iBio : interdisciplinary biology
Physical science students:
Carry out cutting-edge research in interdisciplinary biology
through the iBio programme!
iBio is an interdisciplinary research programme that seeks to apply the experimental and theoretical tools of the physical sciences to the study of challenging biological problems. The programme provides a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary work, with dynamic young faculty, state-of-the-art equipment, and international exposure through conferences, workshops, and visiting scientists from around the world.
We invite students with physical sciences backgrounds to consider doing their PhD research on cutting-edge problems in interdisciplinary biology. Those who are interested in taking part in the iBio programme must first be accepted into the NCBS PhD or integrated-PhD programmes via the standard application procedure. Our entrance exams are designed to select talented students with backgrounds in any of the basic sciences; our interview panels are composed of scientists from various disciplines, allowing us to evaluate students based on their strongest subjects.
iBio is structured as a campus-within-a-campus, centred around four components: faculty, students, courses, and facilities.
Faculty: The iBio faculty at NCBS includes chemists, physicists, neuroscientists, and computational biologists. All iBio faculty members carry out research with strong interdisciplinary components. More information about specific research areas can be found below.
Students: There is no official iBio student category -- all NCBS PhD students are part of a common academic pool. Nevertheless, a significant number of our students have physical sciences backgrounds, and arrive at NCBS with no formal training in biology. The student pool currently includes experimental and theoretical physicists, chemists, computer scientists, and engineers. We encourage such students to retain and strengthen their primary skills in the physical sciences, while pursuing biologically relevant research problems.
Courses: We offer several basic courses to facilitate the transition from the physical sciences to biology, appropriate for students who have had no prior exposure to biology. We also offer several advanced courses that might be of interest to students with physical sciences backgrounds, including: cellular biophyscs, molecular spectroscopy, advanced biochemistry, computational modelling in biology, and bioinformatics. In addition, we encourage students to take advantage of the courses offered in their primary disciplines at other academic campuses around Bangalore, such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Raman Research Institute, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
Facilities: NCBS is home to state-of-the-art imaging and mass-spectrometry facilities, giving us the ability to probe the basic physical and chemical processes of living cells in extraordinary detail.
Events: The iBio programme runs a weekly seminar series that focuses on interdisciplinary topics, featuring both speakers from NCBS, as well as invited speakers from other institutes. These are typically informal blackboard seminars, with a great deal of audience participation. NCBS also hosts several institute lectures each year that have aninterdisciplinary flavour.
iBio research areas include:
- Computational neuroscience and cell biology (U.S. Bhalla, S. Chattarji, S. Sane )
- Information processing in cellular networks (U.S. Bhalla, M. Thattai)
- Physical basis of chromatin remodeling and gene regulation (G.V. Shivashankar)
- Organization and dynamics of membranes and cytoskeletons (S. Mayor, M. Rao)
- Dynamics of trafficking pathways in eukaryotes (S. Mayor, M. Rao)
- Architecture and function of transmembrane ion channels (M. K. Mathew)
- Photophysics and photochemistry of biomolecules (M. Puranik)
- Computational approaches to protein science (R. Sowdhamini)
- Protein folding and unfolding (J. Udgaonkar)
- Nucleic acid nanotechnology (Yamuna Krishnan)