Physics of Living Systems Program

The Physics of Living Systems (PoLS) Student Research Network (SRN) is funded by the National Science Foundation award PHY-1522550, under the direction of Krastan B. Blagoev, Division of Physics, Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and hosted by the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University. It is a trans-institutional community-based network of graduate students and graduate student educators all working on the physics of living systems. These institutions have been among the pioneers in stressing the use of both theoretical and experimental physics to further the understanding of biology and biomedicine. The network structure will allow students at participating institutions (and a select number of other students) to interact with their peers (both in-person and in-silico) and collectively help define the research agenda for this field. This program includes visiting research internships to other institutions, which will serve both as a way of broadening students perspectives on possible approaches to difficult research topics and as a way of creating collaborative ties between groups at the various sites. This structure will also enable the exploration of various means of educating these students in biology, while also ensuring that they develop and maintain a firm grounding in physics.