Biophysics is an interdisciplinary subject that involves the frontiers of physics and biology (as well as chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and engineering). Biophysicists are especially interested in the physics and physical chemistry of biological processes and make far greater use of quantitative measurements and analysis. Using methods from mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, biophysicists interests can range from studying how living organisms work to the creation of medical technologies. The biophysics major provides the broad math and science skills necessary to compete in this interdisciplinary environment.
Biophysics is the crossroads where all the interesting science interects.
- Dr. Walter Perkins (Chief Technology officer - Insmed Incorporated)
In fact, most important advances in biotechnology and medicine are occurring at the intersection between biology, physics, computer science and engineering. In the 20th century, great progress was made in treating disease. Biophysics gives us medical imaging technologies including MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and sonograms for diagnosing diseases. Biophysics helped create powerful vaccines against infectious diseases. It helps describe and control diseases of metabolism, such as diabetes. And biophysics provided both the tools and the understanding for treating the diseases of growth known as cancers. Today we are learning more about the biology of health and society is deeply concerned about the health of our planet. Biophysical methods are increasingly used to serve everyday needs, from forensic science to bioremediation.
Biophysics is a great background for intellectual property law. Clients, especially
in biotechnology, rarely fall neatly in one discipline, so an interdisciplinary background
is very helpful.
- Dr. James R. Abney (Biophysics Ph.D & Intellectual Property Lawyer)
A B.S. Biophysics degree is a good choice for students who want to prepare for graduate research related to biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, computational biology, medical physics or for students who want to go into biotechnology, consulting, industrial research, journalism, law, medicine, and science teaching. It is a good mix of biology, chemistry, and physics for those who are not quite satisfied with only one of those subjects. (The student who wants to go to physics graduate school should major in physics.)
If you are curious about biological processes and enjoy puzzle solving, designing experiments or working with numbers and computers, there are many exciting opportunities for you in biophysics. For a more detailed look at the rapidly expanding field of biophysics, check out the Biophysical Society website or view their Careers in Biophysics brochure.
If you would like more information about pursuing this exciting degree at Ouachita, please contact us at [email protected].