The Biophysics and Optical Sciences Facility (BiyOSeF) is housed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University. Dr. Brooke Hester is the principle investigator in the facility. Dr. Hester mentors up to 22 undergraduate and graduate students who work in the facility on a variety of multidisciplinary projects. The facility has the capability of studying materials using Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, optical tweezers, and Raman-tweezers. We collaborate with scientists from Appalachian State University in the Physics & Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Exercise Science and Computer Science Departments, as well as the Fermentation Science Program and researchers from UNC-Charlotte and other institutions throughout the country.
The creation of multidisciplinary research groups is part of Appalachian State University's Strategic Plan, and in 2008, Dr. Burris (retired) helped to form a multidisciplinary research group at Appalachian State University consisting of faculty and students from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Physics & Astronomy. Dr. Hester arrived at Appalachian State in 2011 and joined the group at that time. The primary objective of this group is to increase the understanding of the science of biological systems and to develop local and statewide biotechnology. This group has been previously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (2010-IDG-1006), the North Carolina General Administration through two Equipment Funding for Innovation Competitive Grants, the North Carolina Space Grant. BiyOSeF is the facility associated with the Physics portion of this multidisciplinary research effort.