Director's Welcome

Wolfgang Losert
Wolfgang Losert

The mission of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) is to foster excellence in interdisciplinary research and education at the University of Maryland. IPST accomplishes this by integrating people, science and technology.

Our selective and highly ranked graduate programs in the fields of

provide specialized training at the intersection of traditional fields, and are a central component of our mission.

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News and Special Events

Michelle Girvan to deliver a Kavli Foundation Special Symposium Talk

February 17, 2020. Professor Michelle Girvan (IPST / Physics) is one of 5 invited speakers for the APS featured Kavli Foundation Special Symposium: Frontiers of Computation: Machine Learning and Quantum Computing at the American Physical Society March Meeting. Scheduled for March 4, Girvan's talk is titled "Opening the black box: Improving knowledge-free machine learning with knowledge-based models."

Kavli Symposia "... provide a forum for discussion of the key issues facing future developments and directions in specific fields, and thereby help to define and guide the development of the research in these fields."

Mary Pitman is inaugural CCR/NCI Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award recipient

February 17, 2020. Mary Pitman, UMD-NCI program student, is an inaugural co-recipient of the NIH Center for Cancer Research (CCR), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award. The Center established the award in recognition of their contribution as a group, and to highlight some of the best Ph.D. work in the CCR laboratories. Over 100 students across clinical and basic science labs–including UMD, JHU and Oxford–were considered.

Pitman (advisor Garegin Papoian, IPST/Chemistry) developed novel analytical methods to probe, for the first time, the mechanical properties of nucleosomes in chromatin. She had previously won the Outstanding Graduate Student Award of the Year at NCI.

The University of Maryland and the National Cancer Institute officially created the Partnership for Integrative Cancer Research in May 2010. Since summer 2018 the UMD-NCI partnership has been administered through the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST). IPST, home to three major interdisciplinary graduate programs in CMNS including Biophysics, has been a significant contributor to the UMD-NCI partnership from the start.

Through this Partnership, students, professors, and investigators aim to solve the most pressing problems in cancer research by bringing together the expertise and resources in the mathematical sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences, and engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, with basic, clinical, and translational research expertise of the National Cancer Institute/Center for Cancer Research. Wolfgang Losert (IPST/Physics) with Doron Levy (Mathematics) and Kimberly Stroka (BioEngineering) is a member of the Leadership team.

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Conference Announcements

Q-BIO'2020 Conference & Summer School:
Synergy of Machine Learning and Quantitative Modeling in Biology

Q-BIO is a series of conferences and affiliated summer schools which aim at advancing predictive modeling of cellular regulation, decision making, formation of response, and other information processing phenomena. The emphasis is on deep theoretical understanding, detailed modeling, and quantitative experimentation directed at understanding the behavior of particular regulatory systems and/or elucidating general principles of cellular information processing. Unlike many biological conferences, which focus on specific model systems, Q-BIO focuses on understanding of phenomena, which manifest themselves in many biological systems.

The Q-BIO conference will take place from July 28 to July 31, 2020, and the Q-BIO summer school will take place from July 20 to July 31, 2020. For details, visit the official Q-BIO'2020 website.