"Having peers with such incredibly diverse scientific backgrounds creates a truly unique environment here at UCSF. Seeing the many different approaches to answering biological questions pushes us all to think more creatively."
— Nadja Kern, PhD student, Biophysics


The Biophysics program spans research at the interface of physics, chemistry, and biology. It is aimed at students who want to explore the physical properties, structures, and interrelationships of living things by using physics and chemistry to quantify biological processes at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels.

Early access to emerging technologies allows students in the UCSF Biophysics graduate program to explore biology in entirely new ways — before these technologies are generally available to other scientists. As important, the Biophysics faculty has achieved high recognition both nationally and internationally for its accomplishments. More than 10 members of the faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences. UCSF faculty members pioneered applications of electron microscopy, crystallography, NMR, and image reconstruction techniques. The UCSF Biophysics graduate program ranks among the top in the U.S., according to a report by the National Research Council.


More than 50 faculty members are associated the the Biophysics program from the departments of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, cell and tissue biology, neurology, and physiology; as well as the Gladstone Institutes and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF.

The Biophysics program is a member of the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC) and the Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS).


biophysical approaches to cell biology
complex biological systems
computational and theoretical biophysics
membrane biophysics
protein engineering and synthetic biology
proteomics and genomics
structural biology

The Biophysics program office is located at the Mission Bay campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The Biophysics program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF schools of pharmacy and medicine.


Program Manager
Nicole Flowers

Program Director
Aashish Manglik, MD, PhD