Mission of the Center for the Physics of Living Cells

Yann Chemla, Zan Luthey-Schulten, co-directors
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The goal of the Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC), an NSF Physics Frontiers Center Program, is to make transformational advances at a genuine scientific frontier: the physics of living cells. The challenge in crafting a quantitative, physical description of living systems is formidable, requiring both accurate structural understanding of hierarchical assemblages of atoms and highly-resolved determination of dynamical processes on many scales.

The CPLC was launched to address this challenge. Through the novel application of sophisticated physics-based experimental techniques, supported by new theoretical and computational approaches, this strongly collaborative endeavor seeks to resolve the fundamental processes at the core of life in quantitative physical detail.

In training young scientists in this interdisciplinary physics frontier, the CPLC aims to develop the next generation of leaders, who are prepared to push the boundaries of what is known, to communicate their work to diverse audiences, to motivate the importance of basic science research, and to make positive change to broaden participation in the field.
Time and scale of cell structures