecture 21 Sondek