Research Areas

 

 
            (Image courtesy of Butcher Lab)  

Membrane and Cellular Biophysics

Much of the regulation of cell function revolves around the cell membrane, where unique classes of membrane proteins transduce and integrate signals of various forms to control electrical, endocrine, and developmental functions. A broad spectrum of biophysical techniques, focusing on electrical and optical methodologies are being developed and applied to the study and elucidation of membrane signaling mechanisms in excitable and nonexcitable cells. Measurements are carried out both in living cells and in vitro model systems to elucidate signal transduction mechanisms. These experiments often focus on members of the ion channel family of membrane proteins, but other types of proteins under study include proteins involved in the transduction of chemical signals and the active transport of ions, as well as proteins involved in membrane trafficking.

Biophysical Chemistry

Faculty members provide broad training in molecular and cellular biophysics, biophysical chemistry, structural biology, and biotechnology. If a field of research and a major professor have not been chosen before entering, that choice should be made by the end of the first semester. Laboratory rotations will be set up for students who wish to become acquainted with research in up to three different laboratories during the first semester.

Structural Biology

The Biophysics Degree Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a broad range of research and training opportunities in structural biology and biochemistry. Twelve highly active research groups solve structures to reveal the architecture of protein and RNA systems and to investigate their mechanisms of action; these groups also develop new tools for structure.

Biotechnology

Faculty members provide broad training in molecular and cellular biophysics, biophysical chemistry, structural biology, and biotechnology. If a field of research and a major professor have not been chosen before entering, that choice should be made by the end of the first semester. Laboratory rotations will be set up for students who wish to become acquainted with research in up to three different laboratories during the first semester.