Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that applies the knowledge and theories of physics to understanding biological entities, systems, and processes. Most of the researchers currently working at Dalhousie in the areas of biophysics are using a variety of microscopy and other imaging techniques in their research.
Manfred Jericho (Professor Emeritus)
Professor Jericho uses atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe surfaces and surface deposits for a variety of materials. AFM can be used to image live bacteria and for fundamental studies of long-range interactions between proteins and the elastic properties of cell components.
The goal of Dr. Laurent Kreplak's group is to unveil the design rules underlying studies the unique mechanical properties of protein assemblies, cells, and tissues in the context of human diseases such as muscular dystrophies. The group's main techniques are atomic force microscopy, electron microscopy, X-ray scattering, and Raman spectroscopy.
Geoffrey Maksym (cross-appointed with Biomedical Engineering)
Research in Dr. Geoffrey Maksym's lab group involves developing microtechnology devices to measurement cell biophysical properties for asthma research. The Maksym group also does research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lung and functional modelling of respiratory mechanics in disease, as well as medical device research and development for respiratory health diagnosis and monitoring.
Dr. Andrew Rutenberg's research group investigates the biological structures of bacteria, which are self-assembled and dynamic. This are of research is a rich field at the overlap of molecular biology and condensed-matter physics.
Dr. Rutenberg's broader interest is in non-equilibrium structure formation; more specifically, he finds bacteria interesting as they have a mature nanotechnology. Dr. Rutenberg's group explores how bacteria's subcellular mechanisms function despite the large noise inherent in their small size. The group models spatial and temporal patterns within bacteria, using the techniques of statistical, computational, and theoretical physics.