Biophysics students should all have excellent quantitative and analytical skills from physics, as well as the background and lab skills needed to work on biologically oriented projects. By the end of their third year, when their co-op terms will occur, the students have all had senior lab courses in Physics, and many will have had a senior Biology lab course as well. All have had lower level lab courses in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. They are proficient with a wide variety of lab equipment and have a high level of Mathematics.


    Sample skill sets


    • data abstraction
    • data structures
    • object oriented programming e.g. Python
    • program design

    Organic and Biochemistry

    • basic protein assays
    • isolation of organic compounds via distillation, extraction, and recrystallization
    • gel-filtration, ion exchange and thin layer chromatography
    • radioactive labelling & scintillation counting


    • analysis of ADCs and band pass filters
    • converters
    • prototyping circuits on breadboards
    • use of DMMs, oscilloscopes, function generators and RMS-DC
    • circuit analysis and troubleshooting
    • amplifier, filter and peak detection circuits
    • PID loops
    • H bridges
    • handyboard
    • servos
    • Labview
    • data acquisition and analysis
    • multi-parameter data fitting to custom functions and error estimation
    • modifying existing acquisition programs

    Molecular Biology and Immunology

    • PCR
    • ELISA
    • Ouchterlony diffusion tests
    • Western, Southern, and Northern blots
    • plasmid isolation, restriction mapping, transfection
    • bacterial cell culturing


    • beam alignment and image formation
    • diffraction and spatial filtering
    • interferometry and holography
    • photography and dark room techniques

    Cell Physiology

    • bright/dark field, phase contrast microscopy
    • fluorescence imaging & autoradiography
    • monitoring action potentials and ion channel currents