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Centre for the Physical Science of Life

Our vision is to transform our understanding of life through the transformative power of physical science. 

We foster a hub for creativity, pioneer new frontiers at discipline interfaces and provide innovative, impactful solutions for pressing societal challenges.

What is the physical science of life? 

The physical sciences of physics, maths and chemistry can help solve fundamental challenges at the heart of modern biology and unlock fundamental secrets about the make up of living beings.

The goal of our unique centre is to achieve a whole-scale quantitative understanding of life using physical and mathematical principles. By coalescing expertise across the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Science, our ambition is to integrate experimental and computational physical science approaches to develop a unified framework for understanding biology that integrates molecular and systems levels of thinking into a coherent holistic view. 

This presents a significant new frontier for physical science as we expand the horizons of physical science to unresolved biological questions.  

The centre places physical sciences at the heart of the research agenda, to gain a multi-scale, quantitative view of biological systems, moving beyond the role often assigned to physical science as a provider of tools and technologies to compliment the life sciences.

Professor Paula Booth, Co-Director of the Centre for the Physical Science of Life

Aims of the centre

  • New research frontiers at the physical-life science interface

Undertake large-scale ambitious projects by expanding the horizons of physical science to unresolved biological questions.

Integrate experimental and computational physical science approaches to develop a unified framework for understanding biology that integrates molecular and systems levels of thinking into a coherent holistic view.

  • Re-imagine working across discipline interfaces

Connect across disciplines building teams of physical scientists who seamlessly collaborate with life scientists to identify and solve the most fundamental riddles underpinning life.

Inspire the next generation of scientists who are fluent across physical-life science interface within an inclusive, supportive interdisciplinary environment.

  • Physical science hub

Create a focal point for internal and external partnerships, including where our departments and research groups focus on the life science interface in Chemistry, Biolophysics and through our extensive collaborations with the King's healh faculties and King’s Health Partners.

We also capitalise upon existing external partnerships including through the the Crick, the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the Thomas Young Centre.




Management Committee

Seminar series

We hold a monthly seminar series hosting a speaker to discuss a new research idea and participate in an audience Q&A. Our talks are aimed at engaging audiences on topics related to the centre's vision of revolutionising understandings of life through the transformative power of physical science in advancing knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms underlying living systems across scales.

PSOL Website 780x440

Annual Symposium

Our inaugural symposium will bring together experts from across disciplines to discuss and exchange knowledge on the physical science of life. The purpose is to develop new collaborations resulting in novel physical approaches, encompassing new technologies and theoretical models, to comprehend the complex biological systems that define life. The event will open with Professor Buzz Baum, group leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at University of Cambridge, followed by talks from academics across King's College London.

PSOL Inaugural symposium 2-

Research news

Connected research centres

Partner organisations

  • The Francis Crick Institute logo

    The Francis Crick Institute

    The Francis Crick Institute is an inter-disciplinary medical research institute. Its work helps understand why disease develops and finds new ways to treat,…

  • London Centre for Nanotechnology logo

    London Centre for Nanotechnology

    Founded in 2003, the London Centre for Nanotechnology began as a joint venture between University College London and Imperial College London. King's College…

  • The Thomas Young Centre logo

    The Thomas Young Centre

    The Thomas Young Centre (TYC) is a dynamic and interdisciplinary alliance of London researchers which operates at the forefront of science to address the…

Our doctoral training programmes

Upcoming events

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Mathematics Research

800 x 430 Enterprise Mathematics Research

Our research explores new ways of looking at familiar issues and develops new tools to solve complex problems. Our centres focus on analysis, disordered systems, financial mathematics, geometry, number theory, statistics, theoretical physics, mathematical & molecular biomedicine, and probability.

Physics Research

800 x 430 Enterprise Physics Research

Physicists at King's are developing new ways to unlock biological mysteries to develop new medical technologies, and working to understand how atoms and molecules at the nanoscale shape our macroscopic world. Research groups include Biological Physics & Soft Matter, Photonics & Nanotechnology, Theory & Simulation of Condensed Matter, and Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology.

Chemistry Research

800 x 430 Chemistry Research

Research in the Department of Chemistry draws on the interface between physical and life sciences to explore new chemistry frontiers and deliver fundamental solutions for a sustainable and healthy society.