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Note: For descriptions of classes each term, see the LSA Course Guide
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Courses in LSA Biophysics
The goal of the biophysical sciences is to develop a quantitative understanding of the living world. They rely on the principles of physics, chemistry and biology, and find applications in medicine and engineering. The biophysical sciences range in scope from modeling biomolecular function to understanding cellular mechanics or brain function through the rigorous use of physical methods and concepts.
Biophysics (BIOPHYS)
BIOPHYS 116. Introduction to Medical Imaging
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing. (3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This first year seminar surveys the methods of modern medical imaging for clinical and scientific purposes, highlighting basic concepts in chemistry, physics, and biochemistry and the biophysical foundations upon which all current tools for biomedical imaging rest. We explore the historical development of the underlying science of radiography, computed tomography (x-rays of a selected plane of the body), diagnostic ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and magnetic resonance imaging. This seminar also touches on the societal implications of imaging such as radiation risks, health care costs, and future directions in medical research.

BIOPHYS 117. Introduction to Programming in the Sciences
(3). (MSA). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This hands-on interactive course introduces students to the basic functional aspects of using a modern, UNIX-based computer and associated languages and editing tools, C-shell, Bash shell, vi and/or emacs editors. Additionally, an introduction to basic computer languages Python and Matlab will occur through structured programming assignments that transform basic mathematical problems into computer algorithms.

BIOPHYS 120. The Discovery of the DNA Double Helix and its Hidden Mysteries
(3). (NS). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit.

Intended for students interested in the natural sciences and medicine, this course uses modern techniques to explore the scientific journey leading to the discovery of the structure of DNA. It presents demonstrations of state-of-the-art biophysical laboratory techniques now widely used in biophysical studies of DNA and other biomolecules, including NMR, single molecule techniques, and X-ray crystallography.

BIOPHYS 123. The Science of Food and Cooking (Soft Matter and Kitchen Science)
(3). (NS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course uses food and the act of food preparation as a tool to learn a broad array of basic scientific concepts, ranging from the scientific method to fundamental principles in physics, chemistry, and biology. The in-class portion of this course will include lectures, cooking demonstrations, and laboratory exercises. Outside of class, you will have traditional reading and problem-based assignments in addition to practical cooking tasks. At the end of the course, you will have been exposed to the fundamental basis of many traditional food preparation techniques as well as several more modern uses of molecular gastronomy.

BIOPHYS 130. DNA Origami
(3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This hands-on First-Year Seminar course explores the theory and methods behind synthetic biology, focusing on one particular technology called DNA origami, which uses folded DNA as building blocks to construct nano-scale objects via self-assembly. This class covers the theoretical underpinnings of DNA origami, then students will work in groups to design, construct, and characterize DNA origami objects.

BIOPHYS 280. Biophysics Undergraduate Research (UROP)
(1 - 4). (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Credit is granted for a combined total of 8 credits in any UROP research courses.

This course gives students in UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) the opportunity to engage in independent research in a research laboratory under the supervision of a Biophysics faculty member.

BIOPHYS 290 / PHYSICS 290. Physics of the Body and Mind
PHYSICS 125 or 135 or 140 or 160. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MATH 115 or equivalent AP credits. (3). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit.

The course discusses and explores basic physical concepts, and apply them to the human body, organs, and cells. Its aim is to provide understanding of biological function in terms of fundamental physics principles. It is intended for students interested in the application of physics to biology, biochemistry, physiology, psychology, genetics, medicine, bioengineering and related life sciences.

BIOPHYS 370 / CHEM 370 / PHYSICS 370. Physical and Chemical Principles Behind Biology and Medicine
MATH 215; and PHYSICS 235 or 240. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) CHEM 130 or placement in 210. (3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to students who have completed or are enrolled in CHEM 260 or PHYSICS 390.

This course is an introduction to the fundamental physical and chemical principles of biophysics. It covers quantum aspects of matter, thermodynamics, kinetics and statistical mechanics in the context of biological applications.

BIOPHYS 399. Research in Biophysics
(1 - 4). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits.

This course gives biophysics concentrators the opportunity to engage in independent research in a research laboratory under the supervision of a faculty member.

BIOPHYS 415. Directed Study
(1 - 4). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.

A program of supervised study agreed upon by a student and a member of the faculty.

BIOPHYS 417 / CHEM 417 / PHYSICS 417. Dynamical Processes in Biophysics
MATH 216 or 256 or 286 or 296 or 316; and BIOPHYS 370 or PHYSICS 340 or PHYSICS 360 or PHYSICS 370 or CHEM 463 or CHEM 370. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

The physical basis of diffusive processes in biology and biochemistry, and optical spectroscopic means for measuring its rates. Topics include: membrane electrical potentials, nerve impulses, synaptic transmission, the physics of chemoreception by cells, motion and reaction kinetics of membrane components, optical microscopy, visible and UV light absorption, fluorescence and phosphorescence, quasielastic light scattering, mathematics of random fluctuations, and chaotic processes in biology.

BIOPHYS 420. Structural Biology I
BIOPHYS 370 plus one of CHEM 351, MCDB 310, MCDB 411, or BIOLCHEM 415. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course covers topics including structure and folding of biological molecules, biochemistry of cellular processes, biochemical approaches, reaction rate and enzyme kinetics.

BIOPHYS 421. Structural Biology II
BIOPHYS 420. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course focuses on the roles of structure and dynamics on biomolecular function, and on the analysis and interpretation of various experimental and computational data.

BIOPHYS 435. Biophysical Modeling
BIOPHYS 417 or PHYSICS 417 or CHEM 417; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores biophysical modeling and the associated computational tools on length scales ranging from atomistic simulations to multicellular networks.

BIOPHYS 440 / CHEM 440. Biophysics of Diseases
BIOPHYS 370 or CHEM 370 or PHYSICS 370. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course deconstructs current and emerging diseases in terms of the malfunctioning of nucleic acids, proteins, and membranes and the interactions between them. The diseases covered includes Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (or Mad-Cow disease), HIV, a variety of bacterial infections, and other biological disorders.

BIOPHYS 450 / PHYSICS 450. Laboratory Techniques in Biophysics
BIOPHYS 370 or CHEM 370 or PHYSICS 370; or PHYSICS 390; or CHEM 452 or BIOLCHEM 452; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This laboratory course teaches essential laboratory skills in biophysics through hands-on experiments, computational work, and a supporting lecture.

BIOPHYS 454 / CHEM 454. Biophysical Chemistry II: Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics
CHEM 453 or 463, and CHEM 451/452 or equivalent. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W.

This course builds on the CHEM 451-453 sequence and aims at providing an understanding of the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. After introducing the necessary nomenclature and reviewing thermodynamic principles, modern techniques to characterize the structure and dynamics of biopolymers will be the focus. Sedimentation, electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, scattering, and spectroscopic techniques such as absorption, circular dichroism, fluorescence and NMR will be covered. Both physical principles and practical applications in the Life Sciences will be highlighted.

BIOPHYS 463 / BIOINF 463 / MATH 463. Mathematical Modeling in Biology
MATH 214, 217, 417, or 419; and MATH 216, 256, 286, or 316. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

An introduction to the use of continuous and discrete differential equations in the biological sciences. Modeling in biology, physiology and medicine.

BIOPHYS 495. Senior Seminar in Biophysics
BIOPHYS 450 or PHYSICS 450; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course speaks to the exchange of scientific information through professional publications and meetings. Students focus on how to write scientific papers and present at conferences and develop these skills through practical exercises.

BIOPHYS 498. Senior Thesis
BIOPHYS 399. (1 - 4). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

This course gives biophysics concentrators the opportunity to cap their educational experience with a senior thesis based on their research.

BIOPHYS 499. Honors Thesis
BIOPHYS 399. (1 - 4). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

This course gives biophysics concentrators the opportunity to cap their educational experience with an honors thesis based on their research.

BIOPHYS 520 / CHEM 520. Methods of Biophysical Chemistry
CHEM 463, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 420; permission of course director. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

This course provides an overview of key methodologies of contemporary biophysics and biophysical chemistry. Principles of structure determination by X-ray diffraction, solution and solid-state NMR and electron microscopy will be covered. A variety of optical spectroscopic techniques, including UV/Vis, fluorescence, circular dichroism and cell imaging will be discussed. Methods for the separation and study of biological macromolecules and membranes including utracentrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, mass spectometry and calorimetry will be introduced.

BIOPHYS 521 / CHEM 521. Principles of Biophysical Chemistry
CHEM 461, BIOLCHEM 415, and CHEM 430; and permission of course director. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W.

This course discusses aspects of protein and nucleic acid structure and dynamics, the nature of underlying forces and interactions that control biopolymer processes, and aspects of dynamics in the context of function. Emphasis will be laid on theories from thermodynamics and statistical mechanics that form the basis of physical models for processes and processing in these systems.

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