Overview of Molecular Biophysics Training Programs
Molecular biophysics training programs are funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant. This program equips students to understand and implement the practical aspects of biophysics at the molecular level. Lab courses form a huge part of these programs. They also help students to get accustomed to the latest developments in the biophysics world.
Admission Requirement for Molecular Biophysics Training Programs
Since this program is funded by a grant, admission requirements are quite high. Students who wish to apply for this program should have biophysics as their area of interest in their research. Some colleges and universities allow other related departments to nominate students for this program. For Ph.D. students, their dissertation work must be in biophysics or a closely related field in order to apply for this program.
Common Coursework for Molecular Biophysics Training Programs
There are various courses included in molecular biophysics training programs, but most of them are labs. Here are some of the most common courses you will come across in this program.
This course goes over the structure and function of biomolecules. Techniques like absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, diffraction methods, and mass-based methods to study molecular structure are elucidated. Data analysis, computational analysis, experimental design, and experiment implementation are also part of this course. The physiochemical properties of biomolecules are also studied here.
Macromolecules - Structure and Function
Protein structure and folding are explained in this course. Stereochemical mechanisms and secondary and tertiary structures of proteins are explained. This course involves quite a large amount of literature and theoretical content. However, the use of computer graphics is also highlighted.
The structures of protein, nucleic acids, and energetics are studied here. X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance procedures are outlined. Enzyme kinetics, thermodynamics, and bioinformatics are some of the additional subjects that are also included in this course.
Structure of Biomolecules
The larger assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids are explored in the course. CryoEM and other forms of computational modeling are discussed. Use of special equipment like electron microscopes is taught in the course as well.
This course examines the relationship between the physical sciences and molecular biology. It also deals with ecology and evolutionary science. The application of biological principles to ecology and evolution is a major part of this course.
How to Choose Molecular Biophysics Training Programs
Since these programs focus on training, you should make sure that the schools offering them have proper infrastructure. There are limited courses in the program, so make sure your chosen program has all the courses you need. The program should be recognized by the NIH and should have the training grant. Make sure that it matches your research area of interest before applying.
Career Options with a Molecular Biophysics Training Program
There are no specific career options for this program, though it equips you to be a better biophysicist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), biophysicists and biochemists earned around $93,280 per year in 2018. Here are some career options you can consider: