University of Nebraska Medical Center

Biophysics PhD Track

PhD students who chose the Biophysics track will find this research employs a variety of single-molecule and standard spectroscopy and calorimetric techniques to investigate fundamental cellular processes at the molecular level. One focus is the understanding of fundamental mechanisms underlying health and disease, which allows for the identification of new drug targets for small molecule drugs. It also develops the tools and methods to discover novel approaches for diagnostic, treatment and disease prevention and to determine their efficacy at the molecular level.

Time-lapse Atomic Force Microscopy images illustrating the movement of SfiI enzyme (bright particle) along the DNA filament.

Broad research areas include: (1) Structural genomics in relation to cancer, (2) Molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other protein aggregation diseases, (3) Protein-DNA interactions for novel approaches for HIV restriction, (4) Development of novel nanoimaging and nanoprobing approaches.

An additional focus is on the molecular forces that control the conformational stability and flexibility of nucleic acids, and the interaction of ligands (including clinical agents) with nucleic acids as a function of binding mode, nucleic acid conformation, sequence specificity, and solution conditions. Lastly, the role of water on the conformational stability of biomolecules is being studied by examining sequence hydration effects in nucleic acids, drug-nucleic acid complexes, DNA covalent adducts and protein-DNA interactions.

College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program at UNMC- Biophysics Feature

Biophysics Faculty



Yuri Lyubchenko

Director, Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program


Luis A Marky



Don Ronning