Bringing Physics to Life

The 21st century is witnessing a revolution in our ability to quantify and manipulate biological systems. Yet, challenges surrounding quantitative approaches to understanding living matter remain immense. At WU Physics, we embrace these challenges and aim to uncover the fundamental physical principles governing the emergence of biological function. Our synergistic effort is guided by three overarching questions:

  1. How do individual biological entities coordinate to perform higher-order functions, ranging from molecule-scale force generation to information processing by large regulatory networks or neural circuits?
  2. What principles structure the compartmentalization of function in biological systems, at scales ranging from single cells to ecosystems?
  3. How do physical constraints limit or guide the evolution of biological function?

We welcome passionately curious students, postdocs, and faculty to join us in our research endeavors to discover the physical origins of biological function.


Anders Carlsson
Force generation and sensing in cells

Shankar Mukherji
Systems cell biology

Mikhail Tikhonov
Microbiome, microbial ecology & evolution

Ralf Wessel
Strong correlations in neural systems