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Les Houches Summer School Lecture Notes

Collection 2023-07: Theoretical Biological Physics 2023

This 4-week school was aimed at elucidating the function and principles of biological systems, from cells to ecosystems, in light of the laws of physics. The topics included evolution, ecology, behavior, neuroscience and signaling, as well as active matter, biological networks and machine learning, focusing on the challenges that biology introduces to non-equilibrium and many-body physics. Our goal was to extract unifying features with an emphasis on theoretical, yet experiment-driven advances.


  • Anne-Florence Bitbol (EPFL, Switzerland)
  • Thierry Mora (LPENS and CNRS, Paris, France)
  • Ilya Nemenman (Emory University, USA)
  • Aleksandra M. Walczak (LPENS and CNRS, Paris, France)


  • William Bialek (Princeton University, USA): Ambitions for theory
  • Rosalind Allen (Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany: Adaptation
  • Oskar Hallatschek (UC Berkeley, USA): Evolution
  • Cristina Marchetti (UC Santa Barbara, USA): Active matter
  • Lenka Zdeborova (EPFL, Switzerland): Machine learning
  • Pankaj Mehta (Boston University, USA): Ecology
  • Greg Stephens (Vrije University, The Netherlands): Behaviour
  • Karen Alim (TU Munich, Germany): Flow networks
  • Sandeep Krishna (NCBS, India): Signaling
  • Nikta Fakhri (MIT, USA): Out-of-equilibrium physics
  • Massimo Vergassola (LPENS and CNRS, Paris, France): Navigation
  • Ann Hermundstad (Janelia Farms, USA): Neuroscience

Dates: from 2023-07-03 to 2023-07-28.


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