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Biophysical Sciences Institute

About the BSI

"The BSI is a community of interdisciplinary academics, researchers and students who have research interests at the boundary between the life sciences and the other sciences including physics, chemistry and psychology, as well as mathematics and engineering."

- Professor John Girkin, BSI Director.

How We Work

The BSI builds on the strength of Durham University departments and schools. Firmly rooted in their specialist disciplines our members work together in two main ways:

  • The first is to address key life science research questions by working collaboratively in the development of new technologies or methodologies to improve instrumentation and data understanding.
  • The second involves developing a deeper understanding; colleagues collaborate by breaking down the barriers to communication across the traditional boundaries. This allows preconceptions to be questioned, expertise to be applied in novel ways and establishes fresh ways of thinking.

BSI members are either embedded in host departments (as in the Wolfson Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry) or are situated in their home departments/schools. The proximity of these Departments/Schools to one another and the ongoing support of their leaders has resulted in a strong BSI community.

Institute Structure


The BSI is proud of its ongoing links with the Physics of Life network. Now in its second phase PoLNet2 is being led by Durham University’s Prof. Tom McLeish (Physics) and Dr Martin Cann (Biosciences). For more information about the network and its current events please visit:


Wednesday 9 January 2019

Monday 4 February 2019

Thursday 28 March 2019

Monday 8 April 2019

Monday 15 July 2019