NYU Graduate Program in Molecular Biophysics

The graduate program in Molecular Biophysics is funded by a T32 Training Grant from the General Medical Sciences Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS). We train students to become independent research scientists suited for a career in either academia or industry. Our Ph.D. program focuses on the molecular mechanisms of a wide array of biological phenomena, including membrane transport, cell signaling, nucleic acids, protein folding and design. Experimental approaches include X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, NMR, computational modeling, MRI, mass spectrometry, single-molecule imaging and other biophysical and biochemical methods. We have a strong history of collaboration where students take advantage of expertise from multiple laboratories to explore novel biological problems.

Coursework provides a foundation in cellular and molecular biology, supplemented with advanced classes covering molecular biophysics and structural biology. Semester-long "rotations" provide an introduction to research and a sampling of work in three different laboratories during the first year. The bulk of the training involves independent thesis research supervised by a faculty mentor and an advisory committee. In addition to the Ph.D. thesis, this work typically produces multiple publications and thus provides a launchpad for a postgraduate career.



Design of DNA lattice formed by tensegrity triangles

The top image shows the surroundings of a triangle, dintinguishing three independent directions by base-pair color. The central triangle is flanked by six other triangles. The bottom image shows the rhombohedral cavity formed by tensegrity triangles with seven of the eight triangles comprising the rhombohedron's corners. This work was publishedby the Seeman lab in Nature 461:74 (2009).