Johns Hopkins University was one of the first institutions in the country to establish biophysics as an independent discipline and to have a department dedicated to studying biology using the tools and approaches of physics and physical chemistry. The Thomas C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics has a long tradition of excellence in research and teaching, and of developing leaders in the scientific community.

The department offers an undergraduate major and participates in three graduate programs, the Program in Molecular Biophysics (PMB), the Program in Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, and Biophysics (CMDB), and the Jenkins Biophysics Program Jenkins Biophysics Program.


Although the research programs of the faculty and students are diverse and varied, there are several recurring themes. The existence of these common underlying themes and interests enhances interaction among research laboratories, and helps give the department a leading status in these areas.

  • High-resolution structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Determination of forces and energetics that underlie macromolecular structure and function
  • The study of macromolecular assemblies, allostery, and regulation
  • Computational modeling that describes collective efforts of many interacting molecules that give rise to biological phenomena