University of Pennsylvania physicist Philip Nelson has been awarded the 2009 Emily M. Gray Award from the Biophysical Society. The award is the international professional organization's top honor for education and outreach.
Awardees are selected for their significant contributions to education in biophysics whether by teaching, developing novel educational methods, promoting scientific outreach or otherwise fostering an environment exceptionally conducive to education in biophysics. The award cited Nelson's recent book, "Biological Physics," as an example of an approach to the field that emphasizes fundamental physics ideas and how they come together in the operation of living organisms.
A condensed matter theorist and expert in soft matter physics, Nelson's current research involves the physics of biopolymers such as DNA and the physical transactions they make that enable cells to regulate gene activity. A member of Penn's Nano-Bio Interface Center, he is also interested in the connections between biomolecules and nanotechnology.
Nelson will be presented with the award in Boston at the Society's annual meeting in February.