This project will support participation of United States researchers at the 2017 Cargese Summer School on Theoretical Biophysics, June 25-July 6, 2017. The school will train 50 students (close to half of them from the United States), and the training will be done by 19-20 core and seminar lecturers and organizers. From the point of view of physics, biological systems stand out due to their complexity and heterogeneity. The school will be structured around core lectures (self-contained mini-courses), seminar presentations, and discussions. Student projects and symposia will provide an active learning component. The school will be aimed primarily at junior researchers in physical and mathematical disciplines, but interested in biological questions. The School will contribute to training the next generation of theorists on the interface of physics and life sciences, focusing especially on promoting women and traditionally underrepresented minorities. The School will further contribute towards the establishment and growth of the international, collaborative community of young researchers in this field.
Living systems span many length and timescales, and are constantly kept out of equilibrium by active energy-consuming processes. Understanding their functioning poses a major challenge to traditional physical approaches. Despite their diversity, questions on the interface of physics and biology have in common the emergence of a global and collective phenomenon from a sum of local interactions. How to formulate these problems in a common language, and use it to make relevant and reliable biological predictions will be a major goal of this this summer school. The school will aim at understanding the functioning of biological systems, from cells to groups of organisms, in light of the laws of physics. Diverse topics from neuroscience to cellular signaling and how complexity emerges will be discussed.
This project is being jointly supported by the Physics of Living Systems program in the Division of Physics and the Molecular Biophysics Program in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.