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At the University of Utah, scientists engage in cutting edge research in biophysics and related areas. In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, biophysics research is pushing the limits of nanometer-scale optical microscopy techniques, with the goal of studying molecular-scale biological systems; studying the process by which a new enveloped virus is created on the membrane of its host cell; and studying the properties of molecular motors, focusing on how these motors work together, how they are regulated, and how their functioning is disrupted or altered in various diseases.

Biophysics Faculty

Michael Vershinin

Michael's work is centered on understanding biological processes across many scales, from atomic and molecular scale up to the scale of living systems. He is interested in quantitatively elucidating how molecular processes associated with cytoskeletal proteins give rise to related cellular structure and function. It is now possible to map out the cytoskeleton and associated proteins in a given cell with nanoscale precision via either electron microscopy or super-resolution fluorescence-based studies.

Research Website

Saveez Saffarian

Saveez's lab focuses on enveloped RNA viruses including HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and VSV, mainly studying their assembly and replication. He also develops and use novel optical microscopy methods to visualize mechanism of viral replication in live cells.

Research Website

Research Experiences for Undergrads

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah offers a research experience program in physics and astronomy that allows undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor and their research group on an individual project.

All interested students are invited to apply for this 10-week summer program.

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