Curriculum of the Biophysics Program
Regular Lectures (offered at least once in a 2-year cycle)
BPZ – Biophysics of the Cell (3+1) 6 CP
Architecture of cells, lipid membranes, signal transmission through nerves, bio-energetics, photo-biophysics, molecular recognition
BPM – Biophysics of Molecules (3+1) 6 CP
Mechanics of Molecules: Basics of polymer physics, Bio-Rheology, Cytosceleton, Molecular Motors, Muscles, Organisation of the Genome / Chromatin
BPS – Biophysics of Systems (3+1) 6 CP
Evolution, Pattern formation, Enzyme kinetics, Cell-cell communication, Chemotaxis, Gene regulation, Biochemical networks, synthetic biology
BPND – Nonlinear dynamical systems in Physics and Biology (4+2) 9 CP
Introduction to the theory of nonlinear dynamical systems covering the emerging phenomena, the methods of analysis, and a broad spectrum of applications.
Keywords: Stability analysis, Bifurcations, Limit Cycles, Index Theory, Normal Forms
BPSP – Stochastic Processes in Physics and Biology (4+2) 9 CP
Introduction to the theory of stochastic processes and nonequilibrium statistical physics with many examples drawn from different areas of physics and biology.
Keywords: Brownian Motion, Master equation, Stochastic differential equations, Fokker-Planck equations, Linear-Response Theory, Fluctuation-dissipation theorem
Special Lectures (offered at irregular intervals)
Theoretical Molecular Biophysics
Theoretical basics and practical application of simulation techniques for biomolecules
Evolutionary dynamics and Darwinian DNA machines
Seminar on the basics of molecular evolution
Pattern formation and development of multicellular organisms
Introduction to biophysical models of embryonic and cellular development
Programming course in LabView and modelling in FEMLab for Biophysicists
Hands on course on programming experimental setups with Labview and finite element modelling
Theory of Brain function
Starting at the neuron and passing small neuronal assemblies we arrive at the organization and function of the cortex.
Seminars (2 SWS) 3 CP
Many of the lectures offer accompanying seminars, which cover selected topics in depth. Students are coached by supervisors and instructed in the use of modern tools for literature search. Presentation techniques and the use of moder media will be practiced, upon request with audiovisual feedback.
Biophysics Lab Classes (biophysics lab course block) 6, 9 or 12 CP
(will take place only during the first weeks of the summer semester break)
Biophysics lab classes are organized in a consecutive way and build up hand-on skills step by step:
BP lab Class 1 (some examples):
- molecular structures and vibrationalspectra with quantum-chemical methods (Tavan)
- the aptamer-thrombin bond measured thermophoretically (Braun)
- FCS (Rädler)
BP Lab Class 2 (some examples):
- Single Molecule FRET and Holiday Junction (Tinnefeld)
- IR Spectroscopy (Zinth)
- DNA Origami (Liedl)
BP Lab Class 3 (some examples):
- Actin Myosin Motility Assay (Gaub)
- GFP (Gaub)
Requirement for the LMU Biophysics Master Certificate
18 CP BP lectures and 6CP from either seminar and/or lab classes and a master thesis supervised by one of the BP professors. For a profound Biophysics education we recommend to add 9 CP in lectures and 3 CP in Seminar/Lab class. This adds up to the required 36 CP.
The Master in physics requires a set of compulsory lectures and a set of elected lectures.
For the compulsory lectures we have no strict recommendations but advanced statistical mechanics (9CP) and solid-state physics (9CP) seem to be a natural choice to supplement biophysics. For the elected lectures, we recommend the experimental lectures BPM, BPZ, and BPS (in this order), and at least one of the theoretical lectures BPND and BPSP.