Biophysics at Michigan started in the Department of Physics in the 1930s and became an independent program in 2007. Today, we are discovering the underlying physical and physicochemical principles that make biology, medicine, and ultimately life possible. We use cutting-edge experimental techniques like super resolution microscopy and high-performance computer modeling to achieve a quantitative understanding of biological processes and provide the basis for future biomedical breakthroughs like rational drug design or nanomedicine. Many biophysicists at Michigan direct their investigations towards biomolecules that play a key role in such diseases as ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”), Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, diabetes, breast cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Our nationally unique undergraduate program trains students through a curriculum of dedicated biophysics courses, starting with gateway courses like Introduction to Programming in the Sciences to upper-level electives such as Biocomplexity and a laboratory course with research-grade equipment. Student participation in research is a hallmark of our program with all biophysics concentrators involved in a faculty-led research project. Many of our faculty members hold appointments in the medical school, so consequently, our undergraduates are exceptionally well prepared for careers in the biomedical sciences.
Your Gifts at Work
“During my first year in the biophysics program, I was able to explore new and exciting techniques. I acquired skills like single molecule and super resolution imaging along with RNA biochemistry and cell culture skills. The biophysics department fellowship gave me the opportunity to invest my time into learning advanced single molecule microscopy techniques that I am currently using to investigate my thesis project. My first year experience prepared me for an independent investigation of biomolecular condensate organization.” —Emily Sumrall, Graduate Student
“Thanks to the Biophysics Fellowship I received for my first year, I was able to explore three different laboratories, carrying out research in nicotine addiction, the application of machine learning techniques for protein fitness analysis, and designing proteins from scratch to investigate the kinetochore—a cellular component involved in cell division. This enriching experience not only expanded my scientific horizons and helped me establish valuable connections, but also empowered me to select the ideal laboratory where I will be dedicating my efforts for the next four years.” —Lina Peña, Graduate Student
Gifts to the Biophysics Strategic Fund will allow us to seed funding for cutting-edge research, research facility upgrades, or the purchase of major teaching lab instrumentation.
These priorities will enable the best and brightest minds to experience a liberal arts education, solve problems in a changing world, and yield ideas and innovations that will help us maintain our status as one of the nation’s most respected programs in biophysics, making a difference in Michigan and around the globe.
The Samuel Krimm Colloquium Fund was established in honor of Biophysics professor Samuel Krimm. The fund is directed toward supporting graduate students through fellowships and recognitions, in a manner that assists the Biophysics program in building a diverse graduate cohort through the inclusive and equitable recruitment of prospective PhD students, as well as recognition of the excellence achieved by the cohort throughout their graduate careers. Gifts directed to the Krimm Colloquium Fund will be utilized in conjunction with our other DEI efforts through annual graduate student preview visits, our annual summer REU program, and our Faculty Allies Diversity program of partnership building with minority serving and underserved institutions.
In order to attract the very best graduate students, it is vital to be able to offer a competitive package of support. Gifts to this fund would provide support to graduate students just entering the graduate program in Biophysics, allowing them to engage in an intensive research experience and integrate into the department culture prior to starting their first year as part of a lab group. Emphasis would be placed on recruiting students to further expand the diversity of our graduate cohort.
Research experience as an undergraduate is essential for students who desire admissions into the most elite graduate programs and who seek jobs in biotechnology and related quantitative industries linked to biology. The funds associated with this program will provide support to LSA Biophysics majors taking part in special summer research opportunities in Biophysics.
Thank you for supporting Biophysics!