Section on biophysics, biomedical physics and chemical physics

Information on the study program Biophysics and Chemical Physics

  1. Name of study program: Biophysics and Chemical Physics
  2. Number and name of branch of study: 4.1.1 Physics
  3. Study level: Second University Lever (undergraduate)
  4. Guarantor and co-guarantor of the study program:
    • prof. Dr. Tibor Hianik, DSc.
    • prof. Ing. Ivan Hubač, DSc.
  5. Program relationships: This program continues after the first university degree program (bachelor) in biophysics and biomedical physics and is related to graduate programs in Biophysics and Chemical Physics
  6. Assumed number of students per year: 10
  7. Brief history of the study program:
    The establishment of the program is closely connected with the revolution in physics and with foundation of quantum mechanics at the beginning of the 20th century. At this time physicists start to apply the fundamental laws of physics to understanding the processes in a living organisms. The ideas of necessity of application of physics to biology have been widespread by well known physicists, the Nobel prize laureates, for example by N. Bohr, E. Schrödinger, M. Delbrück and other and have been excellently formulated in a book of E. Schrödinger "What is Life? The Physical Aspects of the Living Cell", Cambridge University Press, 1993 (first published in 1944). In 50s of 20 century the specialized Departments of Biophysics were established at several excellent Universities in USA and Europe. The Department of Biophysics at Comenius University was established in 1978 by transformation of the division of biophysics at the Department of Experimental Physics of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Program in biophysics was extended also on chemical physics after establishment of Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (MFF UK), further Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Sciences (FMFI UK). This program continues so far. The study programs in biophysics and chemical physics exists in most of well established world universities for example, Harward University , Moscow University and many others.
  8. Requirements for the students (conditions for enter to the study):
    For undergraduate (magister) study in biophysics and chemical physics can be accepted students that finished bachelor study in physics, biology and chemistry. For students that do not finished bachelor program in physics a special “equilibrated program” of study will be established by guarantor. This program will be focused on completion of the knowledge of the student in basic physics and in selected parts of theoretical physics: quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical physics.
  9. Educational and professional goals:
    The purpose of the study program is education of the students in the biophysics and chemical physics at professional level in order to prepare them for continuing in a graduate (PhD) study. The knowledge, obtained during the study, however also allows them to be directly employed in the field of basic and applied research as well as in various industrial companies.
  10. The content of the courses ("courses groups") and their brief characteristics:
    The courses are divided to two basic groups – theoretical background and special courses. The passing through theoretical background allowing student to obtain knowledges necessary for analysis of the mechanisms of the processes at living systems at molecular level. Following curses belongs to this group: Application of the Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Dynamics Methods to Molecular Systems; Atomic and Molecular Collisions; Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry; Biochemistry; Quantum Mechanics for Modelling of Chemical and Biological Systems; Physics of Complex Systems; Theory of Intermolecular Systems. Special courses are focused on the obtaining the knowledge in basic parts of biophysics and chemical physics. Following courses belong to this group: Molecular Biophysics, Membrane Biophysics, Bioenergetics, Physics of Polymers and Biopolymers, Acoustics Fundamentals, Physical Mechanisms of the Processes in Human Organism, Introduction to Biomechanics, Radiation Biophysics, Methods of Biosignal Processing and Medical Imaging Computer Graphic, Experimental Methods in Biophysics and Chemical Physics, Multiparticle Techniques in Chemical Physics. Part of special courses introduce students into application of theoretical knowledge to the solution of the roblems of medicine. Following courses belong to this part: Biosensors, Lasers and Optical Fibers in Medicine, Photobiology and Photodynamic Therapy, Liposomes in Biophysics and Medicine, Biomedical Application of Magnetic Resonance, Basics of NMR Spektrometry and Tomography. The obtained knowledge will be additionally extended during special practical. The students will obtain skill in individual scientific work during field practice, during the work on a project and diploma thesis.
  11. The project:
    During first year the student will prepare the project focused on specific topic. Project is prepared under supervision of lecturer. The work on the project will be continuously evaluated on regular seminars. The results of the project will be defended at the end of the summer term of the first year of undergraduate (magister) study.
  12. The rules of examination and evaluation:
    During the study the student should pass through all obligatory courses of the study program, student have to obtain 120 credits, successfully pass the final exam from General Biophysics and Chemical Physics as well as Experimental Methods of Biophysics and Chemical Physics and to defense the Diploma Thesis. Each course in a study program has certain number of credits. Recommended number of credits in each semester from obligatory and free selected courses is shown in a study plan. Students will obtain credits by passing through oral exam, written test or by preparation of the project. Students are continuously evaluated during semester usually by means of written test.
  13. Absolvent profile:
    Following features characterize the person that finished the magister study in Biophysics and Chemical Physics:
    • Fundamentals of the methods of scientific work and formulation of scientific problem
    • Skill in scientific methods of investigation in physics and ability to apply these methods to the solution of problems in living sciences.
    • Knowledge in several scientific fields and ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams.
    • Ability to apply methods of quantum physics, thermodynamics and statistical physics in a concrete applications of biophysics and chemical physics.
    • Knowledge of wide spectrum of experimental methods and ability for complex and complementary investigation of biological systems at a molecular level.
    • Ability to formulate and to solve the problems by means of X-ray diffraction methods, electron microscopy, optical and laser spectroscopy, quantum and chemical physics, bioelectrochemistry, methods of computer dynamic simulations and to communicate with scientists in related fields (biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, pharmacology, immunology, bioinformatics etc.) as well as in development of biosensors and to work in the field of nanotechnologie.
  14. Possibility of employments: Due to wide interdisciplinary education the absolvent of the study program in Biophysics and Chemical physics can be employed in Universities and Institutions and to work in basic and applied biophysics and chemical physics as well as in related fields such are biochemistry, physical chemistry, molecular biology, molecular physiology, theoretical medicine and others. Employment is possible also in the field of biotechnology and nanotechnology. The absolvent is most prepared for work in interdisciplinary scientific teams.
  15. Special peculiarities of the program:
    Passing through special practical on a modern experimental apparatus is important part of the study program. Due to interdisciplinary character of the program, the diploma thesis are supervised by excellent specialist of the faculty, of collaborating International Laser center as well as that from other national and international scientific Institutions and Universities. Faculty staffs are involved in large number of national and international scientific projects. Therefore certain part of student practice takes place abroad at high level University laboratories. Students are directly involved into the international science and technology collaboration where obtain experience of work in international interdisciplinary teams.
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