The mission of Physics of Living Systems @ MIT is to advance our understanding of living and other emergent systems across scales and to train the next generation of leaders pushing the forefront of research at the interface of physics and biology. PLS brings together biophysics, soft matter, and statistical physics researchers from across the Department of Physics at MIT. Research is conducted in eight different groups that include a total of over 70 scientists, as well as by the PLS Postdoctoral Fellows, a group of independent researchers working alongside and contributing to the PLS community.
The fields of biophysics and soft matter have experienced tremendous growth and excitement in recent years, with areas of focus ranging across all scales, from the structural organization of polymers to the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of populations. Graduate students and postdocs in the Physics of Living Systems Group benefit from an interactive and supportive intellectual community, and the Department collaborates with the wider biophysics community at MIT to bring researchers together via:
- Weekly biophysics seminar series.
- Periodic PLS short talks Fridays at 4pm.
- Monthly faculty chalk talks.
- Opportunity for graduate students to earn a Graduate Certificate in Biophysics.
- Annual overnight retreat on Cape Cod.
In addition to these community activities, the PLS faculty are deeply engaged in their educational mission and teach the following courses:
- 8.241: Introduction to Biological Physics
- 8.590J: Topics in Biophysics and Physical Biology
- 8.591J: Systems Biology
- 8.592J: Statistical Physics in Biology
Undergraduates interested in biophysics are encouraged to consider the flexible option within the physics degree. This can be essentially a make-your-own biophysics degree; a possible four-year class schedule is available here.