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Minor in Biophysics

 

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Biophysics is a molecular science.  It seeks to explain biological function in terms of the molecular structures and properties of specific molecules.  These molecules, the sole building blocks of living organisms, assemble into cells, tissues, and whole organisms by forming complex individual structures with dimensions of 10, 100, 1000, 10,000 nm and larger.  Proteins assemble into the casein micelles of milk, which aggregate to form the curd of cheese; proteins and ribonucleic acids assemble into ribosomes, the machinery for building proteins; lipids and proteins assemble into cell membranes, the external barriers and internal surfaces of cells; proteins and DNA wind up into chromosomes, the carriers of the genetic code; and so on.

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that applies the theories and methods of physical sciences, especially those of physics, to the study of biological systems. Biophysicists have contributed significantly in the understanding of life sciences. For example, the discovery of the structure of the DNA double helix was attributed to Professor Francis Crick (co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1962) who was a physicist by training. More recently, physicist Sir Peter Mansfield won the Nobel Prize in Medicine (2003) for discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging. Such studies can be divided into these different areas of interest:

  • • Bioenergetics
    • Biophysical Theory and Modeling
    • Cell Biophysics Channels, Receptors, and Transporters
    • Electrophysiology
    • Bio Membranes  
    • Nucleic Acids
    • Photobiophysics
    • Assemblies and folding/unfolding of proteins and other bio macromolecules
    • Spectroscopy, Imaging, and Other Techniques

 

Objective of Minor Programme in Biophysics

The primary objective of this programme is to educate and train students with the core knowledge of physical sciences to tackle biological problems. Biophysics students will learn the fundamentals of biology and physics to prepare them for further studies at an advanced level. These students will be capable to meet the challenge of modern-age biophysics, and will be able to carry out independent or collaborative research work. Students equipped with the Minor in Biophysics will gain an advantage in their challenging careers in research, academia and industry related to the high value-added and knowledge-intensive Life Sciences industry.

Curriculum Structure and Requirements

The biophysics Minor Programme is jointly offered by the Department of Physics and the Office of Life Sciences for students matriculated in and after AY2006/07. To be awarded a minor in Biophysics, the students are required to pass six modules (24 MCs), of which not more than two modules may be Level 1000 modules and three essential modules namely PC2267 (Biophysics I), PC3267 (Biophysics II), and LSM3243 (Molecular Biophysics) must be included.


Students of ANY major may read the Biophysics Minor, including Physics and Life Sciences majors.
To be awarded a minor in Biophysics, the following are the requirements:

For students undertaking major in Life Sciences
 
i
Read and pass the following three essential modules:
    PC2267 Biophysics I
    PC3267 Biophysics II
    LSM3243 Molecular Biophysics
       
 
ii
Read and pass three modules from the following (Maximum of two Level-1000 modules):
    PC1142 Physics II or PC1431 Physics IE
    PC1143 Physics III or PC1432 Physics IIE
    CM1101 Principles of Modern Chemistry
    PC2131 Electricity & Magnetism
    PC2230 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics
    LSM2102 Molecular Biology
    LSM2104 Essential Bioinformatics and Biocomputing
    PC4267 Biophysics III
    PC4268 Biophysical Instrumentation and Biomolecular Electronics
       
       
For students undertaking major in Physics
 
i
Read and pass the following three essential modules:
    PC2267 Biophysics I
    PC3267 Biophysics II
    SM3243 Molecular Biophysics
       
 
ii
Read and pass three modules from the following (Maximum of two Level-1000 modules):
    LSM1101 Biochemistry of Biomolecules
    LSM1102 Molecular Genetics
    CM1101 Principles of Modern Chemistry
    PC2131 Electricity & Magnetism
    PC2230 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics
    LSM2102 Molecular Biology
    LSM2104 Essential Bioinformatics and Biocomputing
    PC4267 Biophysics III
    PC4268 Biophysical Instrumentation and Biomolecular Electronics
       
       
For students not undertaking major in Life Sciences or Physics
 
i
Read and pass the following three essential modules:
    PC2267 Biophysics I
    PC3267 Biophysics II
    LSM3243 Molecular Biophysics
       
 
ii
Read and pass three modules from the following (Maximum of two Level-1000 modules):
    PC1142 Physics II or PC1431 Physics IE
    PC1143 Physics III or PC1432 Physics IIE
    LSM1101 Biochemistry of Biomolecules
    LSM1102 Molecular Genetics
    CM1101 Principles of Modern Chemistry
    PC2131 Electricity & Magnetism
    PC2230 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics
    LSM2102 Molecular Biology
    LSM2104 Essential Bioinformatics and Biocomputing
    PC4267 Biophysics III
    PC4268 Biophysical Instrumentation and Biomolecular Electronics

 

 

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