A molecular model showing the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery. On the left is shown the assembled SNARE complex containing the vesicle membrane protein synaptobrevin (blue), the two plasma membrane proteins SNAP25 (green) and syntaxin (red), as well as complexin (purple). The calcium sensor for fusion, synaptotagmin, is shown on the right with its two C2 domains (orange). Courtesy of Drs. Volker Kiessling and Lukas Tamm.

Biophysicists at UVA utilize quantitative approaches to understand the physical and chemical basis of complex biological processes.

Biological processes are studied at every level and across many fields, from the theoretical to the experimental.

The Biophysics Graduate Program at the University of Virginia is one of the oldest in the country. We employ a wide range of experimental and computational approaches in a highly interactive and multidisciplinary environment.  One of our strengths is in the study of membranes, which are of fundamental importance for biological systems. Membranes compartmentalize the cell, thereby controlling the internal cellular environment.  They are sites for energy transduction and signaling.  Finally, many regulatory processes take place at membrane surfaces.

Students in biophysics at UVA gain a strong foundation in biophysical approaches and analysis through innovative research and didactic coursework.