The Biophysics Training Program (BTP) is the main graduate training program at UC Berkeley at the physics-biology interface at the molecular level. BTP covers the fields of macromolecular folding, structure, and dynamics; structural biology, including applications of machine learning; and single molecule biophysics, including molecular imaging and biophysics within living cells. The BTP seeks to train the next generation of scientists to apply the principles and tools of physics and physical chemistry to solve the most intractable, fundamentally challenging, and medically urgent problems across all of biology. These challenges require training across the boundaries of physics, engineering, and physical chemistry on the one hand, and molecular and cell biology on the other.

BTP in a nutshell

  • BTP appointments may be up to two years. BTP Trainees will be supported to carry out rotations in their first year, and if they elect to do their Ph.D. research in the laboratory of a member of the training faculty (see below for list), they will typically be eligible for a second year of funding.
  • There are two core courses in the BTP, MCB 206 (Physical Biochemistry) and MCB 237L (Physical Biology of the Cell), and several options for an elective.
  • Trainees attend the annual Biophysics Retreat and a monthly lunchtime meeting. Trainees present their research to faculty and fellow students once per year at the BTP lunch.
  • The BTP provides training in the responsible conduct of research and in scientific rigor and reproducibility.
  • The BTP provides career development training and resources.
  • BTP students select and host two seminar speakers per year in the Structural and Quantitative Biology seminar series.
  • BTP provides subsidies to defray travel and registration costs for trainees to attend conferences.
  • BTP is the focal point for diversity outreach in molecular biophysics.

Entering BTP

Most students enter the BTP by nomination from the Graduate Group in Biophysics. Students can also be nominated by the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, and sometimes other departments. Students interested in joining the BTP should generally apply to the Biophysics Ph.D. Program. Newly admitted Biophysics students whose research interests match BTP faculty will automatically be considered. New admits to MCB and other departments who are interested in the BTP are encouraged to express an interest through their department at the time they accept an offer of admission.

The BTP (T32GM146614) is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and directed by Professors James Hurley and Ahmet Yildiz.

Current BTP Faculty

1. Steven Brenner (PMB)
2. Stephen Brohawn (MCB)
3. Carlos Bustamante (Chem/Phys/MCB)
4. Jamie Cate (Chem/MCB)
5. Abby Dernburg (MCB)
6. Jennifer Doudna (Chem/MCB)
7. David Drubin (MCB)
8. Marla Feller (MCB)
9. Daniel Fletcher (BioE/MCB)
10. Hernan Garcia (MCB/Phys)
11. Oskar Hallatschek (Phys/IB)
12. James Hurley (MCB)
13. Ehud Isacoff (MCB/Neu)
14. Na Ji (MCB/Phys)
15. Richard Kramer (MCB/Neu)
16. Sanjay Kumar (BioE)
17. Bronwyn Lucas (MCB)
18. Susan Marqusee (MCB)
19. Andreas Martin (MCB)
20. Holger Müller (Phys)
21. Eva Nogales (MCB)
22. Eunyong Park (MCB)
23. David Savage (MCB)
24. Robert Saxton (MCB/Chem)
25. Ian Swinburne (MCB)
26. Grigory Tikhomirov (EECS)
27. Evan Williams (Chem)
28. Ke Xu (Chem)
29. Ahmet Yildiz (Phys/MCB)