ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL BIOLOGY (EPB) TRACK
EPB (Engineering and Physical Biology) is the newest addition to the MCO graduate track. EPB began in 2006 as an interdepartmental Ph.D. track, with students entering from the Departments of Molecular & Cellular Biology and of Physics and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. EPB still serves this broad community but has recently been incorporated administratively into the MCO training program. Students officially enrolled in the EPB program will now enter through MCO.
TRACK LEADERS: NANCY KLECKNER AND DAN NEEDLEMAN
EPB emerged through the efforts of a particular, self-assembled group of faculty who share a particular vision of the future of scientific progress at the interface between biology and the physical sciences. For the past 50-100 years, biology at the molecular and cellular levels has been viewed primarily as the aggregate sum of a large number of individual events and the interactions amongst them. We envision that the next round of fundamental advances in the life sciences will emerge by viewing biological processes in a very different way: as manifestations of the fundamental principles that apply to all types of systems non-biological and biological. By this view, life can be described not in terms of collections of diverse specific molecular and cellular details but in a more unifying and fundamental way as the manifestation and implementation of basic physical laws and universal principles of engineering and physics. This new approach can be described as “viewing living systems through the lens of physics and engineering”.