Physical Biology of the Cell


10th January 2019:
Please find the course schedule for the course below. This applies to all 5 days of the coruse from 14th to 18th January, 2019, with two exceptions (detialed below).
For updates on the course syllabus to be covered on each of the 5 days, please visit:
Time slotSession
9:00 to 10:30 amCourse session 1 by Rob
10:30 to 10:45 am
Tea/coffee break
10:45 to 12:15 pmCourse session 2 by Rob
12:15 to 1:30 pmLunch break
1:30 to 3:00 pmCourse session 3 by Rob
3:00 to 3:15 pmTea/coffee break
3:15 to 4:45 pmCourse session 4 by Rob
4:45 to 5:00 pmBreak
5:00 to 7:00 pmTutorial session by Manuel



1. Wednesday, 16th Jan - All the post-lunch sessions will be taken by Manuel.

2. There is a Simons Colloquium by Rob Phillips scheduled for Friday, 16th Jan at 4 pm. Youy're all encouraged to attend that!

9th January 2019:
Thank you for your patience. The list of shortlisted participants for this course are as below. Stay tuned for further updates about the course.
Abhishek MNCBS
Angad Yuvraj SinghUniversity of Delhi
Ansuman BiswasNCBS
Anvitha SIIT Bombay
Ashwini GNCBS
Bhanu Priya SNCBS
Charuhansini KulkarniNCBS
Chittaspandini KulkarniNCBS
Deepanjali DwivediNCBS
Garima RaniIMSc
Gaurav SinghInStem
Gaurav GunjalIISc
Indrani MadhugiriTech Mahindra
Jessica BodosaIISc
Kirtika JhaIISc
Krishna Kanth BIISc
Manoj KumarNCBS
Mukthi A S IyerNCBS
Nayan ChakrabortyNCBS
Nida FarheenNCBS
Nishant NarayanasamyNCBS
Rahul KumarNCBS
Rakesh MIISc
Rudra Dev MandalIIT Madras
Sachin Singh RawatNCBS
Sahithya S IyerIISc
Sankarshan TalluriNCBS
Saptarshi DasguptaNCBS
Sayan BiswasInStem
Shashank Kumar RoyICTS-TIFR
Sujan KumarNCBS
Sumanth Kumar MaheshwaramRRI
Vinu VargheseNCBS
Zeenat RashidaInStem




3rd December 2018:
Thank you for sending in your applications. The applications have now been closed, and we are currently in the process of reviewing them. The list of shortlisted participants will be announced very soon. Stay tuned!




Course Description:

The intensive week-long course aims to inculcate an appreciation for a world teeming with biological wonders, by using a hands-on, curiosity-driven approach that defies the conventional boundaries of disciplines, and invokes ideas and tools from mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering to better understand biological systems.

The course structure allows students to embark upon a deep exploration of quantitative case studies, which are specifically designed to illuminate the key principles of biology. The course will demonstrate the various ways in which one can use simple ‘order of magnitude’ estimates to provide insights into problems like the fidelity of protein translation, understanding how far a bird can fly without stopping, and how amphibians arrive on oceanic islands.

Further, the course will demonstrate how one can use statistical mechanics-based approaches to explore problems in regulatory biology. Examples of biological problems that can be studied using such approaches include the physics of post-translational modifications, transcriptional decisions in cells and the precision of embryonic development. 

In addition to these topics, the course also involves a series of hands-on projects using Python to amplify the case studies discussed in class.


Instructors & TA:

Prof. Rob Phillips (Instructor), Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology, California Institute of Technology

Manuel Razo-Mejia (TA), California Institute of Technology


Organisational Details:

Date: 14th to 18th January 2019

Time: 9 am to 9 pm (light tea/coffee and beverages will be provided; lunch / dinner can be availed through our canteens)

Venue: National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore



We invite participation from graduate students and post-doctoral fellows interested in employing mathematical approaches to the study of biological problems.

Participants residing in Bengaluru are strongly encouraged to apply. Outstation participants are welcome to apply too, provided they can arrange their own accommodation. 

Submit your application along with a 150-word statement of purpose describing your research and why you are interested in attending this course, before the noon of 1st December 2018, here:



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