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 Physical Genomics Training Program

As part of CPGE’s commitment to training the next generation of bioengineering leaders, the Center has launched the Physical Genomics Training Program. Supported by a T32 grant from the National Institutes of Health, the program provides tuition and financial support for predoctoral projects that bridge molecular biology, bioengineering, physics, optics, chemistry, and medicine and promotes joint research between the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and other Northwestern University Schools.

Application Deadline: July 1, 2023

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 Job Opportunities at CPGE

About the Center

Through a combination of breakthrough optical imaging and computational genomics, the Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering (CPGE) focuses on studying and manipulating chromatin structure, which regulates gene expression, in order to treat disease and engineer living systems to overcome environmental challenges.

The Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering is part of the McCormick School of Engineering.



Our Strengths

Research at CPGE


Learn about the research that focuses on controlling gene expression with impact ranging from disease treatment to climate change management.
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Education at CPGE


Discover mentorship programs, symposia, and opportunities for gaining practical experience available to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
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Knowledge Transfer at CPGE

Knowledge Transfer

Find out how the center trains the next generation of scientists and engineers through cross-disciplinary platforms.

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What is Physical Genomics?

Physical genomics is a new field that involves understanding the structure, function, and fundamental principles of the genome. With this understanding, researchers can reversibly regulate, control, and even reprogram global patterns of gene expression.

The Next Frontier in Biological Discovery

"The impact of this emerging field could be widespread: ranging from treating diseases to improving crop yields and mitigating the impact of climate change on plants."

-- Vadim Backman, Director of Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering

News & Events


2023 Symposium on Physical Genomics Highlights Future of Medicine

Held April 21 at Wieboldt Hall on Northwestern’s Chicago campus, the symposium is the flagship event of the Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering, which explores research in manipulating chromatin structure to treat disease and engineer living systems to overcome health and environmental challenges.

CPGE Kicks Off Monthly Seminar on Physical Genomics

The first of CPGE's new seminar series, the Monthly Seminar on Physical Genomics, will be held via Zoom Friday, March 31, 2023 from noon to 1pm CT. Dr. Susan Gasser of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research will give a lecture titled "Chromatin and Nucleosome Density: How DNA Damage Response Alters Chromatin Dynamics". Registration is free at

CPGE Awarded Major NIH Grants

CPGE was recently awarded multiple major grants from the National Institutes of Health to establish the NU Center for Chromatin NanoImaging in Cancer (U54), and the Physical Genomics Training Program (T32).

Tuesday Feb. 8: Inaugural Physical Genomics Training Program Seminar

The inaugural Physical Genomics Training Program Seminar will take place Tuesday, February 8 at 1pm CT via Zoom. Dr. Vadim Backman, Sachs Family Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine and Director of the Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering, and PGTP Administrator Dr. Jayms Peterson will provide an overview of the NIH T32 Physical Genomics Training Program and discuss some exciting developments and the groundbreaking potential of this fascinating new field of convergent science.


Spring classes end

June 3
All Day

Northwestern Engineering Dean's Reception

June 11
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Northwestern Engineering PhD Hooding and Master’s Degree Recognit...

June 11
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Northwestern Engineering Undergraduate Convocation

June 11
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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