Winter School on Physics of the Cell

From 19 January to 1 February 2020
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Location: Polo Fabio Ferrari Povo 1, Via Sommarive 5, Trento

The comprehension of living systems, from the smallest biomolecules to entire organisms or groups of organisms, relies more and more on computational modeling. In silico representations of proteins, lipid membranes, chromosomes, cells, or tissues provides an indispensable tool to simulate the behavior of biological matter and study its properties at the finest length and time scale, at a level of accuracy which is currently (and maybe fundamentally) out of reach for experimental probes.

However, the variety of systems and processes, as well as the huge range of sizes covered by the latter (spanning several orders of magnitude from angstroms and picoseconds to hours and centimeters), requires a comparably broad spectrum of different representations, models, and computational approaches, each specifically tailored for a particular problem or size range.

This intrinsically multi-scale problem thus demands researchers to have access to several methods, algorithms, and programs.

The aim of this school is to provide the flavor of the typical problems one faces in the computer-aided investigation of biological systems, as well as an overview of the most common and effective instruments employed to this end.

Students will be exposed to lectures focusing on specific aspects of biophysics, held by researchers actively working on them in top international institutions; subsequently, they will receive training in the usage of the software programs implementing algorithms and methods for the investigation of biological matter, from single atoms to proteins, small DNA strands, entire chromosomes, cellular membranes, to multicellular tissues.

Participants’ background

Admissions reserved to up to 25 senior Undergraduate and Graduate international students with the following background: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, or interdisciplinary courses including at least one of the former among the constitutive disciplines.
A good level of English is needed (B2).
Students coming from partner universities are selected and nominated by partner universities.
External students are selected by UniTrento. 
All students are asked to upload a CV and a motivation letter when applying (the on line application form will be available from February in the section “Useful links” in this page


Nominations by partner Universities: by 15 September 2019.
Students from partner universities and external students are asked to finalize the on line application by 30 September 2020 and to upload a CV and a motivation letter.
The School will be activated with a minimum number of 10 participants.

For more information visit the dedicated page

Academic Coordinators

  • Prof. Gianluca Lattanzi
  • Dr. Raffaello Potestio