Physical Biosciences

This research area combines experimental and computational tools from the physical sciences with biochemistry and molecular biology. A fundamental understanding of the complex processes that convert and store energy in living systems is sought. Research supported includes studies that investigate the mechanisms by which energy transduction systems are assembled and maintained, the processes that regulate energy-relevant chemical reactions within the cell, the underlying biochemical and biophysical principles determining the architecture of biopolymers and the plant cell wall, and active site protein chemistry that provides a basis for highly selective and efficient bio-inspired catalysts.

The research provides basic structure-function information necessary to accomplish solid-phase nanoscale synthesis in a targeted manner, i.e., controlling the basic architecture of energy-transduction and storage systems. This impacts numerous DOE interests, including improved biochemical pathways for biofuel production, next generation energy conversion/storage devices, and efficient, environmentally benign, sustainable catalysts.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Katherine Brown