OLLI Course on the Physics of Living Cells

OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Illinois) is a member-centered community of adult learners. The CPLC partnered with OLLI at Illinois to bring the physics of the living cell to our community of adult students.

This course enlightens students about cutting-edge tools being developed to examine biological systems. Students learn about discoveries in areas such as: how cells sense and respond to their environments; watching genes jump in real time in live cells; visualizing protein movement at nerve synapses during memory events; protein clumping in brain disease; modeling cellular metabolism and growth; assembly and dynamics of machines that copy DNA and make proteins; and how DNA sequence and flexibility controls turning genes on and off.

The OLLI course, designed by Jaya Yodh, featured a different CPLC faculty for every lecture:
  • A. Aksimentiev “Close Encounters with DNA”
  • K. Schulten: “Physics and Chemistry of Photosynthesis”
  • M. Gruebele: “When the good guys go bad: proteins in the human cell”
  • N. Goldenfeld: “What can theoretical physics tell us about the origin and evolution of early life?”
  • P. Selvin: “How FIONA, Shrek’s girlfriend, lights up your life. And why she almost won the Nobel Prize.”
  • S. Kuehn: “Playing the tape twice: Is ecology reproducible?”
  • Y. Chemla: “Nature’s nanomachines”
  • Z. Luthey-Schulten: “Physics of Cellular Metabolism” (cancelled)

Click here for the Physics of Living Cells OLLI syllabus.

Click here for the relevant handouts for each OLLI lecture.

Contact Jaya Yodh for more information about the CPLC OLLI course.