Center for the Physics of Biological Function | an NSF Physics Frontier Center

The Center for the Physics of Biological Function (CPBF), a joint effort between The Graduate Center at CUNY and Princeton University, is one of eleven Physics Frontier Centers established by the Physics Division of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS). We are a collection of scientists working at the interface of physics and biology with the goal of creating a physicist’s understanding of living systems: a physics of biological function that connects the myriad details of life, across all scales, to fundamental and universal physical principles. Our center focuses on new scientific opportunities and educational programs, integrating theory and experiment, research and education.


Phase-separated liquid droplets (red) formed in a crosslinked chromatin network (white). Mechanical interactions with chromatin determine the size of droplets

Understanding the phenomena of life means understanding the emergence and integration of essential biological functions. 

Explore our Research


Two students looking through slides

A true unification of the physics of biological function requires educating a new generation of scientists.

Explore our Programs


Group of Research Fellows

We are searching for Center Fellows, both theorists and experimentalists. Applications for 2021 CPBF fellows are now open!

Apply Now

Biophysics Seminar Series

Stefano Allesina: TBD

Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 12:15 pm
Location: Zoom

Allan Drummond: TBD

Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 12:15 pm
Location: Zoom

Seppe Kuehn: TBD

Mon, Nov 9, 2020, 12:15 pm
Location: Zoom


ITS Symposia

Evolutionary dynamics

Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 10:00 am
Location: Zoom

Chromosomes, condensates, and transcriptional control

Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 10:00 am
Location: Zoom

Language, learning, and networks

Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 10:00 am
Location: Zoom