Prof. Jose L. Toca-Herrera: "Biological physics" and "Scientific presentation, discussion and writing"

30.3.2015 - 29.5.2015



The "Biological physics" course (3 ECTS) provides an overview over thermodynamics, biomolecules, molecular forces and experimental techniques. The mathematical tools necessary to understand the lecture contents will be introduced. In the course, it will stress how biology "works" from a physical point of view. After the course the students will have understanding about biomolecular interactions, physico-chemical properties of soft matter and how the phenomena involved can be investigated with physical tools.

The course "Scientific presentation, discussion and writing" (3 ECTS) will consist of literature research, introduction to paper (thesis) writing and evaluation, and paper presentation. The teacher will provide the basic concepts and the students will prepare the corresponding assignments.

Course content:

Biological physics (3 ECTS):

  • Molecular interactions (4 lectures): From classical thermodynamics to London interactions.
  • Surface interactions (1 lecture): The concept of molecule will be change by the concept of surface and interface (e.g. colloidal stability will be discussed in this section).
  • Life-time biological interactions (2 lectures): Bonding might not last forever and energy transfer is not always efficient.
  • Entropy and biology (2 lectures): Using Boltzmann approach to entropy leads to intuitive understanding of biology.
  • Fluids and motility (1 lecture): Biological examples will be described with concepts of fluid mechanics, random motion and diffusion.
  • Special topic (extra time): Self-assembly and its relation to chemical potential

Scientific presentation, discussion and writing (3 ECTS):

  • Literature research: Where is the information that we need? How can we store it?
  • Abstract (writing): What should your abstract described?
  • Conclusions (writing): This is not a summary, what is it?
  • The total paper: Parts (Abstract, experimental part, results, discussion, conclusions, acknowledgments, literature, tables, figures.) and type of papers (communications, reviews, article, etc.)
  • Writing your communication: The students will write a paper from a data source given by the teacher
  • Paper presentation: The students will present and discuss scientific articles provided by the teacher

Required knowledge: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology.

Prof. Dr. José L. Toca-Herrera

Prof. Dr. José L. Toca-Herrera

José L. Toca-Herrera is professor of biophysics at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU-Vienna, Austria). After receiving his degree in physics from the University of Valencia, he entered a 12-month research training program at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Mainz, Germany) with Prof. Wolfgang Knoll. He completed his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Golm) under the supervision of Prof. Helmuth Möhwald. After several postdoctoral stays with Prof. Regine von Klitzing (TU-Berlin), Prof. Jane Clarke (University of Cambridge), and Prof. Uwe B. Sleytr (BOKU-Vienna), he joined in 2004 the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Rovira i Virgili University (Tarragona) as RyC research professor. In 2007, he moved to CIC BiomaGUNE (San Sebastián), led by Prof. Martin-Lomas as group leader. In September 2010, he joined the Department of Nanobiotechnology at BOKU (Vienna), where he leads the Institute for Biophysics.

In addition, Prof. Toca-Herrera is Deputy Director and teaching coordinator of the Department of Nanobiotechnology at BOKU Vienna.

Prof. Toca-Herrera is co-author of 2 books and about 100 publications (articles and book chapters). He has also edited a book on biomimetics in biophysics. He has led national and international (cooperation) projects. In the last decade he has been visiting professor at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces (Golm) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia; and visiting scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Mainz) and L´Ecole Normal Superieur (Paris).

E-mail registration for the course: