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Centre for the Physical Science of Life

A new era for physical science

Our vision is to transform understanding of life.
Our centre realises the transformative power of physical science in advancing understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying living systems across scales.
We foster an atmosphere of creativity, pioneer new frontiers at discipline interfaces and provide innovative, impactful solutions for pressing societal challenges.

Physical science provide fundamental understanding of processes in and out from equilibrium occurring at different length scales, from quantum to ensemble behaviour, which proffers a multi-scale view of biological systems quantified in space and time through experimental methodology grounded on rigorous theory. We place physical science at the centre of our research agenda, resulting in new physical approaches, encompassing new technologies and theoretical models, to comprehend the complex biological systems that define life.

The goal of our unique physical science centre is to achieve a whole-scale quantitative understanding of life using physical and mathematical principles. By coalescing expertise across our Faculty in creative fusions of natural, mathematical and engineering sciences, our ambition is to solve the fundamental challenge of modern biology; bridging the gap between current biomolecular and systems level descriptions of biological phenomena. This presents a significant new frontier for physical science tackling emergent behaviour far from equilibrium in sentient systems that self-assemble and evolve.


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.



Our exciting new doctoral training programmes include:

Collaborations and partnerships

Our departments provide an outstanding foundation for the centre, for example through the distinct focus at the life science interface in Chemistry, the Biological Physics & Soft Matter group in Physics, and the Institute for Mathematical and Molecular Biomedicine (IMMB). We have extensive interactions with King’s Health Partners that will augment the Centre activity.

We also capitalise upon existing physical science attachments at the Crick, King’s membership of the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the Thomas Young Centre.