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

CPBF Fellows of 2018 & 2019

We are searching for Center Fellows, both theorists and experimentalists. Applications for 2022 CPBF fellows are now open!

Apply Now

Biophysics Seminar Series

Biophysics Seminar Series - Dr. Harald Hess
Mon, Mar 27, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
Jadwin Hall - Joseph Henry Room
José Alvarado : TBA
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
Jadwin Hall
Biophysics Seminar - Arseny Finkelstein
Mon, May 1, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
Joseph Henry Room, Jadwin Hall (Rm#102)


2018 - 2021 APS Abstracts
learn more about current research at the Center, see the work to be presented at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society 2021

Game Theory Cancer Models of Cancer Cell-Stromal Cell Dynamics using Interacting Particle Systems Abstract

Bacterial Route…

ITS Symposia

Information flow in bacterial chemotaxis
Fri, Mar 24, 2023, 9:30 am4:00 pm
Segal Theater at The CUNY Graduate Center (1st floor, 365 Fifth Avenue)
Students and Postdocs Edition
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:30 am4:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue in New York), Science Center (Room 4102)


National Science Foundation