Molecular Biophysics Concentration | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Artigas and Student in lab

Concentration Overview

The PhD program is designed primarily to train students for careers in biomedical and life sciences. Traditionally, graduates have found employment opportunities in academia and industry, including research and/or teaching in universities, biotechnology industry, and governmental agencies.

The core curriculum that is shared by all concentrations in the first semester of year one is used as a foundation for more specialized courses tailored to the students' specific needs. Faculty research programs are diverse, encompassing the general areas of structure-function studies, biochemistry and structural biology of membrane proteins, as well as some areas of cell and tissue physiology. Most of the research focuses on membrane proteins, and our Faculty has a close relationship with the Center for Membrane Protein Research (CMPR). Specific areas of research include membrane proteins (ion channels, transporters), membrane biophysics, and cell biology and physiology of the lung. The proteins of interest are associated with important diseases or disorders that include cardiac arrhythmias (potassium channels, connexins), genetic diseases (cystic fibrosis, migraine, deafness), neurological diseases (nAChR family; epilepsy, addiction, Alzheimer, Parkinson) and cancer (multidrug-resistance proteins, folate transporter).

Techniques that students may acquire vary widely and may include:

  • Molecular biology (e.g., cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, library construction)
  • Biochemistry (e.g., protein characterization, purification and activity)
  • Biophysics (e.g., X-ray crystallography, electrophysiology (patch-clamp), spectroscopic methods that include fluorescence, FT-IR, CD, EPR)
  • Cell biology (high-resolution imaging, biochemistry of cell signaling)
  • Heterologous (over)expression of recombinant proteins

Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in research. All candidates for graduate degrees who hold assistantships must fulfill certain requirements while appointed as assistants.

Seal for TTUHSC

Center for Membrane Protein Research

The long-term goal of the Center is to advance our knowledge of the structure and function of membrane proteins in health and disease. The Center brings together a group of TTUHSC and TTU investigators interested in the broad field of membrane-protein research. After completion of the human genome sequence, biomedical research has evolved into a combination of genomics, proteomics, and functional genomics. To a great extent, biomedical research in this century will be focused on prototypical proteins and protein families, including the determination of their structures, normal function, and their roles in human disease. From this knowledge will emanate rational design of new pharmacological agents that will open novel therapeutic approaches.

Membrane Protein Core Laboratory

The Membrane Protein Laboratory Core (MPLC), a shared facility of the Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics (CPMB), houses equipment that is primarily accessible to the CPMB Faculty and their laboratory personnel, but is also available to Faculty throughout TTUHSC and TTU. The MPLC is equipped for the overexpression, purification and characterization of membrane proteins. Some of the equipment available includes digital gel-imaging systems (UV, visible and infrared), spectrophotometers, fluorescence/absorbance microplate reader, microplate washer, luminometer, spectrofluorometers, refrigerated shaker incubators, centrifuges and ultracentrifuges, probe sonicator, small and large volume microfluidizers, FPLC systems, phosphorescence lifetime spectrometers for luminescence resonance energy transfer measurements, rapid-mixing stop-flow system for absorbance, fluorescence and light-scattering determinations, CD and ATR/FTIR spectrometers for secondary structure determination, a picosecond lifetime system, static, and dynamic light scattering instruments, crystallization incubators, mosquito and NT8 Formulatrix crystallization robots, automatic UV microscopy system for crystal analysis, Rigaku Screen Machine for X-ray crystal screening and data collection, high-throughput automatic frog-oocyte injector, automatic Nanion port-a-patch and Orbit Mini patch-clamp systems, liquid scintillation counter, ITC and DSC microcalorimenters, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission are flexible and there are no minimum GPA or test score requirements. All applications are reviewed in a holistic manner, with no single factor determining a student's admission. 

Application Information


Semester Application Open Application Deadline Campus
Fall Only September 1

Early Review December 1

Regular Admission March 1


How to Apply

Applications must be completed at BioRaider. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that their application is complete by the application deadline to be considered for admission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission. The program reviews applications on a rolling admissions basis.

Application Portal → 


But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?

Michaela Jansen Ph.D.

Program Director Molecular Biophysics

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General Contact

3601 4th Street MS 6206
Lubbock, TX 79430-6206

Concentration Advisor

Pablo Artigas, Ph.D.

Admissions Director

Terri Lloyd