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Please visit our PoLS Website

This is the homepage of the Georgia Tech node of the international Physics of Living Systems (PoLS) student research network. The goal of this network is to foster interaction and collaboration among PoLS researchers within Georgia Tech and amongst other PoLS institutes. Eight core faculty members from the Schools of Biology, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering lead the Georgia Tech PoLS node.


The NSF Physics of Living Systems program sponsors research "exploring the most fundamental physical processes that living systems utilize to perform their functions in dynamic and diverse environments." The aim of PoLS research is to advance our understanding of the living world in a quantitative way, while also seeking to expand the intellectual range of physics paying through the lessons learned from the biological study. For more information about the PoLS virtual institute program see the main PoLS website at

At Georgia Tech PoLS research is carried out across a diversity of biological scales: single-molecule cellular organismal biophysics. Both theoretical and experimental biophysics research is conducted by core faculty members and affiliated faculty.

Internship Opportunity

This opportunity is open to any PhD students who might be interested. Ideally looking for someone who has completed 2-3 years of their PhD program, has a good grasp of immune biology and is comfortable with programming in MATLAB/SimBiology (more details below).

They can send their resume to Satya for consideration.

Satyaprakash Nayak Pharmacometrician - IC-Proj | Global Pharmacometrics, GIPB Clinical Pharamcology | Pfizer Inc. 10 Fawcett Street, C228, Cambridge, MA | Mailstop: CAM/FAW/02/C228 Phone (O) - (617) 674 6575 | (Mob.) - (607) 229 2015 | email:

Pfizer Summer Student Worker Program 2015 Mathematical Modeler, Computational Scientist, or Bioengineer

The Pharmacometrics Function supporting Pfizer’s BioTherapeutics Research Unit is looking for a qualified student with skills with databases, data manipulation, creation of informative graphics, and experience with mathematical modeling. The ideal candidate will work in a team environment and learn skills related to pharmaceutical research use of biomarkers and linkages of those markers in order to answer questions of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Dependent on the successful candidate’s skills and interests, he or she may assist research scientists to develop a comprehensive pathway database, build new mathematical models linking data from the immune system, modify or validate existing models.

Basic skills:

  • Comfort with dataset management, manipulation, and documentation
  • Understanding of ordinary differential equation models and parameter fitting
  • Interest in the application of mathematical modeling and simulation to biological or pharmaceutical research

Preferred skills (the successful candidate may possess one or more):

  • Proficient in MATLAB or R
  • Understanding of nonlinear dynamics
  • Experience with numerical methods and parameter fitting for nonlinear models
  • Versant in molecular and cellular biology (knowledge of physiology, immune system is a plus)

Educational qualifications:

  • Undergraduate or graduate student in engineering (any), computer science, applied mathematics, physics, or related pharmaceutical sciences

Location: Cambridge, MA USA

Postdoc positions

Postdoc in Biophysics and Synthetic Biology

Prof. Michael Nash Ludwig-Maximilians University (Munich, DE)

Start date: ?Immediately?

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to an open job posting for postdoctoral candidates. I am in the process of hiring postdocs and PhD students in the areas of biophysics and synthetic biology for a project that will be funded through the Human Frontiers Science Program. In collaboration with the group of Prof. Cheemeng Tan at UC Davis, the project will focus on establishing genetic circuits, engineering cellulosome complexes, and monitoring complex assembly with single-molecule fluorescence. The postdoctoral candidate will benefit from the technical resources available at the LMU Center for Nanoscience, and from the high quality scientific environment of the greater Munich area. A link to the posting is included below. I would appreciate it if you could pass this along to potentially interested students/postdocs. Thank you,
Best regards from Munich,
Michael Nash

More information can be found here

Postdoc in Theoretical Viral Ecology

Prof. Joshua Weitz Georgia Institute of Technology

Start Date: Summer 2014

A postdoctoral scientist position (2+ years) is available at Georgia Tech in the theoretical ecology and quantitative biology group of Dr. Joshua Weitz (School of Biology). The postdoc will lead efforts to develop analytical and computational models of the dynamics and diversity of environmental viruses. Requirements include: (1) PhD in physics, computational biology, applied mathematics, ecology, evolutionary biology or related area; (2) Strong quantitative & computational skills; (3) Excellent communication skills; (4) Interest and experience in collaborative research. Position to start in Summer 2014, start date negotiable, includes competitive salary, benefits, and travel budget. Screening of applicants will begin October 15, 2013, however all applications will be considered until position is filled. To apply, please e-mail Joshua Weitz ( with a curriculum vitae (CV), a one page statement of how your research interests are related to this position, and contact information for 3 references. More information on the group’s research can be found at Georgia Tech is located in Atlanta, GA in the Midtown neighborhood – a vibrant, urban community:

Physics of Living Systems @ GT Postdocs

The Physics of Living Systems (PoLS) Student Research Network at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) invites applications for multiple PoLS Postdoctoral Fellowships. The successful applicants will join the GT node of the National Science Foundation funded Student Research Network. Successful applicants will work with faculty in the GT node on projects at the interface of physics and biology. Candidates with backgrounds in biological physics, biorobotics, soft condensed matter, and nonlinear dynamics are encouraged to apply. Candidates are expected to have a Ph.D. in physics, biophysics, applied mathematics, mechanical engineering, or a related field. Ideal candidates will have a demonstrated ability to conduct independent high-impact research.
Appointments are available immediately. To apply, please e-mail with a curriculum vitae (CV) along with a one page statement of how your research interests are related to this position. In addition, please arrange to have two letters of recommendation e-mailed to the same address. Applications will be considered immediately and the search will continue until all positions are filled.
Georgia Tech is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and requires compliance with the Immigration Control Reform Act of 1986. Applications from women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US.


  • 9-Apr-2015 Tung Le from Prof. Harold Kim's lab will be defending his thesis at 10AM in Howey N110.
  • 2-Apr-2015 Alexis Noel from Prof. Hu's group was awarded the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant for the Physics of Living Systems. Congratulations Alexis!
  • 30-Mar-2015 Prof. JC Gumbart and students from his lab travelled to Pope High School in Marietta, GA to demonstrate various aspects of molecular biophysics to high school students as part of the Atlanta Science Festival. You can read more about the trip in The Technique
  • 24-Mar-2015 Congratulations to Prof. JC Gumbart on being awarded an NSF CAREER award!
  • 18-March-2015 Congratulations to Henry Astley on his recent publication in PNAS with Prof. Hu and Prof. Goldman. You can find Henry's PNAS publication here
  • 17-March-2015 Daniel Kovari from the Curtis Group has successfully defended his dissertation. Dan will be post-docing with Laura Finzi at Emory starting in the Fall. Congratulations Dr. Kovari!
  • 14-Jan-2015 Prof. Dan Goldman was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). "For contributions to biological physics and nonlinear dynamics at the interface of biomechanics, robotics, and granular physics".
  • 26-Dec-13 Congratulation to Dr. Dan Goldman, recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (see the press release here). This award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
  • Hamid Marvi will be joining Professor Metin Sitti's lab at department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University as a postdoc starting January 2014.
  • 05-Nov-13 Louis McLane presented his thesis defense entitled, "Probing the structure of the pericellular matrix via

novel biophysical assays," in IBB 1128 - Suddath seminar room.

  • 30-Oct-13 Sarah Sharpe presented her thesis defense entitled, "Control of burial and subsurface locomotion in particulate substrates," in IBB, room 1128 (Suddath Seminar Room).
  • 10-18-13 Several students (Wenbin Wei from Curtis lab and Tung Le from Kim lab) won the Molecular Biophysics senior student supplement.
  • 27-Sept-13 Joshua Weitz and his collaborative team were awarded a NSF Dimensions in Biodiversity grant. Please click the following link that gives more details,
  • 07-22-13 Gabriel Mitchell presented his thesis defense entitled, "Quantifying Enzymatic Lysis in Gram-positive Bacteria," in the ES&T Building, room L1125.
  • 05-08-13 Tung Le from Harold Kim's lab has recently published a publication, entitled, Measuring Shape-Dependent Looping Probability of DNA.

T. T. Le and H.D. Kim. 2013. Measuring Shape-Dependent Looping Probability of DNA. Biophysical Journal, 104:2068–2076.

  • 04-18-13: The James S. McDonnell Foundation is seeking applicants for the 2013 Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards in Complex Systems Research. For more information see the listing in the newly created job board.
  • 01-31-13: The Lake Como School of Advanced Studies in Complex Systems (Villa del Grumello, Como, Italy) will be hosting a workshop covering “Quantitative Laws of Genome Evolution” from June 27- July 5, 2013. Registration opens in February 2013. See flier for details.
  • 01-22-13: The PoLS web site, which includes the BLOG is now ready for use, but it requires you to register first.

If you have not already registered, visit:

  • 11-16-12 there will be two talks given by Prof. Robert Dudley entitled From Ants to Hummingbirds: The Evolution of Flight. Information about the talk can be found here and here. A lunch for PoLS student members and the speaker will be provided after the talk.
  • 11-15-12: For those students interested, the Siements Competition in Math, Science & Technology will be held on the Georgia Tech campus this weekend. As described on the competition website "America’s next generation of young innovators presents their awe-inspiring research projects to expert university judges." More information can be found here.

Signing-up for the email list

To receive email notification about upcoming GaTech-PoLS events and reminders about the weekly talks, sign-up for the email list. You can sign-up by simply sending a message

Subject: subscribe

After you have requested subscription the list moderators can approve you. Once that happens you will get a confirmation email.

Core faculty list

Core Faculty
PI Website Contact
Jennifer Curtis Cell Physics Lab (Curtis Group) jennifer.curtis[at]
Flavio Fenton Department Profile flavio.fenton [at]
Daniel I. Goldman CRAB Lab (Goldman Group) daniel.goldman[at]
James Gumbart Simbac (Gumbart Group) gumbart[at]
David Hu Hoogle (Hu Group) hu [at]
Harold Kim Department Profile [at]
Simon Sponberg Sponberg Group sponberg [at]
Joshua Weitz Department Profile jsweitz[at]
Kurt Wiesenfeld Department profile kurt.wiesenfeld[at]


This network is supported by the NSF Physics of Living Systems program within the physics division. The student research network is a part of the NSF Science across virtual institutes program to encourage interaction among researchers across many universities.

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