Undergraduate premed students now have a new option to choose from. The Department of Physics is adding a new major, biophysics, which combines the best of biology and chemistry with physics. Biophysics is the application of physics standards to biological processes. By adding biophysics, says department chair Steve Herbert, Xavier moves to the forefront of cutting edge science that is contributing toward advances in medical research—such as learning how cells produce the electrical impulses that fire into the brain.
“Much of the work in microbiology has progressed because physicists have looked at these biological areas,” Herbert says. “And there is more funding for it because biophysics can impact the health field with drug therapies and analytical techniques and tests for conditions and diseases.”