You are here

Physical roots of chemical biology


Monday, 18 November 2019 to Friday, 29 May 2020
Total hours: 40
Hours of lectures: 40

Examination procedure

  • oral exam


Students in Physics, Chemistry, Biology


Overview of the cell as a complex physical system (2h)


Life at rest (8h)

-Equilibrium thermodynamics of the cell

-Protein folding, protein binding, allostery

-Biological membranes: life in two dimensions

-Molecular crowding, confinement


Life in motion (24h)

-Non-Equilibrium thermodynamics of the cell: the local formulation and steady states

-Biological dynamics and diffusion

    i.      Diffusion on membranes

    ii.      Nucleocytoplasmic diffusion

-Exchanges with outside world

    iii.      Ion exchanges and biological electricity

    iv.      Free-energy transduction

-Far from equilibrium systems and dissipative structures

-Dynamics of molecular motors

-Metabolic regulation and non-linear enzymes


Multicellular organisms (6h)

-The origin of biological altruism

-Epigenetics and tumorigenesis

-The tissue regulation of glucose homeostasis


Educational goals: Knowledge on the basic principles regulating cell structure and activity, with a particular focus on the nanoscale


Bibliographical references

Phillips et al. Physical Biology of the Cell