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UC Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute receives 2 grants to explore interface of physics and biology
Date:5/29/2012

y. Side-by-side in lectures and in the lab, researchers will explore subjects such as morphogenesis, embryology, microbial biology, and evolution. The new program is the brainchild of physics professor and permanent KITP member Boris Shraiman, and Joel Rothman, chair of UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

"We thank the Moore Foundation for their generosity and their vision in supporting a broader range of activities at the KITP, and we are delighted that, with our proposed course, we were able to rise to the challenge set by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund," Shraiman said.

"It really has been a dream to set up a course like SBASQB," Shraiman added. "It is a merger of two cultures drawing on the lab course tradition in biology and the workshop tradition in theoretical physics and it is going to be a rather unique combination of the two."

Describing SBASQB as the culmination of their shared vision to bring together theorists and experimentalists in an active lab setting, Shraiman and Rothman said the venture was largely inspired by the storied research program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., which boasts more than 50 Nobel laureates among its past participants.

What sets such courses apart, said Rothman who likes to think of SBASQB as a sort of "Woods Hole West" is the way they turn scientific convention on its head. The elite, intensive program will, on occasion, see graduate students and postdoctoral students serving as instructors to faculty; theorists engaging in lab work; experimentalists participating in theory-focused lectures; and instructors and students collaborating on experiments. Differentiating SBASQB from Woods Hole: the former will be built on the foundation of the KITP, grounded in the physical science community.

"There is a lot of exciting stuff going on at the interface of traditional, hard physical sciences and biology that I think will engender w
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Contact: Shelly Leachman
shelly.leachman@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-8726
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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