Story by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $13 million to create the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint endeavor between Princeton University and the City University of New York that will be headed up by Princeton biophysicists William Bialek and Joshua Shaevitz.
The new center will tackle a deceptively simple question: What does modern physics reveal about life itself?
Most of the funding is earmarked to bring new people to campus, from undergraduates who will participate in a summer science program to postdoctoral fellows who will be free to work with any or all of the 14 faculty members that make up this new center. In addition, each of the Princeton and CUNY professors will have visiting status at the other university to facilitate collaboration among the six theorists and eight experimentalists involved.
“All the labs involved in this endeavor are successful on their own. What we’re trying to do is to get them to talk more to each other,” said Shaevitz, a professor of physics and the Lewis–Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics who also directs the graduate program in quantitative and computational biology.
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