qBio is the power of math-based reasoning and advanced instrumentation from physics and engineering harnessed to discover fundamental principles of living systems.
To make biology quantitative and predictive, it is necessary to draw upon a multitude of approaches from the physical sciences and engineering. These include theoretical concepts developed from studies in statistical mechanics and nonlinear dynamics, and experimental methods such as microfluidics and advanced imaging. Therefore the goal of the qBio graduate program is to provide the students with a mastery of both the theoretical knowledge and experimental skills, and guide them to employ both approaches to address fundamental biological problems during their thesis research.
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Graduate studies within any single scientific discipline are challenging endeavors on their own. But imagine combining graduate school-level training in physics and mathematics with advanced research in engineering and biology.
That’s the challenge of a new graduate program at UC San Diego that’s teaching Ph.D. students how to combine the power of physics and math-based reasoning with practical engineering skills and biology in an effort to unravel the fundamental principles of living systems—principles that will likely encompass concepts reaching well beyond those of traditional biology.
The goal of this ambitious program is to develop a new generation of scientists who are simultaneously fluent in biology, physics, mathematics and engineering. The program aims to train scientists who can not only develop instruments capable of quantifying the behaviors of living organisms but also develop and experimentally test their own theories based on these data. These young scientists are to be the foundation of an emerging discipline known as “quantitative biology”—or “qBio.”